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Lana Ruvolo Grasser

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Neuroscience, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Grasser is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit (NNT) within the Emotion and Development Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. Here, she is using neuroimaging and psychophysiological measures to study irritability, anxiety, and their treatment in youth. She received her BS from Michigan State University and her Ph.D. from Wayne State University, where her NIMH-funded dissertation project, “Biomarkers of Risk and Resilience to Trauma in Syrian Refugee Youth”, identified skin conductance response to trauma interview and fear potentiated startle as candidate biomarkers of trauma-related psychopathology in youth exposed to civilian war trauma and forced migration. Dr. Grasser received the 2022 International Society for Developmental Psychobiology Dissertation Award for this work. Dr. Grasser has extended this work to query efficacy and underlying mechanisms of creative arts and movement therapies to address trauma-related psychopathology in families resettled as refugees of Syria, Iraq, the Congo, and Afghanistan. She has led efforts to extend these programs to the virtual space for schoolchildren and to neighborhoods across Detroit for youth and caregivers. She is also passionate about science policy and advocacy, and is a member of the National Science Policy Network as well as the 2022-2023 ACNP/AMP BRAD fellow. You can follow her professional work and personal adventures on Twitter: @ScientificRuvvy


  • 2022–present
    Postdoctoral fellow, National Institute of Mental Health


  • 2022 
    Wayne State University School of Medicine, Ph.D.
  • 2017 
    Michigan State University, BSc

Grants and Contracts

  • 2021
    Biomarkers of Risk and Resilience to Trauma in Syrian Refugee Youth
    Funding Source:
    National Institute of Mental Health

Professional Memberships

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • National Science Policy Network
  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
  • International Society for Developmental Psychobiology
  • Michigan Society for Neuroscience


NRSA Research Fellow; ACNP/AMP BRAD Fellow; ISDP 2022 Dissertation Awardee