Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and mindfulness meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness practices, especially mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and founder (in 1979) and former director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. Prominently featured in the Bill Moyer’s PBS special Healing and the Mind in 1993, the clinic and its research has continually demonstrated that most participants in its programs achieve long-lasting improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms, as well as major positive changes in health attitudes and behaviors. More than 200 medical institutions nationwide and abroad now use the clinic’s mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) model to teach mindfulness meditation.
Jon Kabat-Zinn received his doctorate in molecular biology from MIT in 1971 with the Nobel Laureate in physiology and medicine, Salvador Luria. Kabat-Zinn’s research between 1979 and 2002 focused on mind/body interactions for healing; on various clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training for people with chronic pain and/or stress-related disorders; on the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the brain and how it processes emotions, particularly under stress, and on the immune system; and on the use and effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness meditation with women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer; on patients undergoing bone marrow transplant; with prison inmates and staff; in multicultural settings; and on stress in various corporate settings and work environments.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is a Founding Fellow of the Fetzer Institute, a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the founding convener of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, a network of deans, chancellors, and faculty at major United States medical schools engaged at the creative edges of mind/body and integrative medicine. He also serves on the board of the Mind and Life Institute, a group that organizes dialogues between the Dalai Lama and Western scientists and scholars to promote deeper understanding and harnessing, for beneficial purposes, different ways of knowing and probing the nature of the mind, emotions, and reality.