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CureCast #56: Barry Komisaruk on Sexual Function Research

Jason and Matthew interview Dr. Barry Komisaruk, Neurophysiologist from the Psychology Department at Rutgers University. Barry has been researching sexuality for over 50 years and is maybe best known for the seminal work: The Science of Orgasm. We talk about the history of his research and discoveries, the historical challenges around sexual function research, and ideas for how to further this area of research to benefit folks with SCI.

Pay particular attention to the latter half of the podcast if you’re interested in participating in a study idea that we landed on collectively. If it piques your interest, send us a message at, and we’ll connect you.

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Guest Bio
Barry R. Komisaruk received a B.S. in biology at The City University of New York and Ph.D. in psychobiology from Rutgers University. He was a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow in neuroendocrinology at the Brain Research Institute, University of California at Los Angeles. Joining the Rutgers-Newark faculty in 1966, Komisaruk was a professor in the Institute of Animal Behavior and Department of Zoology. He is now Distinguished Professor in the Psychology Department, director of the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program, and former associate dean of the Graduate School. With a penchant for finding new research avenues to explore, Komisaruk received a Board of Trustees of Rutgers University Excellence in Research award and the Hugo G. Beigel Research Award of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. His major research interests include: functional neuroimaging of genital sensory response; neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and neuroendocrinology of reproductive behavior; and neural control of autonomic genital function. He is senior author of The Science of Orgasm, a comprehensive look at the biology and neuroscience of orgasm, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, as well as The Orgasm Answer Guide, a general readership book from the same publisher. He has published more than 155 academic journal articles and chapters.


PS - For one person's perspective on the importance of sexual function research for the SCI Community, check out Kelsey Peterson's reflection on coming to terms with her own sexual evolution as a person with an SCI.