School of Medicine

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  • Jessica Breland

    Jessica Breland

    Postdoctoral Research fellow, Veterans Affairs

    Bio Jessica Breland, MS, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and at the Center for Innovation to Implementation in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Breland received her PhD in psychology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and completed her clinical internship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Her research focuses on using the Common Sense Model to enhance self-management interventions for patients with chronic conditions, implementing evidenced-based treatments and integrating mental health services into primary care settings.

  • Devsmita Das

    Devsmita Das

    Postdoctoral Research fellow, Veterans Affairs

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests My research interest is understanding the mechanisms behind cognitive dysfunction in neurological diseases and finding innovative treatment strategies for it. My current focus is on studying the neurobiology of cognitive dysfunction in Down Syndrome and developing a therapeutic strategy for the same.

  • Adrienne J. Heinz

    Adrienne J. Heinz

    Postdoctoral Research fellow, Veterans Affairs

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests I am interested in cognitive and emotional mechanisms that contribute to initiation, development, maintenance and relapse to problematic alcohol and drug use. More specifically, I seek to understand why some individuals experiment with substances but eventually quit or moderate their use, while others go on to develop full blown substance use disorders (SUD). On the other end of the spectrum, I aim to identify and describe how these mechanisms influence treatment outcomes so as to help improve existing empirically supported treatments. My more recent interests involve how disruptions in attention, memory and higher order cognitive functions (executive functions; self-regulation; impulsivity) predispose individuals to SUD and associated risk behaviors (e.g.,violence) as well as impede recovery from SUD.

    As a clinical psychologist, I have also developed a deep appreciation for the complex comorbidities that characterize SUD populations. Along this line, my work focuses on the co-occurrence of SUD and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - primarily because this subpopulation experiences far worse treatment and quality of life outcomes despite a higher utilization of services. My research is committed to understanding common "transdisease" processes and malleable risk factors (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, emotion dysregulation) that underlie and drive different SUD and commonly co-occurring mental health disorders. This information can then be used to translate research findings into targeted clinical interventions (e.g., computerized neuroscience-based cognitive training). The overarching goal is to examine the commonalities that transcend any one particular disorder, at multiple levels of analysis, so as to enhance scientific progress among all the disorders in which they operate.

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