Ronald Stanton Duman (February 6, 1954 – February 1, 2020)[1] was a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology Director, Division of Molecular Psychiatry and Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities at Yale University.[2]

Ronald Duman
Ronald Stanton Duman

(1954-02-06)February 6, 1954
DiedFebruary 1, 2020(2020-02-01) (aged 65)
Alma materCollege of William & Mary
University of Texas at Houston


Duman graduated from the College of William & Mary (where he played varisty football as a middle linebacker) in 1976. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1985.


Ron Duman's research centered around the biological mechanisms behind antidepressants. In his landmark 1995 paper, he discovered that antidepressants increase the gene expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or (BDNF)[3] in the hippocampus. In a later paper he discovered that the downstream effect of BDNF is to increase neurogenesis or the formation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus.[4]

The results of this work led him to formulate the hypothesis that depression is caused by a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis caused by elevated cortisol levels.


Ronald Duman died on February 1, 2020 at the age of 65 while hiking in Guilford, Connecticut.[5]


  1. ^ "Ronald Stanton Duman, PhD (Obituary)". The Tribune-Democrat. February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Duman's Yale Faculty Website Archived 18 December 2010 at WebCite
  3. ^ First paper demonstrating the link between antidepressants and BDNF levels Archived 18 December 2010 at WebCite
  4. ^ Abstract of paper demonstrating that antidepressants increase neurogenesis Archived 18 December 2010 at WebCite
  5. ^ Ronald S. Duman, PhD, Pioneering Neuroscientist of Stress, Depression, and Antidepressant Treatment Dies at 65