Peter Whybrow, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry This Emotional Life - PBS

Experts Biography

Awards and Credentials

  1. Judson Braun Distinguished Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
  2. Knight of Merit, Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem
  3. Benjamin Rush 250th Birthday Lecture, American Philosophical Society
  4. Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Peter Whybrow, M.D.


Dr. Whybrow is the Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He is an international authority on the neuroscience of emotion, manic-depressive disease, and the effects of thyroid hormone on brain and human behavior. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and six books, including A Mood Apart: The Thinker’s Guide to Emotion and Its Disorder, which has been translated into several languages and is widely acclaimed as the definitive guide to the experience and science of mood disorder written expressly for the general public.

Dr. Whybrow has also written extensively on how the conditions of modern life, especially in America, are incompatible with our genetic makeup. He has argued that our brains are not evolutionarily equipped to handle the relentless pace of the rat race and a materialistic culture. In turn, we are paying a high psychological price, such as the increasing rates of emotional disorders like anxiety and depression.

Dr. Whybrow was born in England and received his training in endocrinology and psychiatry in London and in North Carolina. He was a member of the scientific staff of the British Medical Research Council before migrating to America in the 1970s, where he taught at Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty at UCLA in 1997.

Peter Whybrow, M.D.'s Content (Recent - Older)

Shopping for stress

  • Peter Whybrow, M.D.
  • Dr. Peter Whybrow, Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, comments on the effects of our consumer lifestyle. Saying that “(People) have been told somehow that if they gather material goods, they will feel better…in the process of gathering these goods they’ve stressed themselves to the point where they’re extraordinarily anxious, depressed.”