Kristen Willeumier, PhD

Director of Research at Amen Clinics

Kristen Willeumier, PhD

Dr. Willeumier conducted her graduate research in the laboratory of Neurophysiology under the direction of Felix Schweitzer at the University of California, Los Angeles and the laboratory of Neurogenetics under the direction of Stefan Pulst at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center using live cell imaging to investigate mechanisms of synaptic signaling in Parkinson’s disease.

She received MS degrees in physiological science and neurobiology and a PhD degree in neurobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she continued working in the field of neurodegenerative disease.

She was the recipient of the prestigious NIH fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and has presented her work at national and international scientific meetings including the Society for Neuroscience, the Gordon Conference, and the World Brain Mapping Conference.

Dr. Willeumier joined Amen Clinics in 2009 to help advance the research mission of exploring how brain SPECT imaging can transform clinical practice. She has authored or co-authored 25 scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. Areas of published research include traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, autism, biomarkers of suicide, obesity, gender differences in brain function, clinical outcomes, and brain rehabilitation.

Together with Dr. Amen and colleagues, she ran a clinical research trial investigating the long-term effects of repetitive subconcussive impacts in NFL football players. The current emphasis of her work is in investigating biomarkers for treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Willeumier has been featured in the media discussing breakthrough research in neuroimaging and brain health including Home and Family on the Hallmark Channel, CY Interview, Head Games Radio, the Maria Sanchez Show, Brain Talk Radio, Fox Sports, Napa Valley Register, and Steamboat Today.

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