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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Name Title
Paula Schnurr, PhD Executive Director, Executive Division
Jessica Hamblen, PhD Acting Deputy Executive Director, Executive Division
Matthew Friedman, MD, PhD Senior Advisor, Executive Division
Terence M. Keane, PhD Director, Behavioral Science
John H. Krystal, MD Director, Clinical Neurosciences
Rani Hoff, PhD, MPH Director, Evaluation
Amy Street, PhD Acting Director, Women’s Health Sciences
Josef Ruzek, PhD Director, Dissemination and Training
James Spira, PhD, MPH Director, Pacific Islands

Learn about the seven Divisions of the National Center for PTSD. From this page you can find full staff directories for each location.

Paula Schnurr, PhD
Executive Director
Executive Division, VT

Portrait of Paula SchnurrDr. Paula Schnurr is the Executive Director of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and has served as Deputy Executive Director of the Center since 1989. She is a Research Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Editor of the Clinician's Trauma Update-Online.

She received her PhD in Experimental Psychology at Dartmouth College in 1984 and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Dr. Schnurr is Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Association for Psychological Science. She previously served as Editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress.

She has investigated risk and resilience factors associated with the long-term physical and mental health outcomes of exposure to traumatic events. She is an expert on psychotherapy research and has conducted a number of clinical trials of PTSD treatment, including a multi-site trials of Prolonged Exposure for female veterans and active duty personnel with PTSD and of group psychotherapy for PTSD in Vietnam veterans. Her most current studies on treatment include a comparative effectiveness trial of Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy and another trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Jessica Hamblen, PhD
Acting Deputy Executive Director
Executive Division, VT

Portrait of Jessica HamblenDr. Jessica L. Hamblen is currently serving as Acting Deputy Executive Director along with her role as the Deputy for Education at the National Center for PTSD. She is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

She attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where she obtained her PhD in clinical psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Dartmouth and the National Center for PTSD.

Dr. Hamblen's interests are in developing, disseminating, and evaluating cognitive behavioral treatments for PTSD and related conditions. She is principal author of a 12-session cognitive behavioral intervention for postdisaster distress that has been used following national and international disasters including the attack on World Trade Center and Hurricane Katrina. She recently completed a study to evaluate a brief educational intervention to improve screening outcomes in Veterans screened for traumatic brain injury. Finally, she is currently conducting a randomized control trial of CBT for PTSD in Veterans with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders.

Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD
Senior Advisor (Former Executive Director)
Executive Division, VT

Portrait of Matthew J. FriedmanDr. Friedman is founder and former Executive Director of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs, and Professor of Psychiatry and of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He has worked with PTSD patients as a clinician and researcher for thirty-five years and has published extensively on stress and PTSD, biological psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and clinical outcome studies on depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and chemical dependency. He has over 200 publications, including 23 books and monographs.

Listed in The Best Doctors in America, he is a Distinguished Lifetime Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, past-president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), past chair of the scientific advisory board of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), member of APA's DSM-5 Anxiety Disorders Work Group, (and chair of the Trauma and Dissociative Disorders SubWork Group).

He has served on many VA, DoD and NIMH research, education and policy committees. He has received many honors including the ISTSS Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and the ISTSS Public Advocacy Award in 2009. He was a finalist for the 2011 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in the Career Achievement Division.

Terence M. Keane, PhD
Division Director
Behavioral Science Division, MA

Portrait of Terence M. KeaneDr. Keane is a professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Dean for Research at Boston University School of Medicine. He is also recognized as a world leader in the field of traumatic stress. An authority on the cognitive behavioral treatment of PTSD, he also developed many of the most widely used PTSD assessment measures.

Dr. Keane was co-chair of the NIMH Consensus Conference that established national standards for the diagnosis and assessment of PTSD. His research has been continuously funded for 34 years and he's published nearly 300 journal articles, books, chapters, tests, and treatment manuals. Dr. Keane is current president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), is a past president of ISTSS, and the Division of Trauma Psychology of the APA; he is also a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Over the course of his career, he's received many awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship (1993-94), Binghamton University's Weisband Distinguished Alumnus Award (1998), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy's Outstanding Researcher Award (2004), the Robert J. Laufer Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award (1997), the ISTSS Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), the Harold Hildreth Award for Distinguished Public Service (2012), and the Society for Clinical Psychology's Outstanding Researcher in Clinical Psychology from the APA. In 2011, he received an honorary doctorate from Binghamton University, his alma mater, and again in 2013 from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology for his pioneering contributions to research on PTSD.

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John H. Krystal, MD
Division Director
Clinical Neurosciences Division, CT

Portrait of John H. Krystal Dr. Krystal is the Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is one of the nation's leading investigators on the neurobiology, genetics, and psychopharmacology of PTSD. Dr. Krystal has published over 400 papers and reviews.

He currently serves as Editor of Biological Psychiatry, member of the NIAAA National Alcohol Advisory Council, member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He previously served on the Psychological Health Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board of the Department of Defense.

He was the first recipient of the ISTSS Danielli Award for PTSD research and he has received a number of subsequent honors including the Anna-Monika Foundation Prize for depression research, the NIAAA Jack Mendelson Award for alcoholism research, the APA Kempf Award for schizophrenia research and research mentorship, and the ACNP Joel Elkes Award for translational neuroscience.

Rani Hoff, PhD, MPH
Division Director
Evaluation Division, CT

Portrait of Rani HoffDr. Hoff received both her MPH in chronic disease epidemiology, and her PhD in mental health services research and psychiatric epidemiology, from Yale University. Dr. Hoff serves as Director of the Northeast Program Evaluation Center, which is one evaluation center in the Office of mental Health Operations in VA Central Office, is the head of the Women and Trauma Core of Women's Health Research at Yale, and is Associate Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale. She is also a Professor Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Hoff's research utilizes principles of psychiatric epidemiology and services research to examine risk factors and correlates of several psychiatric disorders, with particular attention paid to co-occurring disorders. This research has included studies on pathological gambling, schizophrenia, substance abuse/dependence, the risk of suicide in psychiatric patients, trauma and comorbidity, criminal justice mental health, and the mental health problems experienced by the homeless.

At the national level, Dr. Hoff serves as the lead program evaluator for the following VA programs nationally: PTSD specialized programs, intensive case management programs, psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery programs, compensated work therapy, residential treatment programs, and homeless programs. She has served on several advisory committees to the VA on the mental health needs of female veterans, with particular attention to military sexual trauma, as well as the Undersecretary's Advisory Committee on PTSD.

Amy Street, PhD
Acting Division Director
Women's Health Sciences Division, MA

Portrait of Amy Street, PhD

Dr. Street is the Acting Director of the Women's Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Street has an active program of research investigating negative health outcomes associated with interpersonal trauma, including sexual harassment, sexual assault and intimate partner violence, in veteran and civilian populations. A secondary research interest involves examining gender differences in traumatic stress exposure and stress-related disorders. Her research has received funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Street is also actively involved in the clinical treatment of female veterans suffering from PTSD and other stress- stress-related disorders through VA Boston's Women's Stress Disorder Treatment Team.

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Josef Ruzek, PhD
Division Director
Dissemination and Training Division, CA

Portrait of Josef Ruzek, PhDDr. Ruzek has served as an educator with the National Center for PTSD for over 20 years and holds a faculty appointment at Stanford. He has been a member of the VHA Under Secretary's Special Committee on PTSD and has served on numerous VA educational taskforces and workgroups, assuring PTSD expertise is included in VA educational endeavors

Dr. Ruzek specializes in early intervention to prevent the development of PTSD and co-authored the influential Psychological First Aid and Skills for Psychological Recovery manuals created jointly by the National Center for PTSD and the NCTSN. His current efforts include disseminating evidence-based cognitive-behavioral treatments for PTSD and developing Internet- and mHealth/smartphone-based interventions for trauma survivors. He contributed to the development of the joint VA-DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Traumatic Stress and served as an editor of two editions of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies for Trauma.

Dr. Ruzek is a past member of the Board of Directors of the ISTSS, where he served as Vice President from 2006-2007. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the USUHS Center for Deployment Psychology and the MIRECC National Education Committee.

James Spira, PhD, MPH
Division Director
Pacific Islands Division, HI

Portrait of James SpiraDr. Spira serves as Director of the Pacific Island Division of the National Center, which facilitates access to care through emphasis on ethno-cultural issues, rural veterans, and telehealth.

Dr. Spira received his MA in Psychology with a focus on Cognitive Neurosciences from UC San Diego; a MPH with social epidemiology emphasis from UC Berkeley, and a PhD with emphasis in Clinical Health Psychology from UC Berkeley. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a Research Fellowship in Neurology at Scripps in La Jolla. Dr. Spira directed the Health Psychology and Consultation-Liaison Programs at Naval Medical Center San Diego, served as President of the American Academy of Clinical Health Psychology, and served on the board of the American Board of Professional Psychology.

He is currently Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii, and Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego. Dr. Spira's research interests focus on preventing and treating the wounds of war, including assessment and treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, prevention of PTSD through stress inoculation training, innovative treatments for PTSD including the use of virtual reality exposure therapy and home-based telemental health, and polytrauma treatment.

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