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Adolf Pfefferbaum

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.

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