Despina Stavrinos

Despina Stavrinos

Director of ISSR


Despina Stavrinos, PhD is Professor of Psychology and Founder and Director of the Translational Research for Injury Prevention (TRIP) Laboratory ( Dr. Stavrinos’ program of research focuses broadly on the context of unintentional injury prevention and control with a strong focus on transportation-related issues from a cognitive and developmental perspective.

Over the past decade, Dr. Stavrinos has served as PI on grants from NIH, CDC, DOT, US Army, and industry totaling over $9 million. Currently, Dr. Stavrinos is PI on 2 longitudinal studies funded by NIH. REACT is examining driving attention among newly licensed adolescents. Findings will shape policy regarding the optimal age and experience for licensure. R2DRV is evaluating the effects of mild traumatic brain injury on teen driving performance to inform clinical practice guidelines on when teens can safely return to drive. Under Dr. Stavrinos’ leadership, the TRIP Lab acquired the first SUV driving simulator in the world through partnerships with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Transportation. The simulator has been featured on the TODAY show and CNN.

Dr. Stavrinos graduated from The University of Alabama with a BS in Psychology (Minor in Biology), earned both her MA and PhD (Developmental Psychology) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UAB University Transportation Center. She has received numerous awards, including the Routh Early Career Award in Pediatric Psychology, Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, and Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2020.

Dr. Stavrinos serves on the Editorial Board for Accident Analysis and Prevention, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Human Behavior and Emerging Technology, and Journal of Clinical Psychology. She is the elected Chair of the Alabama Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund Advisory Board and serves on the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science Standing Committee on Road User Measurement and Evaluation and the Standing Committee on Vehicle User Education, Training, and Licensing. Dr. Stavrinos serves as a consultant for academic research and legal/expert witness testimony.