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Translational Neuroscience & Colorado Educator's Conference


Currently scheduled to present:

Nazanin Bahraini, Ph.D.

NasiNazanin Bahraini, Ph.D. is Director of Education with the VISN 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine. Her primary area of research interest is focused on the interplay between neurological and psychological trauma and in particular, the compounding effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychiatric co-morbidity on suicide risk. She is Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for multiple federally funded projects examining psychiatric and functional outcomes in Veterans with TBI and co-morbid psychiatric disorders as well as the effectiveness of novel treatments for mTBI and associated psychiatric and behavioral co-morbidities. She has consulted with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding ways to improve and standardize surveillance of suicide related deaths in the state of Colorado, and has collaborated with national mental health leaders in the VA and DoD to identify clinical practice guidelines for suicide risk assessment and management. In addition to these efforts, Dr. Bahraini has several peer-reviewed publications and has presented nationally on topics related to TBI, psychiatric co-morbidity and suicide risk.

Chuck Bombardier, Ph.D.

Charles Bombardier is a Professor and Head of the Division of Clinical and Neuropsychology in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He earned a BS in psychology from the University of Washington in 1979 and a PhD in clinical psychology from Washington State University in 1987. He completed his internship and post-doctoral fellowship in medical psychology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. In 1989 he joined the faculty the University of Washington and began his clinical work and research at Harborview Medical Center, one of the UW teaching hospitals. Dr. Bombardier specializes in the rehabilitation of persons with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. During the last 10 years, he has studied the prevalence and impact of depression in people with TBI as well as the efficacy of numerous approaches to treating major depression after TBI. He has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on trials of antidepressant medications, physical activity promotion, exercise, telephone counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Dr. Bombardier has received federal research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Kim Heidenreich, Ph.D.

Kim A. Heidenreich is Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She also serves on the Keystone Scientific Advisory Board and is Chief Scientific Advisor for the new American Traumatic Brain Injury Association. Dr. Heidenreich has been conducting neuroscience research for over 30 years with continual funding in the area of neurotrophic factors, mechanisms of neuronal cell death, and recently, traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her laboratory has recently discovered that leukotrienes, potent inflammatory lipid mediators normally absent in brain, are produced by a transcellular mechanism involving infiltrating neutrophils after TBI. Blockade of leukotriene production using 5-lipoxgenase (FLAP) inhibitors prevents edema, cell death, and cognitive deficits after TBI. These findings have important implications for treating human TBI and suggest that development of FLAP inhibitors for use in TBI is feasible for both intervention and prevention. Toward this goal, Dr. Heidenreich is currently developing FLAP inhibitors with improved CNS properties and is exploring novel delivery methods for these drugs in TBI.

Theresa D. HernÁndez, Ph.D.

Theresa D. Hernández received her B.A. in 1983 and her Ph.D. in 1988 from the Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She completed a predoctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in England. Her post-doctoral fellowship was in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University in the School of Medicine. Dr. Hernández holds the position of Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also has an appointment at the VISN 19 MIRECC (Veterans Integrated Service Network 19, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center). Dr. Hernández program of research is aimed at developing treatment strategies that effectively and positively impact neurobehavioral function during periods in which the recovery process is apparently "less vulnerable" to intervention, with a priority being to to identify and rigorously test novel treatment strategies. In addition to receiving a 2011 Integrative Medicine Award from Prevention Magazine, the Department of Defense (DOD) is currently funding a collaborative study of hers.

Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, Ph.D., ABPP

Jeffrey S. Kreutzer is a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Medical College of Virginia Campus. He serves as Director of Virginia's federally designated Traumatic Brain Injury Model System and coordinates VCU Health System outpatient services for families and persons with brain injury. A founding member of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, Dr. Kreutzer is a neuropsychologist and family therapist with more than two decades experience developing, implementing, and evaluating brain injury services. He has published more than 160 peer reviewed papers and is the primary developer of the Brain Injury Family Intervention, an empirically based education, skill building, and psychotherapeutic program for families. Dr. Kreutzer is the Editor-in-Chief of the recently published Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology, and in 2010 he received the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Neuropsychology Award from the National Academy of Neuropsychology.

Karen McAvoy, Psy.D.

Karen McAvoy is dually credentialed as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a School Psychologist in the state of Colorado. After a 20 year career that spanning positions such as School Psychologist, Coordinator of the Brain Injury Team, Coordinator of Mental Health Services and Coordinator of Manifestation Determinations for Cherry Creek School District, Karen joined the Colorado Department of Education in 2010. As a Brain Injury Specialist/Consultant for CDE, Karen has written policy and guidelines for Colorado school districts related to mild to severe brain injury, special education determination of brain injury and assessment and intervention for students with brain injury.

Beth Urbanczyk, MSCCC, BCBA

Beth Urbanczyk is the President/CEO and co-founder of Scarab Behavioral Health Services, LLC. Beth is a licensed Speech/language Pathologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a 1988 graduate of Southwest Texas State University. She has been the President of the Tennessee Association for Behavior Analysis since 2009. Beth has worked with children and young adults with brain injuries and other neurologic disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, for the past 25 years, 15 of which she spent as a consultant in the Metro Nashville Public Schools. Beth has also worked as an Adjunct Instructor and Clinical Supervisor in the Speech and Hearing Department of Vanderbilt University and has served as a Clinical Discipline Coordinator for Speech/language and School Entry and Re-Entry services in both New York and Wisconsin. She has also served as the Speech Pathologist for the State of Tennessee's Traumatic Brain Injury Program.