Dr. Lisa Genova
- Peak Performance
- Mental Health
- Health Care Sciences
- Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges
Audience & Industry
- Colleges and Universities
- The Health Care Industry
- The Professional Services Industry
Masterful at inspiring organizations and people to gain greater insight into empathy, brain health, and the science of memory.
Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, she is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens
and Every Note Played. Her first nonfiction book, REMEMBER: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting, was released March 23, 2021 and became an instant New York Times bestseller.
Lisa's extensively researched fiction focuses on people living with neurological diseases and disorders, people who tend to be ignored, feared, or misunderstood, portrayed within a narrative that is accessible to the general public. Through fiction, she is dedicated to describing with passion and accuracy the journeys of those affected by brain diseases and conditions, thereby educating, demystifying, destigmatizing, and inspiring support for care and scientific research. She has written novels about Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, autism, Huntington's disease, and ALS.
“Story is a vehicle for conversation, and conversation fuels social change.”
“Stories about people living with neurological conditions can teach us profoundly meaningful lessons about our shared human condition.”
Still Alice (Alzheimer’s) was adapted into a film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth. Julianne Moore won the Best Actress Oscar. Every Note Played (ALS) is in production and will star Christoph Waltz. The film adaptation for Inside the O’Briens (Huntington’s) is in production.
Speaking about brain health, memory, and the neurological diseases and disorders she writes about, Lisa has appeared on Today, the Dr. Oz Show, GPS with Fareed Zakaria, CNN, PBS NewsHour, and NPR and was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary film To Not Fade Away and Have You Heard About Greg? She will be featured in an upcoming PBS Special about memory in June 2021.
In 2015, Lisa was named one of the U.S. Top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue. She received The Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square, for "distinguished storytelling that has enriched the public dialogue," The Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award, The Global Genes RARE Champions of Hope Award, and The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Media Award for "informing the public about Treatment and ongoing research in medical illness." In 2016, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bates College, The Alzheimer's Association's Rita Hayworth Award, and The Huntington’s Disease Society of America Community Awareness Award.
Lisa’s first TED talk, What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s, has been viewed over 5 million times. Her latest TED talk, How Memory Works--and Why Forgetting is Totally Okay, was released April 21, 2021 and had over 700,000 views in its first week.
Dr. Lisa Genova - TED: How Your Memory Works - and Why Forgetting Is Totally OK
Dr. Lisa Genova - TED: What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's
Dr. Lisa Genova on Stress and the Mind-Body Connection
Dr. Lisa Genova TEDUnplugged: What Would You Do if Nothing Could Stop You?
Dr. Lisa Genova on Memory and Identity
Dr. Lisa Genova's Speech Topics
How We Remember and Why We Forget
As a culture, we revere intellect and memory, and we tend to vilify forgetting. We cast Forgetting as the bad guy in the epic battle against everyone’s favorite hero, Remembering. But our memory system isn’t a war between good and evil. Most of what we forget every day is actually 100% normal. Our brains aren’t designed to remember people’s names, to do something later, or to catalog everything we encounter. These imperfections are simply the factory settings. But we tend to lay a lot of fear, shame, and stress on ourselves every time we forget to take out the trash, where we put our phones, or the name of a movie a friend recommended, and we're unfairly punishing ourselves here.
Where did I put my phone, my keys, my glasses, park my car?
Oh, what's his name?
Why did I come in this room?
How could I forget about my 4:00pm Zoom meeting?
These are all super common and TOTALLY NORMAL kinds of forgetting. Dr. Lisa Genova aims to humanize forgetting, to help people understand why these memory failures happen so they can relax, stop shaming themselves, and have a better relationship with their memory. In this talk focused on her newest book and New York Times bestseller, REMEMBER: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting - Genova explores the intricacies of how we remember, why we forget, and what we can do to protect our memories. Sharing strategies and tips for improving and protecting memory, she helps organizations and their employees become more efficient and productive as they gain insight into how memory works. She discusses all aspects of the mind - highlighting the correlation between stress, productivity, and performance as we aim to navigate a post-COVID world and succeed in new hybrid work environments. In this presentation she helps to answer the question: How can we improve the productivity and performance of our minds and our people?
When almost everything in Lisa Genova’s life seemed to be falling apart, a few other things began shifting into place. She was a neuroscientist who wanted to write a novel (eventually), but there seemed no other time than now to start. And yet, she felt stuck and uncertain of the future. So she asked herself three questions: If I could do anything I wanted, what would I do? If I didn’t have to care about what anyone thought of me, what would I do? and if I didn’t have to worry about money, what would I do? Each question eventually led to the same answer — write the novel. Inspired to craft a story from a humanizing perspective of people living with neurological diseases and disorders, like her grandmother, she began writing a story about a woman with Alzheimer’s. After many months of selling her self-published book out of the trunk of her car, Genova sold her book to Simon & Schuster, and Still Alice continues to make waves and invite global conversation to this day. She asks: “What if you could let go of all limitations and allow yourself to do anything you want to do — what would you do?”
The Power of Storytelling
In this talk, Dr. Lisa Genova shares insight into how to use storytelling as a vehicle for education, compassion, and conversation that can fuel powerful change. Using Alzheimer's and her novel Still Alice as an example, Genova elucidates that when we learn through story, we have the opportunity to move from sympathy and distance to empathy and connection. When we shift from intellectually knowing something about a subject to knowing and
feeling something about that subject, we've made a leap that is transformational. Story demystifies, humanizes, and is highly memorable.
Works by Dr. Lisa Genova
Dr. Lisa Genova
Still Alice (opens in a new tab)
Dr. Lisa Genova
Every Note Played (opens in a new tab)
Dr. Lisa Genova
Inside the O'Briens (opens in a new tab)
Dr. Lisa Genova
Love Anthony (opens in a new tab)
Dr. Lisa Genova
Left Neglected (opens in a new tab)
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Social Psychologist, Award-Winning Harvard Lecturer, and Bestselling Author