In this issue

Tribute to Joseph Brady, PhD

Joseph Vincent Brady's legacy as a visionary, role model, mentor, advisor and teacher

By Jack E. Henningfield, Nancy A. Ator, and Scott E. Lukas

Joseph Vincent Brady: visionary, role model, mentor, advisor, teacher, friend. If you were lucky, you got to call Joe one or two of these, but if you were very lucky, he was all of the above. Joe’s profound and broad based contributions to a field that he helped define, refine and opine will be felt for decades to come—he was a paradigm shifter extraordinaire. One could easily track his efforts to understand the role that behavior played in every step that occurs between synapses and space travel. From working with a rat in a box to establish an early preclinical model of depression, to training monkeys for pioneering space travel to promoting drug abuse liability assessment, transportation safety, addiction treatment, development of ethical guidelines for human subjects research, and many more areas in between, Joe was there. In fact, nothing would have prevented his trip to Mars had NASA been able to keep up.

Joe’s legacy is that his often simple, but always brilliant, insights helped inspire and shape the lives and careers of hundreds of scientists, including the three of us. We dare say that a simple cheek swab and a quick genetic test would reveal that we all have a healthy dose of “Brady DNA”—a trait that anyone would be proud to inherit. But there is a benevolent side of Joe that allowed him to appreciate the role that his mentees and colleagues played in shaping his own ideals and ultimately plan his voyages and complete his many “missions”. These relationships of reciprocity are so poignant because Joe lived by the principles that he helped codify in the landmark 1978 Belmont Report on Ethical Principles for Human Subjects Research namely (1) Respect for persons; (2) Beneficence; (3) Justice. Along the way, he taught by example in a caring and humorous manner that evolved into the famous “Brady’s Laws,” which have become the conventional wisdom of our times and repeated on a daily basis in labs across the country.

This tribute is respectfully offered with deep appreciation, respect, and love to a man who would say “don’t bother them with the details”, but who lived a life and fashioned a career that actually got us all to pay attention to the very details that make all the difference in the world, and beyond…

For more details about the life and contributions of Joseph Vincent Brady see the following:

Brady's Laws

A small fraction of the wisdom of Joseph Vincent Brady

  1. Brady's Law of Resource Allocation:
    There's plenty for everybody.
  2. Brady's Law of Effort Allocation:
    We're running a psychological laboratory, not a psychological clinic.
  3. Brady's Law of Space Allocation:
    An experiment that's ready to run today takes precedence over one that's ready to run tomorrow (i.e., next month or next year).
  4. Brady's Law of Collegial Commentary:
    Never speak ill of your colleagues. The better your colleagues look, the better you look.
    Corollary: And who wants to be known for working with a bunch of turkeys?
  5. Brady's Law of Employment Opportunities:
    Don't turn down a job you haven't been offered.
  6. Brady's Law of Campus Life:
    Campus life is great when the students aren't around.
  7. Brady's Law of Institutional Accomplishment: When you're visible, you're vulnerable.
  8. Brady's Law of Inspirational Enhancement:
    Always write your ideas on large sheets of paper; let nothing limit the expansiveness of your imagination.
  9. Brady's Law of Unimpeded Action:
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
  10. Brady's Law of Terminal Behavior: Always leave 'em laughing.
  11. Brady's Law of Meeting Changing Priorities:
    Turn on the blue light--The man wants a blue suit.
  12. Brady's Adaptation of Parkinson's Law:
    Everything takes longer than the time you allot to it.
  13. Brady's Law of Personnel Management
    No job is too difficult as long as you can get someone else to do it.