McLean Hospital Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core and Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND), and Dept of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, USA
Dr. Staci Gruber is the Director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital’s Brain Imaging Center and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the application of neurocognitive models and brain imaging to characterize risk factors for substance abuse and psychiatric conditions. She has been studying the impact of recreational cannabis use on the brain for over two decades using neurocognitive, clinical assessments, and multimodal brain imaging techniques. Her work has been published in numerous peer reviewed journals and has been the basis for national and international symposia, documentaries, and news stories, which ultimately helped to inform public policy. Given the many inherent differences between recreational and medical cannabis users, Dr. Gruber launched Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery (MIND) in 2014, the first ever program of its kind designed to clarify the specific effects of medical cannabis use. MIND supports numerous projects that aim to address the impact of medical cannabis on a number of important variables including cognition, brain structure and function, clinical state, quality of life, pain, sleep, and other health-related measures. As director of MIND, Dr. Gruber has generated major contributions to the field as the first to assess medical cannabis patients longitudinally, first to acquire neuroimaging data in medical cannabis patients, and as Principal Investigator of the first clinical trial of a full-spectrum, high-cannabidiol (CBD) product, which she specifically formulated to treat anxiety. Additional, novel clinical trials have been approved and are pending or currently underway. Dr. Gruber also launched the Women’s Health Initiative at MIND, or WHIM, the first cannabis-focused program designed specifically to address women’s health and disorders that disproportionately affect women as well as some transgender and non-binary individuals.