The Biology of Helping Another in Distress


April 12, 2013
April 30, 2013
UChicago Creative


A prominent faculty member in the Department of Neurobiology, Professor Peggy Mason, PhD, is renowned for her research on the deep evolutionary roots of empathy-driven behavior. In her recent study published in "Science," Dr. Mason and her colleagues demonstrated that rodents will display empathetic behavior by repeatedly freeing their companions from restraint. This research helps elucidate the underlying neuropsychological mechanisms of empathy. In addition to her illustrious work in the lab, Dr. Mason is well-known to Pritzker students as the director of the extremely well-received second-year course on neurobiology and the author of the textbook "Medical Neurobiology," which is used all over the country. 

The “Big Ideas in Medicine” series is part of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine admitted student weekend. The panel of speakers features five leading physicians and scientists whose work has had a transformative impact in their respective fields. What will not be obvious from their talks is that students at Pritzker interact with these faculty members on a daily basis. They are our students’ teachers, mentors, and advisors, along with being our institution’s leaders. It is these daily interactions of students and faculty that provide Pritzker's enriching intellectual environment and unparalleled opportunities for our students to learn from some of the most important physicians and scientists in the country.