News Release: Emory Healthcare , Research , School of Medicine

Jun. 10,  2009

Emory Traumatic Brain Injury Researcher Honored by Association for Psychological Science

News Article ImageDr. Donald Stein with Dr. Arthur Kellermann. The two have worked together on treating traumatic brain injuries with PROTECT, a medicine based on Stein's research.

Donald G. Stein, PhD, was recently honored with a Festschrift (scholarly tribute), by the Association for Psychological Science for his research and commitment to finding treatments and cures for traumatic brain injured patients.

Stein is a physiological psychologist and Asa G. Candler Professor in Emergency Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, and director of Emory's Department of Emergency Medicine Brain Research Laboratory. He has pioneered discoveries regarding the neuroprotective effect of the hormone progesterone following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

He first discovered the neuroprotective properties of progesterone in the laboratory, and members of his research team have been studying its properties for more than 25 years. His clinical colleagues recently reported that giving progesterone to patients soon after brain injury may reduce the risk of death and lower the degree of disability.

Stein's research has long examined the processes underlying recovery of function after traumatic brain injury, and he continues to build upon his distinguished research program, currently focusing on determining the physiological substrates responsible for progesterone's beneficial effects in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. Progesterone is naturally present in small but measurable amounts in the brains of men and women. Laboratory studies suggest that progesterone is critical for the normal development of neurons in the brain and exerts protective effects on damaged brain tissue.

In a study published in the April 2007 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine, Stein and his emergency medicine colleagues reported that only 13 percent of severely brain-injured patients who received natural progesterone died from traumatic brain injury compared with 30 percent of those given a placebo (inactive substance). After 30 days, the researchers say, functioning had improved in nearly 56 percent of patients who received progesterone after a moderate TBI, including improved motor response and ability to communicate.

The Association for Psychological Science (previously American Psychological Society) is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1988 to advance scientific psychology and its representation as a science on the national level. APS grew quickly, surpassing 5,000 members in its first six months. Twenty years later, over 20,000 psychologists in the United States and abroad, whose specialties span the entire spectrum of scientific, applied and teaching specialties, are members of the Association.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

News Release Tools

  • Print

News Releases

The news release you are currently viewing is part of an archive of Emory health sciences press releases, dating Sept. 2008 - Dec. 2011.

To View Current Releases

Emory News Center

Emory News Center

To View News Archives

News Archives

News Archives