Photo of a smiling female faculty member with long blonde hair, Dr. Claudia Beatriz Padula, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Claudia Padula is the head of the BRAVE lab and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Public Mental Health and Population Sciences) at Stanford University. Dr. Padula ultimately wants to improve treatment outcomes for Veterans suffering from addiction by leveraging the power of where neuroscience and clinical psychology intersect. Dr. Padula completed her undergraduate work and research assistant positions at the University of California San Diego and received her masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Cincinnati in psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology. She fulfilled her APA-accredited clinical internship in neuropsychology at Patton State Hospital and is an alumni of the APA-accredited Sierra Pacific MIRECC postdoctoral fellowship with an emphasis in geropsychology. Dr. Padula enjoys traveling the world, cooking, spending time with her husband and fulfilling her role of academic mama to two kids.

Technological advances in brain imaging have revolutionized our capacity to understand the brain circuits that underlie addictive behaviors, such as alchol use disorder (AUD). The most significant advancement in brain imaging research has been to identify core nodes of the large-scale circuits that are dysfunctional in mental health disorders. Therefore, the primary goal of the Padula BRAVE lab's research is to define emotion and reward circuits in men and women Veterans with AUD using well-established paradigms as subjects undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging, and determine the utility of emotion and reward circuits in predicting abstinence versus relapse, along with risk of relapse. To explore these mechanisms further, they hope to examine the impact of gender, psychiatric and other drug use co-morbidities.