Dr. John W. Mason

dr. john mason
Dr. John W. Mason, Stress Research Pioneer, dies at 90 Dr. John W. Mason, an American physiologist and researcher who helped lay the groundwork for today's integrative medicine, died on March 4, 2014. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Mason conducted original research for nearly fifty years on the relationships between thoughts, emotions, and disease at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In 1977, he relocated to New Haven, Connecticut where he joined the faculty at Yale and continued his research at the West Haven VA Medical Center. First in the lab and then in the clinic, Dr. Mason demonstrated the complexity of mind-body interactions, pushing the medical field to go beyond a simplistic understanding of stress. Perhaps his most controversial work involved challenging Hans Selye, famously called the 'father of stress,' whom Mason demonstrated had misinterpreted his findings. Dr. Mason's ingenious experiments helped create the field of psychoneuroendocrinology and set the stage for the modern integrative approach to health and disease. Dr. Mason was an Eagle Scout and became a Scoutmaster; his son, Mark, also became an Eagle Scout and introduced the family to butterfly collecting, which became a lifelong hobby. Their collection, which includes butterflies from the United States, Canada, and South America, has been donated to the Peabody Museum in New Haven, Connecticut and is available for research and public enjoyment. Dr. Mason was a member of Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Woodbridge, Connecticut for over thirty years where he taught Sunday School and mentored others. His website finishing-of-our-faith.com offers insights and in-depth word studies. Dr. Mason was married to Joyce Ann Towne for fifty-eight years until her death in 2009. He is survived by his children, Victoria J. Mason, of Silver Spring, MD, and Peter B. Mason, of Millis, MA. Dr. Mason's oldest son, John M. Mason (Mark) passed away on April 10, 2014. Dr. Mason is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Eleanor Mason, and grandson, Daniel M. Mason, wife, Kristin, and great-grandchildren Julia, Parker, and Sara Jane, all of Rumson, NJ, and grandson, John A. Mason, of Toyota City, Japan. A Memorial Service will be held on May 16, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Evangelical Free Church, 33 Center Rd, Woodbridge, CT 06525. BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave, Hamden in care of arrangements.

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  1. John was a remarkable man. I had the pleasure of working indirectly with him from the time that I arrived at Yale as a medical student in 1980 to my current role as chairman of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. He was a pioneer in the field of stress research and a key contributor to the development of two important fields, psychoneuroendocrinology and psychosomatic medicine. He received numerous awards and distinctions, wrote landmark papers, mentored future leaders, and collaborated with other pioneers and leaders in the field. Yet he always displayed a remarkable humility and quiet dignity that contrasted with our high esteem for him and the magnitude of his accomplishments. Our field as lost a pioneer and our professional community has lost a valued and respected colleague and friend. It is remarkable to me that he has died within a week of his long-standing friend and collaborator, Earl Giller. Our deepest condolences goes to his family and close friends. Sincerely, John Krystal, M.D. Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research Chair of the Department of Psychiatry Professor of Neurobiology Yale University School of Medicine Director, Clinical Neuroscience Division VA National Center for PTSD

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