Dr. Jessica Payne holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and the University of Notre Dame, where she is currently Assistant Professor and Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair in Psychology, and Director of the Sleep Stress and Memory (SAM) Lab. Payne’s research focuses on how sleep and stress independently and interactively influence human memory, emotion, performance and creativity. She teaches various courses in Psychology and Neurobiology, including a popular course entitled “The Sleeping Brain” for which she won Harvard University’s Bok Center Award for teaching excellence. In 2011, she won the Laird Cermak Award for her contribution to memory research.
Payne has recently become interested in applying her research findings to business organizations, striving to help leaders understand how to work with, rather than against, the natural abilities of the human brain. She is on the neuroscience advisory board of the NeuroLeadership Institute, and is currently the H. Smith Richardson Jr. Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has also served since 2009 on the Medical Advisory Board for Humana, Inc, a fortune 100 company that markets and administers health insurance with a focus on holistic wellness. Dr. Payne’s postdoctoral fellowship was split between Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University’s Psychology Department. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Arizona, a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of San Diego. Dr. Payne is a passionate and highly engaging presenter to both lay and academic audiences, who helps people understand the deeper neuroscience of peak performance in an everyday, accessible way.