Amy A. Herrold
Research Health Scientist, Edward Hines Jr., VA Hospital, Hines, IL, USA and Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Chicago, IL, USA
I am a Research Health Scientist at Edward Hines Jr., VA Hospital (Hines VA) and a Research Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. My career focus is in the neurobiology of addiction and co-occurring neurological and psychiatric conditions. Investigation into the underpinning neurobiology of these conditions will improve treatment outcomes. To date, I have 11 years of formal training in the field of neuroscience beginning with my doctoral dissertation work. During this time, I was awarded a highly competitive pre-doctoral National Research Service Award from the NIH/NIDA that allowed for testing of a pharmacological intervention which reduced stimulant-seeking behavior in a rodent model of co-occurring methamphetamine addiction and schizophrenia. After the completion of my doctoral program, I was able to parlay my research interest in addiction to the clinical neuroscience and health services research fields as a post-doctoral fellow. I completed a health services research and development (HSR&D) post-doctoral fellowship at the Hines VA Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare (CINCCH). In this clinical and health service research environment, I studied patient outcomes relevant to alcohol use disorder (AUD) in Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with co-occurring mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). I continued this work through a VA Advanced Fellowship in Polytrauma & Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation. In 2013 I received the Mary Switzer Merit Fellowship from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). The goal of this award was to use advanced neuroimaging in order to develop a transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol in order to reduce alcohol craving for people with co-occurring AUD, mTBI and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently, I am a Career Development Award, Level II (CDA-II) recipient from the VA Office of Research and Development, Rehabilitation Research and Development service. The goal of the CDA-II project is to further the work from the NIDILRR Merit Fellowship in order to characterize alcohol craving for Veterans with co-occurring AUD, mTBI and PTSD using behavioral assessments and advanced neuroimaging techniques. This information will then be used to implement a pilot, randomized, sham-controlled trial of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for co-occurring AUD, mTBI and PTSD. It is my ultimate goal to have a career in bench to bedside translational neuroscience research focused on addiction in individuals with co-occurring neurological and psychiatric conditions. My history as a pre-clinical researcher and growing experience in health services and clinical neuroscience research makes me well-suited to attain this ultimate goal. The CDA-II award allows me to be involved in cutting-edge research in this area of great need both to the United States and to Veteran populations. Through my collaborations at Northwestern University, I am also a part of the Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium (www.concussionimaging.org) which seeks to advance evidence-based medicine for TBI by establishing best-practices for diagnosis, prognosis, and management of head injuries primarily through advanced neuroimaging expertise.
neurobiology of addiction and co-occurring neurological and psychiatric conditions