Victoria Risbrough

Victoria Risbrough, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry

Contact Information

Phone: 619.543.2900

Location: CTF-A Room A308

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0804
La Jolla, CA 92093

Lab Website

Dr. Risbrough’s research is centered on translational mechanisms and treatments of anxiety disorders using preclinical and clinical approaches. Her primary focus is to identify mechanisms of risk and resilience to anxiety disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder as well as development of new pharmacological treatments for these disorders. Examples of current work in preclinical models include funding of her NIMH R01 she examines the contribution of corticotropin releasing factor to stress and anxiety responses using pharmacological and genetic techniques in mice. Her program also identifies genetic and environmental contributions to stress behavior and fear learning. She has recently been funded by the Veterans Affairs Administration to examine the role of the COMTVal158Met polymorphism in PTSD risk and treatment response. Examples of her clinical work include her directorship of the Neurocognition Project of the Marine Resiliency Study, assessing neurocognitive and psychophysiological markers of risk for PTSD in combat exposed individuals. She also conducts basic and pharmacology studies of mechanisms of fear learning in healthy adults. By measuring physiological responses to stress (including heart rate and startle reactivity) in animal models and in clinic, her research develops translational probes of anxiety responding and treatment efficacy.

Marshall A, Acheson D, Risbrough V, Straus L, and Drummond S. (2014) Fear Conditioning, Safety Learning, and Sleep in Humans. Journal of Neuroscience, in press.

Minassian A, Geyer MA, Baker DG, Nievergelt CM, O'Connor DT, Risbrough VB (2014) Heart rate variability characteristics in a large group of active-duty marines and relationship to posttraumatic stress. Psychosom Med. 76, 292-301.

Toth M, Gresack, Bangasser DA, Plona Z, Valentino RJ, Flandreau EI, Mansuy I, Merlo-Pich E, Geyer MA, Risbrough V (2014) Forebrain-specific CRF over-production during development is sufficient to induce enduring anxiety and startle abnormalities in adult mice. Neuropsychopharmacology 39(6):1409-19

Risbrough V, Ji B, Hauger R, Zhou X (2014). Generation and Characterization of Humanized Mice Carrying COMT158 Met/Val Alleles. Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(8):1823-32.

Acheson D, Feifel D, de Wilde S, McKinney R, Lohr J, Risbrough V (2013) The effect of intranasal oxytocin treatment on conditioned fear extinction and recall in a healthy human sample. Psychopharmacology 229(1):199-208

Tatro ET, Risbrough V, Soontornniyomkij B, Young J, Shumaker-Armstrong S, Jeste DV, Achim C (2013) Short-Term Recognition Memory Correlates with Regional CNS Expression of microRNA-138 in Mice. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 21: 461