Research Areas

Our group focuses on the epidemiology of cognitive aging. Emphasis is placed on evaluating risk factors that are potentially modifiable, such as health and lifestyle-related mechanisms.

Risk and Resilience Factors for Cognitive Aging

close up of a medical vital signs monitor in a hospital with clinicians in the background

Our team has been at the forefront of identifying modifiable risk and resilience factors for cognitive and brain health. Team members have led some of the earliest investigations on the role of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, lifestyle behaviors, sleep disturbances, and other psychiatric and medical comorbidities.

Selected Publications

Military Risk Factors


line of soldiers


Our group is committed to understanding the unique constellation of military risk factors for dementia in the veteran population. We are especially interested in exploring how factors like TBI and PTSD affect the cognitive health of Veteran and civilian populations in addition to examining the interaction between military risk factors, comorbidities, and cognitive outcomes.

Selected Publications

Life Course Approach to Dementia

a young woman in a black tank top and a young man in a green shirt smile while they run outside in front of a large apartment building

Brain changes related to cognitive aging and dementia occur over several decades. Using innovative population-based approaches, our group is investigating risk and resilience factors for brain health across the life course in order to better inform treatment and prevention strategies.

Selected Publications

Multidomain Interventions

an older woman with white curly hair, wearing a white t-shirt and a pearl necklace, clutches at her forehead with both hands in distress

The group’s work on risk and resilience factors has been foundational in shaping the current dementia prevention framework, particularly multidomain strategies. In collaboration with Kaiser Seattle, we are piloting the first multidomain dementia intervention in the United States.

Selected Publications


Health Disparities

four young women of various races smile while working together in a sun-filled room

There are significant disparities in risk of dementia and cognitive decline by race, ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomic status. Our team is seeking to understand the impact of these factors and to determine population-based strategies to reduce these disparities.

Selected Publications

Biomarkers of Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Differentiating patient-derived pluripotent stem cells into neurons (labelled in red, nuclei in blue) allows scientists to study mechanisms behind Alzheimer's Disease, including detrimental accumulation of phosphorylated tau protein (labelled in green)

We are also interested in exploring potential biomarkers for cognitive aging and dementia. This work includes publications on inflammatory markers, beta amyloid, markers of cardiovascular health, measures of oxidative stress, structural brain MRI measures, and genetic markers.

Selected Publications