National expert in traumatic brain injury to give Ridington Lecture

April 13, 2010

Maria Mouratidis, a neuropsychologist and national expert on traumatic brain injury, will present the annual Ridington Lecture, “Invisible Wounds of War,” at 7:30 p.m. April 19 in Decker College Forum.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-857-2294.

Mouratidis’ lecture will explore the far-reaching implications of traumatic brain injuries sustained in war. The clinical psychologist says that with service members returning from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan with “unprecedented injuries,” they and their families are grappling with not only severe physical injuries, but also sometimes debilitating psychological, spiritual and traumatic brain injuries.

“Service members are living with horrible images their brains cannot seem to erase,” she says. “They have trouble completing tasks that before their injury would have been completed with ease, struggle with unbearable guilt, may not be able to play catch with their child, and may not be able to relate to their family the way they once did. They look just fine, but are they really?”

Mouratidis, chair and associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, is a licensed clinical psychologist who has served as neuropsychologist, command consultant and subject matter expert for traumatic brain injury and psychological health at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a roadside bombing in Iraq, was one of her recent patients. Her work with him is featured in his book, “In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing.”

Mouratidis’ previous academic appointment was to the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine, where she conducted neuroimaging and neuropsychological research. Before that, she worked at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in various clinical and research capacities.

She has frequently been called upon as a national expert to conduct trainings on traumatic brain injury for groups such as the Federal Executive Board, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mouratidis has a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College, Md., and her Psy.D. from Agrosy University. She completed both her Psychology internships and postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine and was recruited to the National Naval Medical Center from the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine.

The William and Edith Ridington Annual Lectureship honors two long-time teachers at the College. William Ridington joined the full-time faculty in 1938 and retired in 1973, while Edith began a 20-year career as an adjunct lecturer in 1957. After the Ridingtons’ deaths, their family endowed the series, which began in 1991.