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Joanne Berger-Sweeney

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Information about Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Profile image of Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Neurobiologist
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Istanbul, Galapagos Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/21/1958
Birth Location:
Los Angeles, California

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Neurobiologist
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Istanbul, Galapagos Islands
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/21/1958
Birth Location:
Los Angeles
See how Joanne Berger-Sweeney is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Neurobiologist and academic administrator Joanne Berger-Sweeney was born in 1958. After graduating from Wellesley College in 1979, she went on to receive her M.P.H. degree in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981 and her Ph.D. degree in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1989.

Following her graduate training, she worked for two years at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), a multidisciplinary public health research institution in France. Berger-Sweeney then joined Wellesley College in 1991 as the Allene Lummis Russell Professor in Neuroscience and was named associate dean in 2004. As the associate dean, Joanne Berger-Sweeney oversaw twenty academic departments and programs. Not only was she active in the Minority Mentoring Program at Wellesley College, but she also served as director of the Neurosciences Program and as the director of the Society for Neuroscience’s Minority Neuroscience Fellowship Program. In 2010, Berger-Sweeney was appointed as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University – the largest school at the university.

Joanne Berger-Sweeney’s research focuses on the neurobiology of learning and memory. She has helped to advance understanding of normal memory and cognitive processes and how these processes malfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Rett syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. She is a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and has served on numerous national and professional boards and committees. Berger-Sweeney has been a member of the Behavioral Neuroscience Review Panel of the National Science Foundation, a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section panel, and a member of the editorial board of Behavioral Neuroscience. She was also treasurer for the Society for Neuroscience.

Her honors include being named a Fellow by the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, receiving a Lifetime Mentoring Achievement Award from the Society for Neuroscience, and a National Science Foundation Young Investigator award. In 2012, she was elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Joanne Berger-Sweeney was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2013.

See how Joanne Berger-Sweeney is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joanne Berger-Sweeney's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her mother's growing up in Atlanta, Georgia and her educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her father's educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about why her father moved to California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her family's move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her parents and her likeness to them
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her brothers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about growing up in Baldwin Hills and Inglewood, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her elementary school experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about Disneyland's exclusion policy and her participation in the grape protest on behalf of the United Farm Workers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her the role of her church during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her mother's advocacy for her education and her emerging interest in science during her middle school years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her mother's influence and her intellectual development and her early interest in biology and psychology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about growing up near the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California and her love for the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her experience in Malaysia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her interest in reading during her high school years
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney reflects on her experience in Malaysia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her decision to attend Wellesley College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her mother's influence on her decision to major in psychobiology and her mother's dying of a brain aneurysm
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her experience at Wellesley College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her experience at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her research on wastewater management and toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her disinterest in becoming a doctor and her decision to pursue her graduate studies in neurotoxicology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her post-graduate jobs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her decision to pursue her doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her experience and her research interests at Johns Hopkins University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her experience in Joseph Coyle's research lab at Johns Hopkins University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about the mentorship of Joseph Coyle
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her dissertation research, part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her dissertation research, part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her experience in France at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about the distinction between degenerative and developmental disorders, such as Rett Syndrome and Schizophrenia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about Rett Syndrome
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about the prognosis of Rett Syndrome
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her decision to join the faculty at Wellesley College
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about receiving the Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her research at Wellesley College
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her professional awards and activities
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her transition into academic administration and becoming dean at Tufts University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her responsibilities as dean and goals for the future of Tufts University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about balancing her administrative responsibilities with her research duties
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about the Center on Race and Democracy at Tufts University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her continuing research on developmental disorders and her future administrative aspirations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her appointment as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about encouraging young people to pursue careers in science
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about society's value of women
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney reflects on her life choices
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney reflects on her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney talks about her children
  • Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney reflects on how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Joanne Berger-Sweeney describes her photographs