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Brian G. Dias, PhD

Assistant Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Assistant Professor
Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Phone: 404-727-9625


Contact Websites


Dr. Dias grew up in India and received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Over the years, his research has investigated the neurobiology underlying stress, depression, social behavior and fear, in rats, lizards, birds, fruit flies, and mice. While most of his current work uses mice, generous collaborators have enabled Dr. Dias and his team to begin investigating the biological basis of behavioral states and neuropsychiatric disorders, in non-human primates, and humans. 

Dr. Dias’ research seeks to understand how mammalian neurobiology, physiology and reproductive biology is impacted by stress or trauma, and how parental legacies of stress or trauma influence offspring. Armed with this understanding, Dr. Dias and his team aim to devise therapeutic interventions to ameliorate the effects of stress or trauma in both, ancestral and descendant populations. Toward this goal, Dr. Dias uses molecular, cellular, genetic, epigenetic, physiological, and behavioral approaches to investigate how the biology of an organism and its responsiveness to stress or trauma is influenced by micro- (genome, epigenome and hormones), and macro-environments (ancestral, in utero and post-natal experiences). Among other outlets, Dr. Dias’ work has been featured in Nature, on the BBC, in a list of the 10 Most Important Discoveries of 2014 published by La Recherche Magazine.

In addition to his scientific work, Dr. Dias is interested in scientific innovation and education. This interest has seen Dr. Dias participate in the 2016 Sci-Foo Camp – an invitation-only ideas festival co-organized by Google, O’Reilly Media, Nature and Digital Science often described as a mini-Woodstock of ideas. Finally, Dr. Dias is a faculty member of the Emory Tibet Science Initiative, teaches Neuroscience to Tibetan Buddhist monastics, and was recently on a panel discussing “Consciousness – Perspectives from Western Neuroscience and Buddhist Philosophy” with His Holiness – The Dalai Lama, Dr. Christof Koch (Director, Allen Brain Institute), Dr. Carol Worthman (Emory University), Ven. Lodoe Sangpo and Ven. Gelek Gylatsen (Tenzin Gyatso Scholars). Video link: