Jennifer Bramen PhD

Jennifer Bramen, PhD

Senior Research Scientist, Brain Health Center

Jennifer Bramen holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at the Laboratory of Neuroimaging (LONI). She was an Assistant Research Neuroscientist at the UCLA’s Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging and taught in the Neuroimaging Training Program. She has also spent years conducting research and delivering coaching and other interventions in the private sector. In addition to conducting Phase 0 research in industry, Dr. Bramen delivered an individualized, brain-based coaching program to clients for five years.

Dr. Bramen is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute Foundation. She works alongside clinician-scientists at the Pacific Brain Health Center to bridge the gap between the translational research pipeline and full clinical implementation. Dr. Bramen is also spearheading the Pacific Neuroscience Institute Foundation’s new Neuroimaging Core, which will provide neuroimaging-based biomarkers for clinical trials research.

Her overarching research interest is in patient education and behavior change, because these are required to treat disease and improve patient outcomes in the areas of cognitive decline and addiction. Current research interests include developing technology-assisted clinical interventions, researching and developing coached, precision, multimodal lifestyle interventions for cognitive decline, developing novel neuroimaging biomarkers that can be used to quantify intervention successes or drive precision-medicine, and developing precision-medicine models that account for sex, ethnicity, diagnosis, and exposome.

Dr. Bramen conducted her predoctoral work at the Center on Aging where she focused on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s using FDG PET and hippocampal unfolding techniques. At the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, she studied early abstinence in methamphetamine abusers and developed an MRI-compatible tool for delivering naturalistic cigarette smoke. At LONI, she teased apart the effects of sex, changing hormones and pubertal status on developing brain tissue. She also published work on the effects of prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse on brain maturation. As research faculty at UCLA’s Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging, she published work on technology capable of delivering fMRI-based neurofeedback to reduce craving levels in smokers.

Current Research

  • Efficacy of coaching in preventing cognitive decline in patients with MCI and AD using a precision medicine driven, multi-modal lifestyle intervention.
  • Efficacy of simultaneous aerobic exercise and a novel, mobile compensatory skills training to prevent cognitive decline in patients with aMCI.
  • Understanding how immune-exposure, reproductive history, childhood stress and other important developmental factors impact inflammation and tauopathy in women with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapies in treating addiction.