Jim Pfaus has sex on the brain. An internationally known expert in the neurobiology of sexual behavior, Pfaus has authored over 150 publications and chapters that examine how the brain’s neurochemical and neuroanatomical systems are organized for sexual arousal, desire, pleasure, and inhibition. His work focuses on the role played by stimuli associated with sexual reward in priming sexual responses and reveals a strong effect of experience with sexual pleasure on the crystallization of sexual attraction, preference, and performance. His laboratory has also played a major role in the preclinical development of drugs to treat sexual arousal and desire disorders. His research has been reported worldwide in the popular media, and he has been interviewed for TIME, Newsweek, CBC, BBC, ABC’s Nightline. His work has also been featured in episodes of the Discovery Channel’s Sex Files and he has been interviewed in several documentaries, including the joint HBO-BBC documentary Middle Sex.
Pfaus received his Ph.D. in Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia in 1990. After postdoctoral training in molecular biology at The Rockefeller University in the laboratory of Dr. Donald Pfaff, Pfaus was hired in the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Department of Psychology, at Concordia University in Montréal in 1992, where he is now a professor. He holds joint appointments in the graduate Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Exercise Science. His research is funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, USA. Pfaus has served on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, and on the Standards Committee of the International Society for Sexual Medicine.