Candace Pert

Genius, Greed, and Madness in the World of Science

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By Pamela Ryckman

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$15.99

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$20.99 CAD

Candace Pert stood at the dawn of three revolutions: the opioid crisis, the AIDS crisis, and the mind-body movement. Indeed, her visionary work shaped history – for good and, inadvertently, for evil. 

 

Before there was Bessel van der Kolk, there was Candace Pert, the Mother of the Mind-Body Revolution. Her story forms a launchpad to discuss the most pressing issues plaguing science and healthcare today. 

Pert played pivotal roles in major movements in both science and politics. Namely, she:

  • Discovered the opiate receptor (the mechanism by which opioids function in the brain), launching the opioid crisis.

  • Proved the mind-body link, launching the field of integrative or functional medicine.

  • Created Peptide T, the underground AIDS drug featured in the film Dallas Buyers Club, and then went rogue, becoming a linchpin in the black market for her drug.

Pert was sabotaged by mentors and colleagues keen to profit from her brilliance. But she too became tainted, believing that her noble ends would justify devious means. Like a mythic hero, she succumbed to a fatal flaw, and her greatest strengths—singularity of purpose and blind faith in her own virtuosity—would prove to be her undoing.

CANDACE PERT is a great read for anyone interested in integrative health, mind-body awareness, medical ethics, the bureaucracy of a toxic healthcare system, and a flawed genius whose scandals and breakthroughs shaped history. 

“Exemplary research, balanced accounts and deeply evocative prose… a truly insightful narrative on what it can mean to be a woman at the cutting edge of science.– The Wall Street Journal

Riveting biography… nuanced portrait…Readers will be engrossed.” – Publisher's Weekly

There is a revolution taking form that is significantly influencing how the Western medical community views health and disease. Candace Pert’s contribution to this revolution is undeniable.” – Deepak Chopra

Ryckman’s writing is life-like, suspenseful, and creates a roller coaster ride of stakes and unexpected discovery” – Dr. Lisa Miller, New York Times bestselling author of The Spiritual Child and The Awakened Brain

Genre:

  • "With exemplary research, balanced accounts and deeply evocative prose, Ms. Ryckman’s biography offers a truly insightful narrative on what it can mean to be a woman at the cutting edge of science."
    The Wall Street Journal
  • “I have admired Candace Pert and her work for many years…There is a revolution taking form that is significantly influencing how the Western medical community views health and disease. Candace Pert’s contribution to this revolution is undeniable.”
    Deepak Chopra, MD, multi-bestselling author and founder of the Chopra Foundation
  • “Pamela Ryckman unearths a story of a brilliant female investigator, so that she might join scientific herstory.  Ryckman’s writing is life-like, suspenseful, and creates a roller coaster ride of stakes and unexpected discovery. Hold on tight!”
    Lisa Miller, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of The Spiritual Child and The Awakened Brain
  • “Candace Pert was a scientific maverick of heroic and tragic proportion.  In gripping, moving prose, Pamela Ryckman pulls back the veil on the scientific establishment to reveal one woman’s struggle against subterfuge and sabotage — until Candace too succumbed to greed. If you are interested in mind-body medicine or just enjoy a good thriller, this book is for you!”
    Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, author of How Emotions are Made and Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain
  • “Candace Pert was an inspiring, passionate biochemist who became a black market smuggler and committed fraud in her quest to bring Peptide T to market and treat thousands of men infected with HIV. She was also the mother of integrative medicine before the world knew what it was. Pamela Ryckman unravels the secrets and mystery of this woman in a hunt for the truth. I could not put this book down!”
    Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks, co-founder and chairwoman of Springboard Enterprises
  • "In this riveting biography, journalist Ryckman (Stiletto Network) chronicles the life and career of pharmacologist and neuroscientist Candace Pert. ... Ryckman’s nuanced portrait depicts Pert as a tragic figure so desperate for recognition and wealth that she was willing to break the law to get what she felt was her due. Readers will be engrossed."
    Publisher's Weekly

On Sale
Nov 7, 2023
Page Count
320 pages
Publisher
Hachette Books
ISBN-13
9780306831485

Pamela Ryckman

About the Author

Pamela Ryckman is a screenwriter, producer, and business executive with a focus on women in the workforce. She is the author of STILETTO NETWORK: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business (HarperCollins Leadership/Amacom, 2013), which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Ryckman is also a thought leader and speaker who consults on diversity to global corporations. With Shaquille O’Neal and Credit Suisse, Ryckman launched Momentum: Black Men’s Leadership Retreat, which convened 50 of the nation’s most high-powered African American men in 2015 to focus on job creation and economic empowerment in the Black community.

Additionally, Ryckman has written for The New York Times, Financial Times, and Washington Post, among other publications. She was the first to shed light on Belizean Grove, a secret society of the world’s most powerful women, and she co-authored CS Gender 3000, a Credit Suisse research report that debunked the “Queen Bee” myth for women. Ryckman is an investor in Operator Collective, a venture fund that supports women and minorities, and in Lucky Godot, a theatre development fund. She is also a board member of Page 73 Productions, which won a 2020 Obie Award for providing extraordinary support for early-career playwrights and counts among its alumni two Pulitzer Prize winners and a MacArthur Fellow.

From 2003 to 2009, Ryckman was on the board of The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, which won a 2010 Tony Award for Excellence in the Theatre. Early in her career, Ryckman held internal strategy roles at Merrill Lynch’s Global Markets and Investment Banking Group, and at Goldman Sachs & Co.’s Equities Financial and Strategic Management group. She earned her A.B. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and her M.A. in Journalism from NYU.

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