Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
4131 Parran Hall
Primary Phone: 967-179-8617
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BCHS) at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. My research examines the interaction between physical health, neural health, and cognitive function in older adults. In particular, my work has focused on how engagement in physical activity improves the structure and function of the frontal-basal ganglia network in the brain, and how this relationship impacts executive function. I have examined cognition and brain health in neurologically healthy older adults, as well as in adults diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Currently, I am extending my research to examine whether we can use information about the brain to predict engagement in health behaviors. I will use this information to identify ways to help people initiate and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors. I am also using a lifespan developmental perspective to see whether we can enhance cognitive resiliency in late-life through language learning. To complete this interdisciplinary research plan, I collaborate with researchers in Epidemiology, Psychology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as with scientists around the country.
2005 | University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) | BA Cognitive Science
2016 | University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) | PhD in Clinical and Biological Health Psychology
2016 | Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (Pittsburgh, PA) | Joint Certificate program with University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University
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