March 6, 2012 (REVISED March 22, 2012) Kluge Center to Hold Conference, "The Profound Impact of Stress," March 26-27

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Elizabeth Gettins (202) 707-7678
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6382 (voice/tty) or

Recent scientific breakthroughs in the biomedical field have made it possible to concretely measure the physical effects of stress. Stress, according to Dr. George Chrousos, plays a sizable role in the health of the individual, as well as of society as a whole, and can be implicated in numerous psychosocial factors, such as addiction, obesity and poverty.

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress will present “The Profound Impact of Stress: Human Biology and Social Implications for the Individual and Society,” a two-day conference from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, March 26 and Tuesday, March 27 in Room 119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The conference is free and open to the public. Reservations are not needed, but appreciated. Call or e-mail Elizabeth Gettins at (202) 707-7678 or

The complete speakers list and agenda may be found here. The conference will be live-tweeted from the Library's Twitter account @LibraryCongress, hashtags #stressimpact #klugectr

At the conference, experts will present focused and accessible information emerging from the most recent biomedical research. They will also discuss research on the interrelationship of social conditions and human health and what might be done to mitigate the effects of stress.

Topics of discussion will include physical, neurological and psychiatric diseases related to stress; the effects of stress in utero; societal problems associated with stress; chronic pain; and post-traumatic stress disorder. The conference will conclude with a discussion on methods of stress reduction, such as meditation, which can mitigate the effects of stress in a biologically measurable way. Panelists and a detailed conference agenda will be announced in the coming days.

Chrousos, who is an organizer of the two-day conference, is a former Kluge Center Chair of Technology and Society. He is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Athens University Medical School in Greece and a professor at Georgetown University Medical School. He was previously director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Section and Training Program and chief of the Pediatric and Reproductive Endocrinology Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health. Chrousos is internationally known for his research on the glucocorticoid signaling system of the cell, on the diseases of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and on the physiological and molecular mechanisms of stress.

Dr. Philip Gold also is an organizer of the conference. A member of the Library’s Scholars Council, Gold has been at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center since 1974, where he served as chief of neuroendocrine research in the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program. His research has focused on the anatomic, molecular, and physiological aspects of the generalized stress response and its relationship to major depression.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit


PR 12-049
ISSN 0731-3527