Bios of 2016 RSI and Mini-Med School Participants
Additional participants and their bios will be added as their information is confirmed.
- Emily Agree, Johns Hopkins University
- Daniel Benjamin, University of Southern California
- Patricia Boyle, Rush University Medical Center
- Judith Campisi, Buck Institute for Research on Aging/ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Deborah Carr, Rutgers University
- Ana Maria Cuervo, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Steve Cole, University of California, Los Angeles
- Kimberly Firth, NIH
- Esther Friedman, RAND Corporation
- Orla Hayden, RAND Corporation
- Jinkook Lee, University of Southern California
- Ronald Lee, University of California, Berkeley
- Robert Levenson, University of California, Berkeley
- Brigitte Madrian, Harvard University
- Nicole Maestas, Harvard University and RAND Corporation
- Carol Mangione, University of California, Los Angeles
- Sir Michael Marmot, University College London
- Kathleen Mullen, RAND Corporation
- Georgeanne Patmios, NIH
- Drystan Phillips, University of Southern California
- Ritu Sadana, WHO
- Ursula M. Staudinger, Columbia University
- David Walker, University of California, Los Angeles
Johns Hopkins University
Emily Agree, PhD, is a professor and researcher at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Agree is an experienced sociologist and demographer of aging, and has worked in the demography of aging field for over twenty-five years. Dr. Agree's research reflects her longstanding interest in the ways in which population aging affects the health of the older population, as well as the adaptation of families to the longevity of older parents and relatives. In the United States, she has an active program of research focusing on the use of assistive technology as a part of community based long term care arrangements. Her interests in population aging and health have led her to study the measurement of disability in population based surveys, and she is now a member of the leadership team for the new National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). She also is co-principal investigator on an NIA-funded project to study age differences in the use of the internet to seek health information (R01AG026430).
University of Southern California
Dr. Daniel Benjamin is a visiting associate professor at the University of Southern California and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Benjamin's research incorporates ideas and methods from psychology into economic analysis. Some current research topics include understanding errors people make in statistical reasoning, exploring how best to use survey measures of subjective well-being (such as happiness and life satisfaction) to construct a "well-being index", and investigating how genetic data could be used in economic research. Other ongoing work addresses how economic behavior relates to cognitive ability and social identity.
Rush University Medical Center
Patricia Boyle, PhD, is a neuropsychologist with the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Boyle's primary interest is the prevention of age-related cognitive and functional decline and dementia. Her research examines risk factors for and the neuropathologic basis of age related changes in cognition, decision making and physical function. The goal of this research is to identify factors that promote health and well being in late life. Dr. Boyle has published extensively in the areas of cognitive aging, Alzheimer's disease and functional status, and her research is funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Buck Institute for Research on Aging/ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dr. Judith Campisi is a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Early in her career, Dr. Campisi became interested in the control of cellular senescence and its role in tumor suppression and aging. Since then, she has established a broad research program to understand various aspects of aging, with an emphasis on the interface between cancer and aging. Her laboratory has made several pioneering discoveries in these areas, and her research continues to challenge and alter existing paradigms. Most recently, Dr. Campisi received the first international research award in the medical and natural sciences of The Olav Thon Foundation, Norway's largest charitable organization.
Deborah Carr is Professor of Sociology and a faculty member at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. She obtained her PhD at the University of Wisconsin, and has held faculty positions at University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin. Dr. Carr is a life course sociologist; her research focuses on bereavement and end-of-life decision-making among older adults; how family roles and relationships affect health and well-being, with an emphasis on chronic and acute family-related stressors; and on the social, psychological, and interpersonal consequences of body weight and obesity. Her current projects use couple-level diary data to understand marital dynamics in later life. She is a co-investigator of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) and Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), and Chair of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey (GSS). Dr. Carr is editor-in-chief of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
Ana Maria Cuervo
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Dr. Cuervo is co-director of the Einstein Institute for Aging Research, and a member of the Einstein Liver Research Center and Cancer Center. In 2001 she started her laboratory at Einstein, where she studies the role of protein-degradation in aging and age-related disorders, with emphasis in neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders.
Dr. Cuervo's group is interested in understanding how altered proteins can be eliminated from the cells and their components recycled. Her group has linked alterations in lysosomal protein degradation (autophagy) with different neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. They have also proven that restoration of normal lysosomal function prevents accumulation of damaged proteins with age, demonstrating this way that removal of these toxic products is possible.Dr. Cuervo is considered a leader in the field of protein degradation in relation to biology of aging and has presented her work in numerous national and international institutions, including the Robert R. Konh Memorial Lecture, the NIH Director's Lecture, the Roy Walford Endowed Lecture, the Cherkin Award lecture on Gerontology, the Feodor Lynen Lecture and the Margaret Pitman Lecture. She has organized and chaired international conferences on protein degradation and on aging, belongs to the editorial board of scientific journals in this topic, and is currently co-editor-in-chief of Aging Cell and associate editor of Autophagy.
Dr. Cuervo has served in NIH advisory panels, special emphasis panels, and study sections, the NIA Scientific Council and has been recently elected member of the NIH Council of Councils. She has received the 2005 P. Benson Award in Cell Biology, the 2005/8 Keith Porter Fellow in Cell Biology, the 2006 Nathan Shock Memorial Lecture Award, the 2008 Vincent Cristofalo Rising Start in Aging Award, the 2010 Bennett J. Cohen Award in Aging Biology, the 2012 Marshall S. Horwitz, MD Faculty Prize for Research Excellence and the 2015 Saul Korey Prize in Translational Medicine Science.
University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Steve Cole is a Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA School of Medicine. His research uses computational bioinformatics to map the biological pathways by which social environments influence gene expression by viral, cancer, and immune cell genomes. Dr. Cole is a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute, director of the UCLA Social Genomics Core Laboratory and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Kimberly Firth, Ph.D. is a Scientific Review Officer in the Scientific Review Branch of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). She holds a Master's Degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a dual Ph.D. in Social and Developmental Psychology from Brandeis University under the mentorship of Dr. Margie Lachman. Prior to coming to the NIA, Kimberly was the Director of Research for the Optimal Healing Environments Program at the Samueli Institute, a non-profit research foundation with the mission of transforming healthcare through the scientific exploration of holistic and complementary healing modalities. Subsequent to that, Dr. Firth was an Assistant Professor of Research Methods at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her significant research experience has included work in the area of adult midlife development and aging, temporal orientation and life satisfaction, implicit bias, and the effects of cultural enrichment on the physical and mental health of older adults.
Esther Friedman is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and Director, RAND Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists. Her research is motivated by an interest in how disparities in health, wealth, and aging come about. She is particularly interested in the role of family — both childhood family environments and later life family characteristics and relationships — in shaping trajectories of healthy aging. Friedman earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to entering the Ph.D. program, she obtained a master's degree in statistics from Columbia University and worked as a statistician at Mathematica Policy Research and as a biostatistician at the Emory University Center on Health Outcomes and Quality. Most recently, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University.
Orla Hayden is a research programmer working on Labor and Population projects with the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, which conducts objective, independent, behavioral research on the elderly population. These projects require a wide range of skills from data management, cleaning and variable derivation to statistical analysis of massive datasets. She is part of a team of programmers who produce the RAND HRS, a user-friendly version of the Health and Retirement Study that allows researchers to facilitate empirical research on aging issues by making the data sets easier to use.
University of Southern California and RAND
Jinkook Lee is the Director of Program on Global Aging, Health, and Policy (p2aging.org) at University of Southern California and an adjunct senior economist at the RAND Corporation. She obtained her Ph.D. at the Ohio State University and previously held faculty positions at the Ohio State University and the University of Georgia. Her research agenda focuses on economics of aging, which has become increasingly interdisciplinary in recent years. She has co-led the development of two multidisciplinary, longitudinal population surveys, the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA) and the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI), and currently serves as a co-PI of LASI. She also leads an international data harmonization project funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Gateway to Global Aging Data (g2aging.org), a platform for population survey data on aging from 31 countries around the world. Her current research interests include late-life cognition and dementia, the determinants of late-life health and subjective well-being, and policy effects on health and wellbeing of elderly in East Asia.
University of California, Berkeley
Professor Ronald Lee holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, and currently holds the Edward G. and Nancy S. Jordan Endowed Chair in Economics. For nineteen years, Dr. Lee was the Director of the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging at U.C. Berkeley, funded by the National Institute of Aging. His current research focuses on intergenerational transfers and population aging. He co-directs with Andrew Mason the National Transfer Accounts project, which currently includes 28 collaborating countries, and is estimating intergenerational flows of resources through the public and private sectors. Honors include: Presidency of the Population Association of America, the Mindel C. Sheps Award for research in Mathematical Demography, the PAA Irene B. Taeuber Award for outstanding contributions in the field of demography. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Corresponding member of the British Academy. He has chaired the population and social science study section for NIH and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Population, and served on the National Advisory Committee on Aging (NIA Council).
University of California, Berkeley
Robert W. Levenson works in the areas of human psychophysiology and affective neuroscience, both of which involve studying the interplay between psychological and physiological processes. Much of his work focuses on the nature of human emotion, in terms of its physiological manifestations, variations in emotion associated with age, gender, culture, and pathology, and the role emotion plays in interpersonal interactions. Dr. Levenson's research group is currently focusing primarily on two major projects: a study of emotion and normal aging and a study of the impact of neurodegenerative diseases on emotional functioning, both supported by grants from the National Institute of Aging.
Brigitte Madrian is the Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before coming to Harvard in 2006, she was on the Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School (2003-2006), the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (1995-2003) and the Harvard University Economics Department (1993-1995). She is also a research associate and co-director of the Household Finance working group at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Dr. Madrian's current research focuses on behavioral economics and household finance, with a particular focus on household saving and investment behavior. Her work in this area has impacted the design of employer-sponsored savings plans in the U.S. and has influenced pension reform legislation both in the U.S. and abroad. She is also engaged in research on health, using the lens of behavioral economics to understand health behaviors and improve health outcomes; in the past she has also examined the impact of health insurance on the job choice and retirement decisions of employees and the hiring decisions of firms.
Dr. Madrian received her Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied economics as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University. She is the recipient of the National Academy of Social Insurance Dissertation Prize (first place, 1994) and a two-time recipient of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Scholarly Research on Lifelong Financial Security (2002 and 2011).
Harvard University and RAND Corporation
Nicole Maestas, Ph.D. is an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Her research studies how the health and disability insurance systems affect individual economic behaviors, such as labor supply and the consumption of medical care.
Dr. Maestas' research in disability economics has shown how the federal disability insurance system discourages employment by people with disabilities; her work on the effects of health insurance coverage showed that the onset of Medicare eligibility causes a sharp increase in the use of health care services; and her research on the economics of aging has demonstrated significant shifts in labor supply patterns at older ages. Dr. Maestas has testified before Congress about her research on two occasions, once before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and once before the Senate Finance Committee. She recently completed service on a national disability policy panel convened by the Social Security Advisory Board.
Dr. Maestas graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College. She received her M.P.P. in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Economics also from UC Berkeley.
University of California, Los Angeles
Carol M. Mangione, M.D., M.S.P.H., is the Barbara A. Levey MD & Gerald S. Levey M.D. Endowed Chair and Professor of Medicine and Health Services at UCLA. Dr. Mangione is the director of the NIH/NIA funded UCLA/Drew Resource Center for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement of Minority Elderly (RCMAR III/CHIME II), and codirector of the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. In both of these programs she mentors and trains physicians developing research careers.
Dr. Mangione is the principal investigator for the Translational Research Centers for Diabetes Within Managed-Care Settings (TRIAD) Legacy study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to study the quality of care for persons with diabetes where her work has focused on the relationship between organization of care, cost sharing, control of cardiovascular risk factors and process outcomes such as adherence to medications. Dr. Mangione is also principal investigator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Virtual Lab for California Project. The purpose of this project is to create a coalition of government, academic, and private entities within the state of California to provide access to a diverse set of existing data to answer research questions relating to the health of women and minorities across the life span. In addition Dr. Mangione is co-principal investigator of the new NIH/NIA funded UCLA-Drew/City of Los Angeles Area Agency on Aging Center for Community Research. The major goal of this project is to create a permanent community research infrastructure to create sustained meaningful improvement in the quality of life of lower income older adults.
Dr. Mangione is also a co-investigator of the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF) funded project entitled, Acting to Reduce Variation in Utilization: Developing Interventions. This project is the second phase of an effort in further understanding variation in resource utilization among six academic medical centers and to identify and implement interventions to reduce unwarranted variation. Currently, Dr. Mangione serves as co-investigator of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute funded project entitled, Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Improvement (CEOI). This project is a statewide effort that aims to develop sustainable statewide infrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research on primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease among managed care populations. Funded by the NIH/NIA, in addition Dr. Mangione currently is a co-investigator on a study entitled, Evaluating an Emergency Department Observation Syncope Protocol for Older Adults. The goal of this study is to evaluate an Emergency Department Syncope Observation Protocol (EDOSP) in the management of older patients with syncope.
Dr. Mangione received her B.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, her M.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and her M.S.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians (ASCI/AAP) and recipient of the 2007 Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Mid-Career Mentorship Award. She is also currently a member of the Board of Governors for the Pardee RAND Graduate School.
Sir Michael Marmot
University College London
Sir Michael Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for over 35 years. He was Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), which was set up by the World Health Organization in 2005, and produced 'Closing the Gap in a Generation' in August 2008. At the request of the British Government, he conducted a Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010, which published its report 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives' in February 2010. This was followed by the European Review of Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide, for WHO Euro. He chaired the Breast Screening Review for the NHS National Cancer Action Team and was a member of The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health. He is a Principal Investigator of the Whitehall II Studies of British Civil Servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality.
Marmot leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and is engaged in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health. He served as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2010-2011, and is the new President of the British Lung Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and in 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.
Kathleen Mullen is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and director of the RAND Center for Disability Research; she is also an associate director of the Economics, Sociology and Statistics Department and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her work addresses the economics of retirement, health, and disability, with an emphasis on the incentive effects of social insurance programs such as Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In her research, Mullen has employed a variety of research designs applying both reduced form and structural econometric methods. She has pursued research on, among other things, the effects of SSDI receipt on labor supply; the effects of long waiting times on the subsequent labor force participation and earnings of rejected SSDI applicants; how changes in eligibility requirements affect SSDI or Social Security claiming; and the effects of changes in Social Security or disability insurance incentives in other countries on labor supply for workers at older ages, and what those findings suggest about potential evaluations of reforms in the United States. Mullen received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.
Georgeanne Patmios is currently the Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR), one of the four extramural program Divisions at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is also currently the Acting Chief of the Population and Social Processes Branch of BSR. Ms. Patmios has worked at NIA since 1993, including a posting at the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. She manages research portfolios primarily in demography, sociology, social epidemiology, and economics, in addition to several BSR-wide initiatives, including training and the NIA Centers on Demography and Economics of Aging. She is the NIA Program Official for the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) cooperative agreement grants. Ms. Patmios received an M.A. in health policy/health services administration from George Washington University and B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College.
University of Southern California and RAND Corporation
Drystan Phillips is the Assistant Director of the Program on Global Aging, Health, and Policy at the USC Center for Economic and Social Research. With a background in applied economics and labor and population research, Phillips is an experienced programmer. His research interests include the process of aging across different cultures and countries, the interplay of genetics, environment, and behavior on longevity, and the opportunities and challenges of multidisciplinary, representative, longitudinal survey data. His most recent project investigates the consequences and benefits of different imputation methods for addressing the issues of missing values in survey data. Phillips has helped develop and helps maintain the Gateway to Global Aging Data.
Dr. Ritu Sadana has worked in the public and private sectors, at national, regional and global levels, including at the World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland since 1998 and in its Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 1988-93. In 2013, Ritu took up a new senior position as Lead Specialist within the Department of Ageing and Life Course at WHO, where she continues to strengthen collaborations across WHO and beyond, and channel worldwide expertise to analyze complex public health challenges, synthesize evidence for policy options, promote research collaborations and produce flagship reports. With support from the Government of Japan, she set the stage for the World Report on Ageing and Health. Ritu will lead the development of the first WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health, expected in 2016. She manages a network of WHO Collaborating Centres on Ageing and Health, as well as coordinates the development of a global monitoring framework and indicators to assess progress towards healthy ageing.
Dr. Sadana holds a MSc focusing on health systems and policies research methods, from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and earned her doctorate (ScD) focusing on international health policy, epidemiology and economics, from Harvard University. She serves as an editorial advisor for The Bulletin of the World Health Organization and has over 100 publications, including in the British Medical Journal, Public Health Reports, The LANCET, Science, and Social Science & Medicine, among others.
Ursula M. Staudinger
A lifespan psychologist and an internationally recognized aging researcher, Ursula Staudinger is the Founding Director of the Columbia Aging Center. In her role Dr. Staudinger also leads the International Longevity Center (ILC) USA, part of the fourteen-member, multinational ILC - Global Alliance consortium that seeks to help societies address longevity and population aging in positive and productive ways. She is the Robert N. Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and a Professor of Psychology.
Her research focuses on the opportunities and challenges of increases in average life expectancy. She investigates the potentials of aging by studying the plasticity of the aging process (e.g. cognition or personality), as well the development of life insight, life management, and wisdom over the life span. Her findings have yielded helpful advice for living, work, and education during this time of unprecedented demographic change.
Dr. Staudinger serves as Vice President and Foreign Secretary of the Germany National Academy of Sciences. She received her PhD from the Free University Berlin.
University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Walker is an Associate Professor at UCLA's Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology whose primary research goal is to better understand the basic biology of the aging process. Knowing that the mechanisms which cause the deterioration of cellular functions during the aging process remain poorly understood, Dr. Walker's lab is using the powerful genetics of the fruit fly Drosophila to better understand the molecular biology of aging. The lab seeks to identify genes and cellular pathways that modulate the rate of aging by using a combination of molecular genetic and biochemical tools. The long-term aim of this research is to provide novel therapeutic targets to counteract age-related human diseases.