Senior Director Basic Sciences and Distinguished Scientist
Adolf Pfefferbaum, M.D., has been at the forefront of neuroimaging and electrophysiological research in normal aging and neuropsychiatric disorders for more than three decades. At SRI, he has focused on devising novel approaches for quantitative neuroimaging data to yield measures of brain structures and tissue composition (using magnetic resonance imaging, MRI), microstructure (MR diffusion tensor imaging, DTI), chemistry (magnetic resonance spectroscopy), and function (functional MRI) in the living human.
Pfefferbaum is a principal investigator in the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA).
His research in chronic alcoholism has enabled detection of alcoholism’s dynamic course, through drinking, sobriety, and relapse, and has demonstrated an increased vulnerability of the aging brain to excessive drinking. Recently, he has implemented neuroimaging methods to parallel human conditions in animal models to identify mechanisms of harm with drinking and healing with sobriety.
In 2011, the Research Society on Alcoholism selected Pfefferbaum for its Distinguished Researcher Award. In 2013, he was named to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Advisory Council for a four-year term.
Pfefferbaum was named an SRI Fellow in 2007.
Recent publicationsmore +
Multi-atlas thalamic nuclei segmentation on standard T1-weighed MRI with application to normal aging
The threefold aims of this study were to validate the use of a modified thalamic nuclei segmentation method on standard T1 MRI data, to apply this method to quantify age-related…
A prospective study revealing a compounded burden of COVID-19, sex, and clinical diagnosis of alcohol use disorder and HIV infection on quality of life, anxiety, and alcohol use
Participants were drawn from our ongoing longitudinal studies of people with HIV infection, alcohol use disorder (AUD), HIV + AUD comorbidity, and controls.
Our objective is to determine the independent contributions of central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) metrics to balance instability in people with HIV (PWH) compared with people…
We measured change in cognitive and motor abilities over four test sessions in participants from the National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence study.
Poor subjective sleep predicts compromised quality of life but not cognitive impairment in abstinent individuals with Alcohol Use Disorder
The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to evaluate subjective sleep in 90 individuals with AUD sober for an average of 3 months and in 50 healthy controls.
To test the hypothesis that the effects of binge alcohol exposure on developmental brain growth trajectories are influenced by age of exposure and sex, adolescent and adult mice were exposed…