Michael R. Bruchas, PhD is a professor at the University of Washington Seattle with appointments at the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and the Department of Pharmacology, and an adjunct professor of bioengineering. Dr. Bruchas received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Creighton University and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the same institution in 2004. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience under Dr. Charles Chavkin, at the University of Washington – Seattle, where he spent his post-doctoral research efforts examining how the brain encodes emotional behaviors, and how stress impacts anxiety, depression, and addiction. He was then recruited as an assistant professor to Washington University School of Medicine in late 2010. Dr. Bruchas was rapidly promoted to associate professor with tenure in July 2015.
Dr. Bruchas’s laboratory focuses on understanding how brain circuits are wired, how they communicate with one another, and in dissecting the neural basis of stress, emotion and reward. Dr. Bruchas’ work has been continually funded by the NIH and has let to 60 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and a plethora of invited lectures worldwide. His laboratory’s discoveries have been published in widely regarded journals that include Science, Cell, and Neuron and were featured on Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Popular Science, among several other international popular science publications. In 2012, Bruchas received the very prestigious NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, as well as an NIH EUREKA (Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) Award in 2013, and in 2014 he was award from the Young Investigator Award from the International Narcotics Research Conference in 2014. In 2016, his laboratory was awarded a BRAIN Initiative from the NIH. In 2018 Dr. Bruchas received the prestigious Jacob P. Waletzsky Prize from the Society for Neuroscience for his contributions to the field of addiction neuroscience. Dr. Bruchas was also awarded an NIH MERIT Award in 2018 from NIDA for his work on stress and drug seeking behaviors.