The Gerald E. McClearn Memorial Symposium

The Biobehavioral Health Department is proud to host a symposium to honor the memory of a founding member and world-renowned scientist, Jerry McClearn.

DATE:  Friday, July 21, 2017, 9 AM to 4 PM followed by a poster session and banquet at the Nittany Lion Inn.

LOCATION: The Ruth Pike Auditorium in the Biobehavioral Health Building on Penn State’s University Park campus.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Blocks of rooms are being held at the Nittany Lion Inn and Penn Stater Hotel until April 20th, 2017.  You must book your room before then or you will most likely not find accommodations since the symposium coincides with the local Penn’s Cave Music Festival

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Nancy Pedersen,  the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. She was a graduate student with Jerry when she started research on Swedish twins, and that work continues today.


  • Dr. John Crabbe, Behavioral Neuroscience Department, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Dr. José Fernández, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Dr. Scott Hofer, Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health, University of Victoria, British Columbia
  • Dr. Jenae Neiderhiser, Psychology, Penn State University
  • Dr. Lawrence Rodriguez, Information Systems, Amgen, Inc.
  • Dr. Lisa Tarantino, Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Register for the Symposium

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An obituary for Jerry is available here.

Gifts in Jerry’s Memory

Please consider donating to the Gerald E. McClearn Graduate Student Award in HHD, the purpose of which is to honor and recognize outstanding achievement by a graduate student majoring in Biobehavioral Health in the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University Park. This fund was established by Elana Pyle, a long time associate of Jerry’s at Penn State.  Checks should be made out Penn State, with ‘McClearn Award’ written in the memo line.

Mail gifts to:

The Office of Development
325 HHD Building
University Park, PA 16802.

Also, gifts can be made online at

Gerald "Jerry" McClearn

(July 28, 1927 – January 5, 2017)

1968 - Nebraska Symposium on Motivation

Nebraska Symposium on Motivation
Gerald E. McClearn
University of Colorado
“Genetics and Motivation of the Mouse”

1967 - Planning expansion of the Institute for Behavior Genetics (IBG)

Gerald (Jerry) McClearn, John DeFries and Nancy McClearn already planning expansion of the Institute for Behavior Genetics (IBG), taken in the Fall of 1967

1997 - June Issue of Science Magazine

Gerald McClearn June 6th Issue of Science Magazine

2002 - Receiving Honorary Doctorate

In 2002 Gerald McClearn received an honorary doctorate from Jönköping University in Elmia, Sweden.

2010 - Keynote Speaker

Jerry McClearn speaking at The Summer Institute for Psychophysiological Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: Theories and Methods in 2010

More Information

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us using the form to the left, or emailing directly to

Quick Links


Please register for the symposium

Travel & Accommodations

A block of rooms can only be held until April 20th, 2017, so please book them now!

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