Dr. Staci Gruber is the Director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital's Brain Imaging Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gruber's clinical and research focus is the application of neurocognitive models and multimodal brain imaging to better characterize neurobiological risk factors for substance abuse and psychopathology, particularly disruptions of the frontal network. In recent work, her lab has examined the etiologic bases of neural models of dysfunction in patients with bipolar disorder as well as marijuana-abusing adults, the results of which have been published in numerous peer reviewed journals and been the basis of national and international symposia and press conferences. Dr. Gruber has also been involved in the application of behavioral science to help shape policies regarding juvenile advocacy and defense; her lab's work in adolescent development was part of the Amicus brief leading to the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roper v. Simmons, which states that it is unconstitutional to execute minors. Her ongoing initiative to educate policymakers, judges, attorneys and the general public in the differences between adults and adolescents has already had both local and national impact on policy formation. Most recently, Dr. Gruber's work has included the design of a multidimensional protocol designed to study the efficacy of an over-the-counter dietary supplement for returning soldiers with mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This project explores the potential relationship between a nootropic agent, shown to be neuroprotective against hypoxic and ischemic events, and improved cognitive function, increased frontal brain metabolism and decreased substance use and may help to address mTBI, considered the 'signature injury' of current war efforts.
Biography Updated on 21 May 2012