Dr. Theresa Hernández of CU Boulder Joins CrashCourse Advisory team
Photo Credit: Glenn Asakawa
Throughout her career, Dr. Theresa Hernández, the Associate Dean for Research for the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, has made significant contributions to our understanding of functional recovery and its vulnerability to stress following concussion or TBI (traumatic brain injury. Her well-established program of research and evidence base have identified targets of opportunity where the interventions are most likely to succeed, as well as windows of opportunity for optimal timing of these treatments. Together, these improve our ability to identify and utilize treatments and interventions after concussion that will have optimal efficacy. Her research findings have been published in basic research journals as well as those with clinical application. We are pleased to welcome her as a valued advisor for the CrashCourse concussion education project.
Dr. Hernández received her B.A. (1983) followed by her Ph.D. in Psychology (1988) from the University of Texas at Austin. During her studies, she was awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Award, which allowed her to conduct a year of her dissertation research at Cambridge University in England. Following her post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, she began her appointment as an Assistant Professor at CU Boulder’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience in 1990. Because of her ongoing research on brain injury and the recovery process, in 1994 she was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship that helped her to form the Hernández CAIRR Neuroscience Laboratory group in 1995.
For the past two decades, her research group has been conducting experimental research on traumatic brain injury and functional recovery following concussions, exploring the efficacy of new methods that promote stress resilience after a concussion, while at the same time improving memory, reducing stress reactivity, and enhancing the relaxation response. Her most recent funded research as the co-Investigator of the Pac-12 Concussion Coordinating Unit (PCCU)—a multi-center study across the Pac-12 Conference—assesses student-athlete health and well-being beyond graduation. She also works in partnership with the Wardenburg Student Health Center Concussion Team to develop ways to enhance campus-wide concussion education, awareness, and understanding. This program of research and action has led to an evidence-based tool that can be accessed by the community (campus, city, state, national, international) to support and promote health and well-being across a variety of populations. This includes the funded website she created, Individualized Training and Education in Acupressure, which helps in training groups such as the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, CU Students, and the Wardenburg Concussion Team.
Dr. Hernández is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU Boulder and a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Anschutz Medical Campus, continuing to study the specific mechanisms that impact the post-concussion recovery process. With her years of experience researching traumatic brain injury and concussion, we are proud to welcome Dr. Hernández’s participation in developing concussion education for young student-athletes.