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Dr. Hernández, Ph.D. has been studying traumatic brain injury (TBI) using basic and clinical neuroscience models since 1985. Her ongoing, extramurally funded research program assesses the degree to which recovery and functional outcome after TBI can be optimized in a variety of populations (Veterans, civilians, athletes). This includes conducting randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded trials of novel interventions, such as acupressure. This work is accomplished through her appointment as Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at CU Boulder, her appointment as a Senior Investigator and Research Psychologist in the Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Rocky Mountain MIRECC (Mental Illness, Research, Education & Clinical Center) and through her role as one of the co-Directors of the PAPRR (Promoting Athlete Performance, Recovery and Resilience) Board at CU Boulder. She is also the Director of the CAIRR (Clinical Assessment of Injury, Recovery and Resilience) Neuroscience Laboratory.
Her clinically-based program of research focuses on improving the lives of individuals affected by traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke and the adverse consequences of stress, including Veterans, athletes and individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In trying to develop new treatment options, we take into account current treatments (their successes and limitations) and explore the potential of novel interventions, particularly those stemming from Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). To this end, we conduct randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded trials of acupressure in those with TBI and/or PTSD.