Neil E. Grunberg, Ph.D.

Neil E. Grunberg, Ph.D.

Name: Neil E. Grunberg, Ph.D.

Department of Primary Appointment: Military & Emergency Medicine
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Professor & Director, Leadership Research & Development

Affiliated Departments: Medical & Clinical Psychology, Neuroscience
Affiliated Center: USU LEAD

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-9673

Lab Website



Neil E. Grunberg, Ph.D., is Professor of Military & Emergency Medicine (MEM), Medical & Clinical Psychology (MPS), and Neuroscience (NES) in the Uniformed Services University (USU) School of Medicine (SOM); Professor in the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN); Director of Research and Development in the USU Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program; and Director of Faculty Development for MEM. He is a medical and social psychologist who has been on faculty at USU since 1979.  His role in LEAD is to ensure that the LEAD program and sessions are based upon sound evidence and scholarship and to oversee original research relevant to leadership education and training.

Dr. Grunberg earned baccalaureate degrees in Medical Microbiology and Psychology from Stanford University (1975); earned M.A. (1977), M.Phil. (1979), and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in Physiological and Social Psychology from Columbia University; and received doctoral training in Pharmacology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons under a National Research Service Award (NRSA, 1976-79). Dr. Grunberg helps train physicians, psychologists, and nurses to serve in the Armed Forces or Public Health Service, and scientists for research positions. He has published >180 papers addressing behavioral medicine, stress, and leadership. Dr. Grunberg has received awards from the U.S. Surgeon General, CDC, FDA, American Psychological Association, NIH, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and USU. He has served as President of the USU Faculty Senate and has chaired USU committees including: Strategic Planning; Manpower; Health, Safety, and Wellness; Appointment, Promotions, and Tenure. Outside USU, he has chaired Working Groups for the MacArthur Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2015, Dr. Grunberg was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar (PLS).

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Research and Teaching

Dr. Grunberg and his research group study leadership, stress (psychological and physical, including mTBI and PTSD), and appetitive behaviors (including nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and food consumption).

SOM Education and Training: Introduction to leadership; Effective communication; Communicating difficult information; Team building; Stress, performance, and leadership; Leadership in medical field practicum; Sports psychology.

Graduate Student Teaching:  Appetitive & Addictive Behaviors, Advanced Topics and Techniques in Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Advanced topics in Social Psychology; Interprofessional research.

Mentoring: Dr. Grunberg has supervised 33 doctoral dissertations in Medical Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Neuroscience, and has served on many master and doctoral degree committees. He currently is training three Clinical Psychology Ph.D. students and two GSN Ph.D. students. In addition, he mentors faculty members in MEM in his role as MEM Director of Faculty Development.


Selected Recent Publications

Yarnell, A.M, Shaughness, M.C., Barry, E.S., Ahlers, S.T., McCarron, R.M., Grunberg, N.E. (2013). Blast traumatic brain injury in the rat using a blast overpressure model. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. Chapter 9, Unit 9.41.

Deuster, P.A., Grunberg, N.E., & O'Connor, F.G. (2014). Human performance optimization: An integrated approach for Special Operations. Journal of Special Operations Medicine, 14, Edition 2, 2-7.

Hamilton, K.R., Elliott, B.M., Berger, S.S., & Grunberg, N.E. (2014). Environmental enrichment attenuates nicotine behavioral sensitization in male and female rats. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology, 22(4), 356.

Sharma, A., Chandran, R., Barry, E.S., Bhomia, M., Hutchison, M.A., Balakathiresan, N.S., Grunberg, N.E., & Maheshwari, R.K. (2014). Identification of serum microRNA signatures for diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury in a closed head injury model. PLoS One. 9(11): e112019.

O'Connor, F.G., Grunberg, N.E., Kellermann, A.L., & Schoomaker, E. (2015). Leadership education and development at the Uniformed Services University. Military Medicine, 180(4S), 147-152.

Turtzo, L.C., Budde, M.D., Dean, D.D., Gold, E.M., Lewis, B.K., Janes, L., Lescher, J., Coppola, T., Yarnell, A., Grunberg, N.E., & Frank, J.A. (2015). Failure of intravenous or intracardiac delivery of mesenchymal stromal cells to improve outcomes after focal traumatic brain injury in the female rat. PLoS One. 10(5): e0126551.

Nindl, B.C., Jaffin, D.P., Dretsch, M.N., Cheuvront, S.N., Wesensten, N.J., Kent, M.L., Grunberg, N.E., Pierce, J.R., Barry, E.S., Scott, J.M., & Young, A.J. (2015). Human performance optimization metrics: Consensus findings, gaps, and recommendations for future research. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29, S221-S245.

Yarnell, A.M., Barry, E.S., Mountney, A., Shear, D., Tortella, F., & Grunberg, N.E. (2016). The revised neurobehavioral severity scale (NSS-R) for rodents. Current Protocols in Neuroscience.

Callahan, C., & Grunberg, N.E. (in press). “Military medical leadership,” in E.B. Schoomaker and D.C. Smith (Eds.), Fundamentals of Military Medical Practice. Washington, DC: Borden Institute. 

Yarnell, A.M., Dullea, C., & Grunberg, N.E. (in press). “Military communication,” in E.B. Schoomaker and D.C. Smith (Eds.), Fundamentals of Military Medical Practice. Washington, DC: Borden Institute. 

Yarnell, A.M., Barry, E.S., & Grunberg, N.E. (in press). “Psychological well-being,” in E.B. Schoomaker and D.C. Smith (Eds.), Fundamentals of Military Medical Practice. Washington, DC: Borden Institute.

Yarnell, A.M., & Grunberg, N.E. (in press). “Developing ‘Allostatic leaders’: A Psychobiosocial Perspective,” in M. Clark & C.W. Gruber (Eds.), Leader Development Deconstructed, Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Grunberg, N.E., Barry, E.S., Kleber, H., McManigle, J.E., Schoomaker, E.B., (in press). “Seven steps to establish a leader and leadership education and development (LEAD) program,” in M. Clark & C.W. Gruber (Eds.), Leader Development Deconstructed, Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Professional Activities

Selected Professional Activities: Dr. Grunberg is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and Society for Behavioral Medicine. He is a founding member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and a member of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Neuroscience, Sigma Xi, and the Academy of Medicine of Washington, D.C. He has been an editor for Addiction, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and US Surgeon Generals' Reports. He serves as a scientific consultant to the Maryland Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Resource Center, the Maryland Smoking Cessation Quitline (MD Quit), and the Maryland State Mental Health and Substance Abuse treatment programs. He is a member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine's Wisdom Council, the editorial board of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, and a contributing reviewer to F1000 (an electronic biomedical research journal source).

Selected Awards

American Psychological Association's Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology (1989)

Centers for Disease Control Awards (1988, 1990), US Surgeon General's Medallion (1990)

USU Outstanding Biomedical Graduate Educator Award (1999, 2008)

US FDA Research Award (2005), Society of Behavioral Medicine Distinguished Scientist Award (2006)

USU Center for Health Disparities Building Partnerships for Better Health Award (2006)

USU Carol J. Johns Award to enhance USU programs, faculty, and reputation (2007)

USU Cinda Helke Award for Graduate Student Advocacy (2008)

United States Presidential Leadership Scholar (2015)

USU awards for Medical Student Teaching, Research Mentoring, Distinguished Service, and Outstanding Performance.