Reaching Too High: David Morilak

David Morilak is a neuroscientist with a wild idea: Reaching too high and straining to accomplish goals is a scientifically-proven way to overcome stress.  David Morilak, Ph.D. is a Professor of Pharmacology, Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, and Director of the Center for Biomedical Neuroscience at UT Health, San Antonio. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Morilak studied Psychology at Muskingum University in southern Ohio and obtained his Ph.D. in Neuroscience/Psychology in 1986 from Princeton University characterizing the acute stress responsiveness of noradrenergic neurons in the brain.

The members of Morilak’s lab study mechanisms in the brain responsible for the adaptive response to stress, the pathological effects of chronic stress, and novel therapeutic approaches to alleviate the impact of stress on the brain, including both pharmacological and behavioral strategies. Using a broad range of multi-disciplinary techniques, his lab has established pre-clinical animal models to study human stress-related disease states and conditions ranging from depression, PTSD and schizophrenia to hormone ablation therapy for prostate cancer. They have discovered signaling mechanisms underlying neural plasticity as a basis for the beneficial effects of traditional and novel treatments, including a rat version of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy using extinction training as a therapeutic intervention.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Learn more at


Reaching Too High | David Morilak | TEDxPaloAltoCollege


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