Dr. Brandy Tiernan, Assistant Professor of Psychology, was awarded a 2021 Brain &
Behavior Research Foundation (BBRH) Young Investigator Grant. Brain and Behavioral
Research Foundation Young Investigator Grants enable promising investigators to either
extend research fellowship training or begin careers as independent research faculty.
The goal of the Investigator Program Pogram is to help researchers launch careers
in neuroscience and psychiatry and gather pilot data to apply for larger federal and
With the BBRF Young Investigator Grant, Dr. Tiernan will characterize the effects of social stress on the behavioral and neural indices of disrupted cognition among people with high Borderline Personality Disorder features. Examining the neural mechanisms behind control-related deficits and features of emotion dysregulation could lead to discovering techniques to modify inflexible ways of thinking and promote cooperative behavior and functioning. People with traits associated with Borderline Personality show marked problems with affect instability, impulsivity, and tumultuous and unstable interpersonal relationships. The persistence of these traits and their consequences (e.g., cognitive distortion, poor judgment and decision-making, unfortunate social and occupational outcomes), and an increased risk for substance use, self-injurious behaviors, and suicidality, make BPD a public health concern.