Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Neurophysiology Laboratory
Grady Trauma Project
Tanja Jovanovic, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Jovanovic has significant expertise in psychophysiological research with traumatized populations, as the focus of her National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship was startle responses in combat-related PTSD. For the last 10 years she has been investigating neurobiological underpinning of PTSD in Vietnam veterans, as well as victims of inner-city violence.
Dr. Jovanovic research program focuses on the interaction of traumatic experiences, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology, and genetics in mental disorders in adults and children in high-risk populations. Her research employs psychophysiological (e.g. acoustic startle response, skin conductance response, heart-rate variability)and neuroimaging (e.g. structural and functional MRI) methods. She heads the Neurophysiology laboratory of the Grady Trauma Project in Atlanta, and is the lead investigator on an exploratory research grant from NIH to examine the effects of cortisol suppression on fear-potentiated startle in PTSD. In addition, she was awarded a National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Anxiety Disorders (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award for her research examining early precursors of fear dysregulation in children of mothers with PTSD.