9500 Gilman Drive MC 0804
La Jolla, CA 92093
Dr. Risbrough serves as the Co-Associate Director of CESAMH’s Neuroscience Research Unit and Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Risbrough received her B.A. degree in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCSD. She joined as faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD in 2007 and became Professor in 2016. Dr. Risbrough has been the Principal Investigator on awards from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Addictions, NARSAD, California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, Veteran’s Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense. She is Associate Editor for the journal Neurobiology of Stress and has been guest editor for Neuropharmacology and Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience. She serves on Scientific Council for the Anxiety and Depression Association for America and the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation (NARSAD). She is a member of the Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling study section for NIH and has served Ad Hoc reviewer on multiple DOD and VA study sections, as well as for the NIMH Scientific Council. She has recently served for the NIMH Stress Workshop and NASA Mars Mission workshop.
Dr. Risbrough’s research is centered on translational mechanisms and treatments of anxiety disorders using preclinical and clinical approaches. Her primary focus is understanding mechanisms of risk and resilience to trauma and stress disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. She uses molecular, pharmacological, electrophysiological and genetic techniques in mice to understand mechanisms underlying development and maintenance of enduring effects of severe stress and blast injury. In her clinical work she uses genetic, pharmacological, imaging and psychophysiology to understand cognitive mechanisms underlying PTSD and identify potential novel treatments. By measuring peripheral and physiological responses to stress (including peripheral immune and hormone responses, heart rate, startle reactivity and EEG measures of sleep) in animal models and in clinic, her research develops translational probes of anxiety responding and treatment efficacy. With this information, she hopes to inform diagnostic tool development for trauma disorders and identify novel targets of pharmacotherapeutics.
- Stout DM, Acheson DT, Moore TM, Gur RC, Baker DG, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB; MRS Team. Individual variation in working memory is associated with fear extinction performance. Behav Res Ther. 2018 Mar;102:52-59. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2018.01.002.
- Moore TM, Risbrough VB, Baker DG, Larson GE, Glenn DE, Nievergelt CM, Maihofer A, Port AM, Jackson CT, Ruparel K, Gur RC. Effects of military service and deployment on clinical symptomatology: The role of trauma exposure and social support. J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Dec;95:121-128. d
- Deslauriers J, Acheson DT, Maihofer AX, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB; Marine Resiliency Study Team. COMT val158met polymorphism links to altered fear conditioning and extinction are modulated by PTSD and childhood trauma. Depress Anxiety. 2018 Jan;35(1):32-42.
- Straus LD, Acheson DT, Risbrough VB, Drummond SPA. Sleep Deprivation Disrupts Recall of Conditioned Fear Extinction. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2017 Mar;2(2):123-129.
- Deslauriers J, Toth M, Der-Avakian A, Risbrough VB. Current Status of Animal Models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Behavioral and Biological Phenotypes, and Future Challenges in Improving Translation. Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Nov 20. 3223(17)32210-2. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.11.019.
- Stout DM, Glenn DE, Acheson DT, Spadoni AD, Risbrough VB, Simmons AN. Neural measures associated with configural threat acquisition. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2018 Mar 12;150:99-106.
- Deslauriers J, Powell S, Risbrough VB. Immune signaling mechanisms of PTSD risk and symptom development: insights from animal models. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2017 Apr;14:123-132.
- Glenn DE, Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG, Risbrough VB; MRS-II Team. Fear learning alterations after traumatic brain injury and their role in development of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Depress Anxiety. 2017 Aug;34(8):723-733.
- Glenn DE, Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG, Risbrough VB; MRS Team. (2016). High and Low Threshold for Startle Reactivity Associated with PTSD Symptoms but not PTSD Risk: Evidence from a Prospective Study of Active Duty Marines Depression and Anxiety. 33(3):192-202.
- Minassian A, Maihofer AX, Baker DG, Nievergelt CM, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB; Marine Resiliency Study Team. (2015). Association of Predeployment Heart Rate Variability With Risk of Postdeployment Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Active-Duty Marines. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(10):979-986.
- Acheson DT, Risbrough VB. (2015). Oxytocin enhancement of fear extinction: a new target for facilitating exposure-based treatments? Biological Psychiatry, 78(3):154-155.
- Breen MS, Maihofer AX, Glatt SJ, Tylee DS, Chandler SD, Tsuang MT, Risbrough VB, Baker DG, O’Connor DT, Nievergelt CM, Woelk CH. (2015). Gene networks specific for innate immunity define post-traumatic stress disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 20(12):1538-1545.
- Nievergelt CM, Maihofer AX, Mustapic M, Yurgil KA, Schork NJ, Miller MW, Logue MW, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB, O’Connor DT, Baker DG. (2015). Genomic predictors of combat stress vulnerability and resilience in U.S. Marines: A genome-wide association study across multiple ancestries implicates PRTFDC1 as a potential PTSD gene. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 51:459-471.
- Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Baker DG, Nievergelt CM, Yurgil K, Risbrough VB; MRS-II Team. (2015). Conditioned fear and extinction learning performance and its association with psychiatric symptoms in active duty Marines. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 51:495-505.
- Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB. (2014). Psychophysiology in the study of psychological trauma: where are we now and where do we need to be? Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 21:157-183.