Dr. Rebecca Brachman

Dr. Rebecca Brachman is a neuroscientist pioneering the field of preventative psychopharmacology.


She and her colleagues aim to create drugs which enhance psychological resilience against stress and prevent mental illness.

Current treatments for mood disorders only suppress symptoms without addressing the underlying disease, and there are no known cures. The drugs Dr. Rebecca Brachman is developing would be the first to prevent psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Dr. Brachman is a TED Fellow, an NYCEDC Entrepreneurship Lab Fellow, co-founder and director of the Helena Social Outcomes Initiative—a social impact project that repurposes generic drugs for the treatment of PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other unmet medical needs—and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Sunrise—a mission-driven initiative to cure, treat, and prevent depression.

Brachman obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from Columbia University, prior to which she was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she discovered that immune cells carry a memory of psychological stress and that white blood cells can act as antidepressants and resilience-enhancers. Brachman’s research has been featured in The Atlantic, WIRED, and Business Insider, and her work was recently described by Dr. George Slavich on NPR as a “moonshot project that is very much
needed in the mental health arena.”

Brachman is also a playwright and screenwriter and previously served as the director of NeuWrite, a national network of science-writing groups that fosters ongoing collaboration between  scientists, writers, and artists.

Dr. Rebecca Brachman at TED 2017.