Victoria B Risbrough, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry,
University of California San Diego.

University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, MC0804
La Jolla, CA. 92093
Office: 619-543-2900
Fax: 619-543-2493


Dr. Risbrough received her B.A. degree in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego. During her graduate career she was supported by a Merck Fellowship and an NIMH pre-doctoral award. She began her postgraduate training with Dr. Mark Geyer in 2004 and became a faculty member in the Department in 2007. Dr. Risbrough is the Principal Investigator on awards from the National Institute of Health, Veterans Affairs, NARSAD and the U.S. Department of Defense. She is also Associate Director of Neuroscience for the Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health at the San Diego Veterans Healthcare System.

Research Focus

Dr. Risbrough’s research is centered on translational mechanisms and treatments of anxiety disorders using preclinical and clinical approaches. Her primary focus is to identify mechanisms of risk and resilience to anxiety disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder as well as development of new pharmacological treatments for these disorders. For example, she examines the contribution of corticotropin releasing factor to stress and anxiety responses using pharmacological and genetic techniques in mice. Her program also identifies genetic and environmental contributions to stress behavior and fear learning. By measuring physiological responses to stress (including heart rate and startle reactivity) in animal models and in clinic, her research develops translational probes of anxiety responding and treatment efficacy.

Clinical Focus

The goal of our work is to understand the basic mechanisms underlying anxiety and fear responses, as well as to identify biological factors contributing to the risk of and resilience to development of anxiety disorders. With this information we hope to develop better measures of treatment response in anxiety disorders and identify novel targets of pharmacotherapeutics.