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Wrong Staci Gruber?

Dr. Staci Ann Gruber

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Background Information

Employment History

SAMA Foundation

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Harvard Medical School


Clinical Neuroimaging Core


Scientific Advisor



Tufts University

PhD Listen

Harvard Medical School

graduate degrees

psychology and experimental cognitive neuroscience

Tufts University

undergraduate degrees

Web References (200 Total References)

About Us - Advisory Board » [cached]

Staci Gruber, Ph.D. McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Grateful that Gupta publicized Charlotte ... [cached]

Grateful that Gupta publicized Charlotte Figi's improvement, we downplayed the signficance of his homage to Dr. Staci Gruber at McLean's Hospital (New England headquarters of the psychiatric establishment, a subsidiary of Big PhRMA).

Dr. Gruber, the director of McLean's Brain Imaging Center, is a PhD, not a medical doctor. Here's the script:
Gruber: What we see is a very big difference in people who begin to smoke prior to the age of 16 and those who smoke after age 16.
Gruber: Maybe that there's underlying white-matter-conductivity differences.
Gruber: That's what we see.

Gupta travels to McLean's Hospital, New ... [cached]

Gupta travels to McLean's Hospital, New England headquarters of the Psychiatric Establishment (a wholly owned subsidiary of Big PhRMA), to interview Dr. Staci Gruber, who can't help batting her eyes at the handsome neurosurgeon. Staci Staci is a PhD, not a medical doctor, and, as director of McLean's Brain Imaging Center, an expert in the re-emerging field of Phrenology. (Every neuroimaging study on cannabis that claimed some anatomic change has later been refuted. The neuropsychological data show changes in heavy smokers, but with return to normal after 30 days of abstinence.)

GRUBER: What we see is a very big difference in people who begin to smoke prior to the age of 16 and those who smoke after age 16.
GRUBER: Maybe that there's underlying white-matter-conductivity differences.
GRUBER: That's what we see.

McLean News [cached]

The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong Listen to Dr. Staci Gruber discuss her research looking at the long-term effects of medical marijuana.

They met with Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief, Ressler, Sabina Berretta, MD, scientific director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center; Staci Gruber, PhD, director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core; Brent P. Forrester, MD, MSc, chief of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry; Michael R. Hollander, PhD, director of training and senior consultant for 3East; Hilary S. Connery, MD, PhD, clinical director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program; and Marisa M. Silveri, PhD, director of the Neurodevelopmental Laboratory on Addictions and Mental Health. “The media fellowships have always been a really positive experience from our perspective.

BELMONT, Mass. - Staci Gruber ... [cached]

BELMONT, Mass. - Staci Gruber vividly remembers her first hit of marijuana, back when she was in college. It made her so paranoid, she locked herself in a bathroom. She couldn't decide whether to remain in hiding or to run. But she knew she'd never try pot again. She didn't lose interest in the drug, however. Today, she runs the 2-year-old Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery, or MIND, project at McLean Hospital in this suburb of Boston. With cognitive testing and neuroimaging, MIND is conducting a longitudinal study of medical marijuana. "There's a lot we don't know about long-term effects, and that's what I'm here to find out," Gruber said.

Gruber, 49, has already made her mark on the field. She ran a small study, published in 2013, that found teenagers and young adults who smoked marijuana were more likely to exhibit impulsive behavior than their peers and were more likely to have certain changes in the brain's white matter. A followup study found that those changes could reorganize brain regions associated with inhibitions. This year, Gruber's research team also found that chronic recreational users of pot had poorer cognitive and executive functioning, particularly if they began using marijuana as teens.
MIND's current work involves adults who are legally permitted to use marijuana-based products for medical conditions. The researchers are particularly interested in the non-psychoactive components of the marijuana plant, such as cannabidiol, an ingredient in many preparations of medical marijuana. "We have this one word, marijuana, which we think means every part of the plant, and it doesn't. The cannabinoids I study aren't even the ones that get you high," Gruber said. "But whether you're for medical marijuana or against it, what we really need is information." Marijuana has been studied before. But previous research has focused on the cognitive effects of smoking pot recreationally. Earlier studies of medical marijuana have looked mostly at efficacy - how well it treats symptoms of conditions like multiple sclerosis, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Gruber and her colleagues, by contrast, are trying to determine the long- and short-term impact of medical marijuana on cognition, brain structure and function, quality of life, sleep, and other clinical measures. "[This] is a primary concern for patients considering cannabinoid treatment, and it may have implications for public policy," Gruber said.
Gruber runs the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery at McLean Hospital.
Peering into the brain The first phase of the MIND study is observational. Before patients begin their treatment, Gruber and her colleagues establish a baseline - using imaging, interviews, and task performance tests - to see what patients' brains look like before they use medical marijuana. The patients then record how much marijuana they're using, and how often. At intervals of three, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months, MIND researchers conduct more tests, brain scans, and interviews to measure the effects of the cannabis on their brain structures, cognition, and daily life. This is the part of Gruber's research that will be most valuable, said Madeline Meier, a marijuana researcher at the University of Arizona.
"People drive two to three hours sometimes to get [here for] the study," Gruber said. "They're really committed. They really want to know what effect this will have on them." As they wait for long-term results, MIND researchers have made a few interim discoveries. They have found, for example, that marijuana could possibly ease symptoms for people with bipolar disorder and that a medication for strokes and Alzheimer's disease may reverse the cognitive effects of chronic recreational marijuana use.
Gruber's earlier findings, raising red flags about the dangers of recreational pot smoking, have caught the eye of some activists, like the Seattle-based drug prevention program SAMA, short for Science and Management of Addictions.
The patients in MIND's studies bring their own marijuana products, which Gruber's team analyzes for potency.
Gruber, Filbey, and several other researchers have formed a consortium, dubbed IDEAA, to pool their research data.
"We also hope to do some joint projects - pun intended - that can get funding," Gruber said. "People are warming up to the idea of marijuana as medicine and funding is opening up." For now, Gruber's project is funded with private donations.
"She was asking a lot of really good questions," said Gruber. "Then I found out she wanted to meet and talk more. We went out for dinner and ended up talking about neuroscience until 2 o'clock in the morning." Gruber first came to McLean Hospital in the 1990s to work as a lab assistant while completing two undergraduate degrees at schools 10 miles apart. She majored in psychology at Tufts University in suburban Boston. She was also studying vocal performance and jazz at the New England Conservatory of Music. "I spent most of those years just running," Gruber said, shaking her head with the memory. "You look back and wonder, 'How did I ever do that? I could never do that now.' I guess that's what's great about being young." While in college, Gruber landed an internship at McLean in a lab studying the effects of marijuana on college students. "From there," she said, with a wait-for-it grin, "I was hooked." She continued working at McLean while earning graduate degrees in psychology and experimental cognitive neuroscience at Tufts and at Harvard, where she is now an associate professor. 'It takes emotion and soul' While Gruber has always loved music, she's only recently fully embraced that side of herself. "When I was little, I used to sing in the closet because I was terrified that I wasn't any good," she said. "But then I had this music teacher who said, 'Hey you, you should have a solo.'" At the conservatory, she fell in love with jazz singing, which she said resonated with her much more than classical arias.
Today, Gruber has a home studio and a Youtube channel for her music, which includes covers of popular songs along with her own compositions. And she has recorded two CDs. But, she insisted, "I'm still the kid in the closet. I mean, I get media calls to talk about medical marijuana and I can do that, but singing? I'm a neuroscientist. Do I really want people hearing me sing a Sara Bareilles cover? "It's okay to not be comfortable 100 percent of the time," Gruber added. "You have to put yourself out there, to sing and be true and be you." That is no more than what she asks of study subjects, she explained. "The whole point of this is getting people to tell the truth, sometimes about illegal activity, so they have to trust you," she said.

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