Michelle Costanzo, PhD

Michelle E Costanzo, PhD

Name: Michelle E Costanzo, PhD

USU Department of Primary Appointment: 
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Faculty Rank: 
Research Assistant Professor
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Research Interests:
post-deployment health, neuroscience, stress, telehealth, neuroimaging, PTSD, mTBI


2011 Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
2003 B.S., University of California, Davis, CA , Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior


I have significant scientific experience in both government and academic environments. Currently I have appointments as a Research Neuroscientist with the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) at the Washington DC VA Medical Center and as a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). I have a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis and a PhD in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, with a focus on stress resilience and human performance from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). I was trained in the acquisition and analysis of electroencephalography at the UMD as well as in functional Magnetic Research Imaging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Georgetown University Medical Center. I have published several articles utilizing psychophysiology and neuroimaging to examine cognitive and emotive processes in military service members (SMs), elite athletes and physicians. In addition to my scientific training, my administrative work at the National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and responsibilities as a study manager for NIH, USUHS, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center clinical trials, has afforded me considerable experience with Federal government program management, regulatory compliance and science policy. My current research focus is on PTSD and mTBI uilizing fear conditioning, combat-related virtual reality, affective stroop, and telemedicine to reveal insight into the etiology of post-deployment health concerns in order to inform the next generation of rehabilitation and treatment for Veterans and SMs.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

  • Research Neuroscientist, War Related Illness and Injury Study Center VA Medical Center, Washington DC, (09/2016-Present)
  • Study Coordinator and Co-Investigator, GETSmart: Guided Education and Therapy via Smart Phones to Promote Resilience (07/2013-12/2016) PI: Michael Roy
  • Co-Investigator, Evaluation of Neurocognitive Driving Rehabilitation in Virtual Environments (NeuroDRIVE) as an Adjunctive Intervention for Traumatic Brain Injury (09/2015-12/2016) PI: Mark Ettenhofer
  • Co-Investigator, Integrated Eye Tracking and Neural Monitoring for Enhanced Assessment of Mild TBI: USU Primary Study (09/2015-12/2016) PI: Mark Ettenhofer
  • Co-Investigator, Enhancing Exposure Therapy for PTSD: Virtual Reality and Imaginal Exposure with a Cognitive Enhancer (06/2011-10/2016) PI: Michael Roy
  • Co-Investigator, Using Functional Neuroimaging to Explore Clinical Reasoning Expertise, (05/2012 – 2/2015) PI: Steve Durning
  • Co-Investigator, Virtual Reality Therapy and Imaging in Combat Veterans with Blast Injury and PTSD (06/2011 – 5/2015) PI: Michael Roy
  • Co-Investigator, Predictors of PTSD and Post Concussive Syndrome (PCS) In OIF/OEF Veterans (06/2011 – 5/2015) PI: Michael Roy
  • Graduate Research Assistant, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (09/2006 – 06/2011) PI: Allen Braun
  • Ph.D. Student, Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, (09/2006 – 06/2011) PI: Brad Hatfield