As a ground-breaking neuroscientist, Pert’s research helped to create the foundation for an entirely new interdisciplinary branch of science called “Psycho-Neuro-Immunology” or PNI. PNI unites the three classically separated sciences of neuroscience, immunology and endocrinology and their associated glands and organs into a multidirectional communication network, linked by information carrying molecules called (neuro)peptides. Pert provided PNI with a clear scientific language to use, that of peptides and their receptors, also known as “information substances,” thereby helping to legitimize the field. Pert notes that her preferred term was “Psychoimmunoneuroendocrinology” recognizing the inclusion of the endocrine system, but the simpler name of PNI became the accepted term in scientific circles. The more popular name for PNI, soon became “mind-body medicine.”

Read More