Oct 9, 2023

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that Julian F. Thayer, Distinguished Professor of Psychological Science, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. He is one of 100 new members announced this week.

The academy selected Professor Thayer for his groundbreaking research that explores how stress, including racism, affects autonomic nervous system dynamics and influences disease and aging. Professor Thayer's research revolves around understanding the connection between the heart and the brain with a focus on health psychology, psychopathology, health disparities, heart rate variability, emotions, stress and neuroimaging. Professor Thayer examines the effects of stress and well-being by studying the body's longest nerve, called the vagus, which carries signals between the brain, the heart and the digestive system. Specifically, he has mapped out the complex mechanisms of how stress-related dysregulation of the vagal-neural axis can lead to early cardiovascular disease.

Professor Thayer has been recognized with the 2023 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Psychosomatic Society and the 2019 Society of Behavioral Medicine's Distinguished Scientist Award, the most prestigious honor granted by the organization. He is also a fellow of UCI's Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.

UCI now has seven faculty who are members of the National Academy of Medicine, which is one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to those contributing to the areas of medical sciences, healthcare and public health.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Thayer on this outstanding achievement.

Hal Stern
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor's Professor, Department of Statistics

Jon Gould
Dean, School of Social Ecology