Jeffrey Blaustein, professor emeritus of psychological and brain sciences, has been selected for the Daniel S. Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. This society provides a welcoming climate during it's meetings and programs, helping students and professionals to develop networks, discuss scientific research, and meet potential mentors.
Blaustein has achieved “a career of eminent scholarship in behavioral neuroendocrinology and a record of outstanding mentorship of future scientists.” His career as a professor, mentor, and senior researcher in our Behavioral Neuroscience Program has also included membership in the Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, and the Neuroscience and Behavior Program at UMass Amherst. His research involves exploring the relationships among steroid hormones, the brain, physiology, and behavior. He has also investigated how environmental and pubertal influences can affect these relationships.
Currently, he is writing to educate breast cancer survivors and oncologists about the importance of ovarian hormones on the brain and their impact on mental health and quality of life following breast-cancer surgery.
“After women have surgery for breast cancer, oncologists typically prescribe drugs to halt the production or effects of the sex hormones, estrogens, in order to decrease the risk of the cancer returning. However, because estrogens have many positive effects on the brain—such as improving mood, thinking, and sexual desire and slowing the effects of aging—interfering with these effects may significantly reduce a woman’s quality of life after surgery. Unfortunately, oncologists typically do not educate women about these negative side effects, and they may prescribe the drugs regardless of the risk of the tumor returning—which sometimes is very small—and without explaining the negative impacts of these drugs. Physicians must better educate women on the benefits and risks of particular decisions that they make regarding the use of hormone therapy after surgery, and women should better understand the potential side effects of these powerful drugs.”
Blaustein has also served as president of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, associate editor and editor-in-chief of Endocrinology, and associate editor of Hormones and Behavior. At UMass Amherst, he is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal, a Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship, a Convocation Research and Creativity Award, and a Distinguished Alumni Award. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014.