Contemplative Studies Initiative and Concentration

Dr. Catherine Kerr Joins the Brown Contemplative Studies Faculty

The Brown University Contemplative Studies Initiative is pleased to announce that Dr. Catherine Kerr has joined our faculty. She will be teaching courses both in the regular semester and during the summer term in her specialties of contemplative neuroscience and health sciences.

Catherine Kerr received her B.A. from Amherst College, and her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. Following a term as a postdoctoral lecturer at Harvard University (in the Committee on Degrees on Social Studies), she joined a research group at Harvard Medical School focused on investigating the placebo effect in IBS and other chronic functional disorders. In 2006, she received a K01 award from the NIH to retrain as a cognitive neuroscientist of meditation by conducting independent research at Harvard Medical School and the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH. Numerous publications resulted from the K01 project, including a report (Kerr, Jones, et al 2011) on the effects of mindfulness meditation on the ability to use attention to regulate a localized measure of cortical excitability (alpha rhythms recorded in primary somatosensory cortex). in 2011, she joined the Department of Family Medicine and the Contemplative Studies Initiative (for which she is Director of Translational Neuroscience) at Brown University.