M. Sapolskyauthor

Robert M. Sapolsky


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Robert M. Sapolsky is the author of several works of nonfiction, including A Primate's Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone, and Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers. He is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. He lives in San Francisco. Sapolsky is the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor at Stanford University, holding joint appointments in several departments, including Biological Sciences, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery.

As a neuroendocrinologist, he has focused his research on issues of stress and neuronal degeneration, as well as on the possibilities of gene therapy strategies for protecting susceptible neurons from disease. He is working on gene transfer techniques to strengthen neurons against the disabling effects of glucocorticoids. Each year, Sapolsky spends time in Kenya studying a population of wild baboons in order to identify the sources of stress in their environment and the relationship between personality and patterns of stress-related disease in these animals. More specifically, Sapolsky studies the cortisol levels between the alpha male and female and the subordinates to determine stress levels. An early but still relevant example of his studies of olive baboons is found in his 1990 Scientific American article "Stress in the Wild." He has also written about neurological impairment and the insanity defense within the American legal system.

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