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Jordan Grafman

Jordan Grafman PhD

Director, Brain Injury Research; Chief, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Coleman Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Since the latter part of 2012, Dr. Grafman has been the director of Brain Injury Research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and is on faculty at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center as well as the Department of Psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Before joining RIC, Dr. Grafman was briefly director of Traumatic Brain Injury Research at the Kessler Foundation in West Orange New Jersey.  Prior to that appointment in 2011, Dr. Grafman was Chief of the Cognitive Neuroscience Section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland for many years.

His investigation of brain function and behavior contributes to advances in medicine, rehabilitation, and psychology, and informs ethics, law, philosophy, and health policy.  His study of the human prefrontal cortex and cognitive neuroplasticity incorporates neuroimaging and genetics, an approach that is expanding our knowledge of the impact of traumatic brain injury, as well as other diseases that impair brain function, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and degenerative diseases. Dr. Grafman aims to translate his research into more effective, targeted rehabilitation to achieve the best outcomes for people with cognitive disabilities.

Dr. Grafman’s background includes 30 years of experience in brain injury research.  He has studied brain function in dementia, depression, and degenerative neurological diseases, as well as combat-related traumatic brain injury. He has authored more than 370 peer-reviewed research publications, is co-editor of the journal Cortex, and has edited a large number of books with an emphasis on neuropsychology and the functions of the human prefrontal cortex.

Early in his career, while an officer in the US Air Force, he served at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as neuropsychology chief of the Vietnam Head Injury Project, a long-term study of more than 500 soldiers with serious injuries of the head and brain. He is the leading expert on the long-term effects of penetrating brain injuries in military personnel. His expertise includes the scope of challenges faced during recovery, including behavioral changes like aggression, late sequelae such as seizures, and the impact on TBI on family life and employment, and legal implications.

He is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association and the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Grafman is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Department of Defense Meritorious Service Award, the National Institutes of Health Award of Merit, 2010 National Institutes of Health Director’s Award, and the Humboldt Research Award. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences. His expert opinion is often sought by national media on issues related to brain function and behavior, cognitive rehabilitation, and policy and legal issues related to brain-behavior research.