Howard Kushner Kushner
Ph.D., History, Cornell University, 1970


Research interests:

Howard I. Kushner is the Nat C. Robertson Distinguished Professor of Science & Society Emeritus at Emory University where he held a joint appointments as Professor in, the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education in Rollins School of Public Health and in Emory’s Programs Human Health and in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology.  Kushner, a historian of medicine and neuroscience, is author of four books, including American Suicide: A Psychocultural Exploration (1991) and A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome (1999) and numerous articles on medical history in journals including Lancet, the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Perspectives in Biology& Medicine, Journal of the History of Medicine, Journal of Pediatric Infectious Disease, Laterality, and Pediatric Cardiology.  Kushner’s research has included a collaborative study of Kawasaki Disease, with colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, funded by a series of grants including the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine, and the Kawasaki Disease Foundation. Kushner also has published a series of articles on addiction and its relationship to self-medication. Supported by a grant from the Engelhard Foundation, Kushner was a co-convener of the “Conference on Addiction, the Brain, and Culture” held at Emory in February 2009, and co-editor of a special issue of BioSocieties, 5 (March 2010) entitled “Drugs, addiction and society.” 

     Kushner’s current research focuses on the possible connections between handedness, laterality, and learning disorders. His articles on this topic recently appeared on in The Lancet (2011 ,2012), Laterality (2012, 2013, 2014), and Endeavour (2013).  His I-Book, Talent and Deficit: The Anomalies of Left-Handedness. Produced by  Academic Exchange, Emory University, 2012, is available on line:


     Kushner recently delivered the 26th Annual Peter W. Lampert Memorial Lecture at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, 23 May 2013, entitled “Deficit or Talent? Left-Handedness in Historical and Biological Perspective.” Kushner is completing a book manuscript entitled All Things Left: The Origins and Consequences of Left Handedness.  Kushner is a visiting scholar in the Communications Department at the University of California, San Diego.