Dr. Joseph V. Brady (COL, Retired)
President, Institutes for Behavior Resources and Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, dies at 89
Noted pioneer in space research, behaviorist and behavioral pharmacologist, Joseph V. Brady, Ph.D., died at Gilchrist Hospice on July 29, 2011 in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Brady is famous for having trained the first primates that the United States space program sent into space, paving the way for the historic flight by John Glenn. Dr. Brady also founded the Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc., and the Behavioral Biology Research Center of Johns Hopkins University. His scientific contributions span more than 60 years and include pioneering work in a wide range of human behaviors. His many achievements include serving as a member of the Belmont Commission, which established the standards for informed consent in the conduct of human research. He also conducted the first studies using animal models to examine drug effects, linking environmental stress to peptic ulcers, the implementation of mobile methadone treatment services, and studies of simulated space environments. This expansive range of activities attest to Dr. Brady’s insights into behavioral dynamics and his spirited and unabashed enthusiasm for rigorous behavioral methodologies. His collegiality and commitment to the experimental analysis of behavior is both legendary and inspirational.
Dr. Brady was born in New York City in 1922. He received a BS degree from Fordham University in 1943. His army career spanned from 1943 through 1970. He served as a combat infantry platoon leader during World War II. After the war, he attended the University of Chicago where he earned his PhD there under Howard Hunt in 1951. His PhD research on conditioned anxiety and drug effects became a model for modern behavioral pharmacology.
In 1951, he was assigned to Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. He served as Chief of the Department of Experimental Psychology from 1951 to 1963 and Deputy Director of the Division of Neuropsychiatry from 1963 to 1970. Among the many important discoveries of this interdisciplinary neuroscience team was the finding that psychological stress could be far more damaging than physical stress. Brady’s article in Scientific American (1958) entitled “Ulcers in Executive Monkeys,” is a classic work, which became the textbook example of how environmental stress can lead to somatic illness.
Dr. Brady’s 1956 paper on the effects of reserpine on conditioned anxiety was one of the first of the modern era to demonstrate the usefulness of behavioral conditioning in animals to study the effects of psychoactive drugs. His subsequent enthusiastic efforts to convince pharmaceutical companies of the value of these methods for screening behavioral effects of drugs helped create the field of behavioral pharmacology.
Not content merely to manage events on Earth, Dr. Brady oversaw the training of the first U.S. primates in space as Director of the Space Research Laboratory at the University of Maryland. These studies served as a prelude to the U.S. manned space flights. He continued his association with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and established the programmed human environments at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Brady retired from the Army as a Colonel in 1970 and moved to the Division of Behavioral Biology of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. There he fostered innovative research in behavioral pharmacology and physiology, behavioral medicine, and drug abuse treatment. His studies of the etiology of drug use in animal models were highly influential in changing basic theories of addiction and leading to modern approaches to drug abuse treatment.
In 1960, Dr. Brady founded the nonprofit Institute for Behavioral Resources (IBR). The purpose of IBR is to enhance the scientific understanding of behavior and to apply behavioral principles to the solution of human problems. A number of applied behavioral research projects and related services continue to the present day. IBR served as the venue to study the effectiveness of a mobile methadone treatment unit in Baltimore. That successful program became a model for extending treatment services to underserved communities.
In 2001, Dr. Brady took the bold step to purchase a six-story building on Maryland Avenue in Baltimore to house the corporate offices and human performance research laboratories of IBR. The building also serves as the permanent home for a thriving and innovative substance abuse treatment program serving over 500 patients daily. May 2, 2011, IBR celebrated its 50th anniversary and inaugurated a drive to fund the Joseph V. Brady Behavioral Sciences Center.
During his long career, Dr. Brady has won many awards, including the prestigious National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Pioneer Award. He has held many elected offices in learned societies, such as the American Psychological Association, the Pavlovian Society, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Behavioral Pharmacology Society, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He has served on advisory panels and review boards including the President’s Science Advisory Committee to the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Brady is survived by his wife Nancy, his brother James and his children Barbara Fincham, Michael Brady, Kathleen Brady, Nancy Brady, Joanne Brady, and step-daughter Meg Sullivan, by 13 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Private burial will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
In lieu of flowers, the Brady family requests that tax-deductible contributions be made to the “Joseph V. Brady Behavioral Sciences Center” which will be located on the 4th and 5th floors at IBR offices in Baltimore. Visit www.ibrinc.org/JVBMemorial/.