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Research interests

Dr. Claire Flaherty is a cognitive neuroscientist and board-certified clinical neuropsychologist who has been a co-investigator in a multitude of clinical trials over the past 16 years. Her pediatric clinical trials work includes a study evaluating the effects of whole brain radiation on outcome in a long-term survival tumor surgical population; the COOL KIDS evaluation of moderate hypothermia as treatment following severe TBI; the ADAPT study focused on approaches/decisions in TBI; the THAPCA study of moderate hypothermia as treatment following cardiac arrest; phenylketonuria studies of the effect of Kuvan on 1) affect, maintenance of blood Phenylalanine concentrations, safety and population pharmacokinetics in adolescents with phenylketonurea; and 2) neurocognitive function, maintenance of blood phenylalanine concentrations, safety and population pharmacokinetics in young children. Her adult clinical trials work includes the ProTECT III study applying progesterone to limit the damage caused during TBI and a study comparing the effects of oral contraceptive pills versus metformin on PCOS. She generated a brief exam for the detection of emerging Frontal Temporal Dysfunction Syndromes that was included in the online NINDS Common Data Elements in 2012. She has published a number of studies focused on gender differences in emerging frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), an early onset dementia, in the presence or absence of motor neuron disease.

Based upon data from a motor neuron disease national sample, she developed a model evidencing the neuroprotective role of estrogen in females with emerging FTLD, through its regulatory role in autophagy. She has also explored gender differences in congenital frontal lobe pathology through characterization studies of female serial killers. Her research interests in executive functioning extend to frontal lobe changes in epilepsy, including the long-term cognitive behavioral consequences of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy and the potential benefits of responsive neurostimulation on executive functioning in intractable temporal lobe epilepsy.

Professional information

Board-certified in professional neuropsychology, American Board of Professional Neuropsychology, 2013

Licensed clinical psychologist, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1995

Clinical interests

As a board-certified clinic neuropsychologist and member of the cognitive neurology team, Dr. Claire Flaherty has a focus on lifespan neuropsychology. Her clinical interests in geriatric patients includes evaluation of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, with development of treatment strategies with the referring physician, patient and family to minimize the potential for MCI to progress into dementia, or to slow the course of dementia progression. Her clinical interests in adult patients includes characterization of subjective cognitive decline with monitoring over time to identify factors associated with progression into objective cognitive impairment, as well as early onset dementia (frontotemporal dementia), epilepsy, multisystem illness related to the endocrine and immune systems, and trauma. She provides recommendations to employers for accommodations to be incorporated into her patient’s job modifications, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. She is a member of the neurology epilepsy team, for which she provides pre- and post- psychometric assessment of temporal lobe surgical candidates, as well as for responsive neurostimulation for seizures placement candidates. She participates in the angio WADA exam to establish the laterality of language and memory in select left hemisphere onset epilepsy surgical candidates. Her pediatric interests include evaluation and treatment planning for pre-school children with congenital heart disorders including tetralogy of Fallot, as well as school-aged children with a broad array of developmental disabilities. She provides recommendations to school officials for accommodations to be incorporated into her patient’s 504 Plan or Individualized Education Plan. Her national research rating average for July 2019 to April 2020 was 87.5%. Her self-initiated approach to quality improvement involves a focus on knowledge of patient medications and incorporating this knowledge into her interpretation of psychometric findings and recommendations to referring physicians, patients and families.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Neurorehabilitation, Postdoctoral fellowship, Penn State College of Medicine


PhD, Union Institute and University

… → 1998

MS, Millersville University

… → 1992

BS, University of Miami

… → 1978


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