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Photograph of Deborah Norris

Deborah Norris Psychologist in Residence Department of Psychology

Deborah Norris
by appointment (Google Talk) (Google Talk)
Additional Positions at AU
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
Director, Psychobiology of Healing Program
PhD/MA, Psychology/Psychopharmacology, American University

Languages Spoken
Favorite Spot on Campus
The Mindfulness Center, Bethesda, Maryland
Dr. Deborah Norris is Founder and Executive Director of The Mindfulness Center, a non-profit wellness institute providing charitable, educational and research programs in mindfulness and other mind-body practices. Dr. Norris conducts research on mindfulness meditation and other forms of mind-body medicine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and at Children's National Health System.

Dr. Norris is the Director of the Psychobiology of Healing program in the Department of Psychology at American University, where she has taught since 1984. She also previously taught in the Psychiatry Department at Georgetown University Medical School, and in the Health/Fitness Department at AU. Dr. Norris worked for 15 years as a neuroscientist specializing in neurotoxicology and environmental illnesses at the USEPA.

Dr. Norris is a certified yoga instructor, and a clinical exercise physiologist. Dr. Norris lectures nationally on the use of mindfulness and other forms of mind-body medicine in health care, education and in the workplace.

Psychologist-in-Residence and Director of the Psychobiology of Healing Program in AU’s Department of Psychology, Deborah Norris, Ph.D. recently published a book entitled In the Flow: Passion, Purpose, and the Power of Mindfulness. The book describes the function and practice of mindfulness meditation for lowering stress and enabling emotional regulation. It also presents corresponding scientific research and theories about the neurobehavioral mechanisms of action of meditation.
In the Flow is intended for those who experience stress and would like to learn the evidence-basis for gaining greater control of emotions, and for creating more ease in life.
See Also
The Mindfulness Center
Watch Professor Profile Video
In the Flow: Passion, Purpose, and the Power of Mindfulness
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Science for Health & Energy, Inc.
    Founder and Director (2003-Present)

  • Blue-Cross/Blue-Shield, American Whole Health
    Preferred Provider 2004-Present

  • American College of Sports Medicine
    Professional Member

  • National Guild of Hypnotists
    Certified Hypnotherapist 2005-Present

  • Association of Government Toxicologists
    Member (past)

  • U.S. Green Building Council
    Federal Government Green Building Workgroup Member                               

  • John's Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
    Consultant/Grant reviewer 2005

  • USEPA Design for the Environment (DfE)
    Workgroup Member, 2007-2009

  • EcoLogoTM Procurement Think Tank
    Fellow, 2007

  • International Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)   
    US Workgroup Leader for Development of Neurotoxicity Testing Guidelines and Guidance Document

  • The Mindfulness Center, a Subsidiary of Science for Health & Energy, Inc.
    Founder and Director (2009)

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Integrative/Alternative Medicine, Mind-Body-Spirit therapies, Meditation, Relaxation Training, Awareness Training, Behavioral Medicine, Healing Arts and Sciences, Psychopharmacology and Neurotoxicology


Professional Certifications

  • Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine,1997-Present
  • Exercise Physiologist, American Council on Exercise,1998
  • Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, 1998
  • Gestalt Psychotherapy Training: Theory and Practice, 2003
  • Kickboxing Instructor, AFAA, 2004
  • Reconnective Healing, Eric Pearl, 2004


  • "Meditation for Health: Introduction”, by Deborah Norris, Ph.D.

Executive Experience

  • Administrative Director, Olin Conservation, Inc., Great Falls, Va.  1980-1990.
  • Executive Director, Science for Health & Energy, Inc., Bethesda, Md. 2003-Present.
  • Founder and Director, The Mindfulness Center, Bethesda, Md. 2009-Present.

Professional Presentations

  •                             Norris, DO., "Neurobiology of Meditation: A Clinical Intervention for treating Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes", Sept, 2009.                   
  •                 Norris, DO., “Mindfulness Meditation”, NIH CORE Week, National Institutes of Health, February 10, 2009.                   
  •                 Norris, DO.  “Healing: What’s Missing in Your Health Care”, Keynote Address, The OneGroup North American Conference, October 25, 2008.                   
  •                 Norris, DO.  “The Power of Positive Thinking”, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. July 10, 2008.                   
  •                 Norris, DO.  “Exercise Prescription for Treatment of Chronic Illnesses”, ECA World Fitness Conference, NYC, March, 2002.                   
  •                 Norris, DO. “Clinical Exercise Prescription”.  American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Southern and Eastern District Association, Baltimore MD, February, 2002.                   
  •                 Norris DO, Chairperson, Symposium on the Neurotoxicity of Chemical Mixtures.   U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency, Arlington, VA, April 27, 2000.                   
  •                 Crofton KM, Sette WF, Norris DO. “Summarizing the results of neurotoxicity testing: Database development and characteristics.”  35th Ann. Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, Anaheim, CA, 1996.                   
  •                 Crofton KM, Sette WF, Norris DO. “Summarizing the results of neurotoxicity testing: Phase One - Database development and characteristics.”  Annual Meeting of the International Neurotoxicology Association, Port Ludlow, WA., June, 1995.                       

Media Appearances

  • Emotional Wellness with Dr. Deborah Norris, Wellness TV Show, ( Oct 16, 2007.
  • Stress Management, Wellness TV Show, (, Dec 16, 2007.
  • Spiritual Wellness, Wellness TV Show, (, Nov 4, 2007.

Professional Services

  •                             Expert on science, research and clinical use of integrative, complementary and alternative medical therapies.                   
  •                 Expert Psychopharmacologist/Toxicologist consulting on legal cases regarding the effects of medicinal drug (such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, pain medications), drugs of abuse (including alcohol, cocaine, PCP, heroin, and marijuana) and chemicals with neurotoxic potential.                   
  •                 Provides expert advisement on the mechanism of action and behavioral effects of typical “date-rape” drugs; and on the uses and medical effects of medicinal drugs; as well as neurotoxic substances such as lead, mercury and other heavy metals, and numerous solvents and other industrial chemicals.                   
  •                 Development of scientifically sound litigation positions, testimony, and the critique of expert toxicology reports and depositions and analysis and interpretation of scientific literature.                   
  •                 Admitted in Washington, District of Columbia Superior Court; U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; Virginia Beach, Virginia Circuit Court; Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia; Dare County, Chicago Trial Court; and New York Supreme Court.                   
  •                 Expert witness for defense/plaintiff, civil/criminal, and as a pre trial consultant for depositions/administrative hearings/affidavits.               

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • USEPA Science Achievement Award in Chemistry, 2009
  • USEPA Silver Medal for Lead Hazards of Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, 2007
  • USEPA Teamwork Award: Carbon Nanotube Low Volume Exemption Review, 2006
  • USEPA Bronze Medal for Lead Hazards of Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, 2006
  • U.S.E.P.A. Service Award for Lead (Pb) Health Assessment, 2005
  • American University Adjunct Professor of the Year Award, 2004
  • U.S.E.P.A. Unsung Hero Award for work with Autistic Children, 2004
  • U.S.E.P.A./OPPT Teamwork Award, 1998
  • U.S.E.P.A./OPPT Mission Award, 1997
  • U.S.E.P.A. Science Achievement Award in Health Science, 1996