Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

Director of Research, Center for Mindfulness Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine

Research Affiliate, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT


M.D. Medical Scientist Training Program, Washington University School of Medicine,  2004
Ph.D. Graduate Program in Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, 2002
A.B. Chemistry, cum laude Princeton University, 1996

Residency - Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 2004-2008      

Chief Residency - Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 2007

Post-doctoral Neuroscience Research Training Program, Yale University School of Medicine, 2005-2007 

Research Training Fellowship in Substance Abuse, Yale University School of Medicine, 2007-2008    

Board Certification in Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., 2009


Email: judson.brewer@umassmed.edu

Focus & Interests

  • Discovery of how mindfulness affects the addictive process
  • Development of novel tools to deliver mindfulness-based interventions (e.g. smoking cessation)
  • Elucidation of brain mechanisms of mindfulness using neuroimaging
  • Development of technologies that measure mindfulness (e.g. real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback), and evaluation of their capacity as augmentation tools for training


Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is the Chief of the Division of Mindfulness, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in medicine and psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He also is a research affiliate at MIT. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, trained US Olympic coaches, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED (4th most viewed talk of 2016, with 9 Million views), Time magazine (top 100 new health discoveries of 2013), Forbes, BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera (documentary about his research), Businessweek and others. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety (www.goeatrightnow.com, www.unwindinganxiety.com, www.cravingtoquit.com). He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and American Heart Association, among others. Dr. Brewer founded Claritas MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers. He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

Professional Positions

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, 2014-present

Research Affiliate, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013- present

Founding Board Member, Contemplative Development Mapping Project, 2012-present

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 2008-2013

Medical Director, Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic, 2008-2013

Staff Psychiatrist, Substance Abuse firm, VA Connecticut Healthcare system, West Haven, CT, 2008-2013