Bios of 2018 RSI and Mini-Med School Participants
- Peter Adams, Sanford Burham Prebys Institute
- Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford University
- Anne Brunet, Stanford University
- Kathleen Cagney, The University of Chicago
- Courtney Coile, NBER & Wellesley College
- William Dow, University of California, Berkeley
- Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania
- Caleb Finch, University of Southern California
- Vicki Freedman, University of Michigan
- Esther Friedman, RAND Corporation
- John Haaga, National Institute on Aging
- Pamela Herd, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Michael D. Hurd, RAND Corporation
- Kenneth Kosik, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Kenneth M. Langa, University of Michigan
- Jinkook Lee, University of Southern California
- Robert Levenson, University of California, Berkeley
- Colleen McCullough, RAND Corporation
- Kathleen Mullen, RAND Corporation
- Angela O’Rand, Duke University
- James M. Poterba, NBER & MIT
- Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Jenny Wilkens, University of Southern California
- Kristine Yaffe, University of California, San Francisco
Sanford Burham Prebys Institute
Peter Adams leads The Adams Lab at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, which investigates age-associated epigenetic changes as contributors to cell, tissue and organismal aging. Most recently Dr. Adams led the Epigenetics Unit at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Glasgow, Institute of Cancer Sciences, in Scotland, and continues to be active in the lab there. He has also held positions at Wistar Institute (University of Pennsylvania), Drexel University, and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Adams obtained his BA in biochemistry at the University of Oxford, England and his Ph.D. at Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CR-UK). He did postdoctoral work with Dr. William G. Kaelin, Jr. at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Adams is co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Aging Cell.
Jay Bhattacharya is a professor of medicine and a CHP/PCOR core faculty member at Stanford University. His research focuses on the constraints that vulnerable populations face in making decisions that affect their health status, as well as the effects of government policies and programs designed to benefit vulnerable populations. Most recently, he has researched the regulation of the viatical-settlements market (a secondary life-insurance market that often targets HIV patients) and summer/winter differences in nutritional outcomes for low-income American families. He is also working on a project examining the labor-market conditions that help determine why some U.S. employers do not provide health insurance.
He worked for three years as an economist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, where he also taught health economics as a visiting assistant professor at the University of California-Los Angeles. He received a B.A. in economics, an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Anne Brunet is the Michele and Timothy Barakett Endowed Professor of Genetics at Stanford University. She runs the Brunet Lab, which focuses on research efforts to answer key questions regarding the deconstruction of aging. Current projects focus on the metabolic pathways that impact aging, epigenetic regulation of lifespan, the interaction between epigenetic and metabolic pathways in stem cell aging, and brain aging. Dr. Brunet received her B.S. at Ecole Normale Supérieure and her Ph.D. at the University of Nice.
The University of Chicago
Kathleen Cagney is a professor in the departments of sociology and comparative human development, as well as the director of the Population Research Center at the University of Chicago. Dr. Cagney’s work examines social inequality and its relationship to health with a focus on neighborhood, race, and aging and the life course. She has developed a series of papers on neighborhood social capital and its relationship to outcomes such as self-rated health, asthma prevalence, physical activity, and mortality during the 1995 Chicago heat wave. She also focuses on the validity of such measures and the development of new neighborhood-based metrics that reflect the perceptions and experiences of older residents. Currently she works on two Chicago-based studies of neighborhood context and older adult health, and is examining the role of the social and physical environment in older adult well-being with the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Dr. Cagney holds a B.A. in sociology and political science from Western Michigan University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
NBER & Wellesley College
Courtney Coile teaches principles of microeconomics, econometrics, health economics, and public economics at Wellesley, where her scholarly work focuses on the economics of aging and health, particularly retirement and disability policy. She is also co-director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)’s International Social Security project, where she works with researchers in a dozen countries to explore why workers in the U.S. and other developing countries are retiring later and how much of this trend can be explained by social security reforms.
She is involved in the broader research community in a number of ways, including as associate director of the NBER’s Retirement Research Center, as an editor of The Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, and as a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ recent Committee on the Long-Run Macroeconomic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population.
At Wellesley, Dr. Coile recently served as the inaugural director of the Knapp Social Science Center, which supports student and faculty research in the social sciences and promotes the exploration of issues like health and development from an interdisciplinary perspective.
University of California, Berkeley
William H. Dow is the Kaiser Permanente Endowed Chair in Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Dow's research analyzes economic aspects of health insurance, health behaviors, and health and demographic outcomes. In addition to his United States research he has also conducted international health research in areas such as Western Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica, China, and sub-Saharan Africa. One recent strand of research investigates the role of health policy in shaping mortality trends and patterns, with several papers focusing on the particular role of health insurance in the United States, Costa Rica, Taiwan, and elsewhere. He is also Co-PI of the new Costa Rican Healthy Aging Survey (CRELES), a longitudinal effort to study how it is that Costa Rica has achieved life expectancy greater even than that of the United States. The first wave of this nationally representative survey was collected 2004-2006, including extensive biomarkers such as those comprising allostatic load measures, with longitudinal follow-ups now being conducted. Dr. Dow obtained a B.A. in economics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.
Irma T. Elo
University of Pennsylvania
Irma T. Elo is a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on how societal inequalities affect the health disparities across the life course, including possible effects of early life conditions and neighborhood context. Her current research projects include analysis of race/ethnic disparities in maternal and infant and child health in Philadelphia and nationally, early life conditions and adult mortality in Finland, differences in health and mortality among native-born and foreign-born US residents, and black-white differences in "avoidable" mortality in the United States between 1980 and 2005. Dr. Elo received a B.A. in political science from the University of Arkansas, and both a Master of Public Administration and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.
University of Southern California
Caleb Finch’s major research interest is the study of basic mechanisms in human aging with a focus on inflammation. He has received most of the major awards in biomedical gerontology, including the Robert W. Kleemeier Award of the Gerontological Society of America in 1985, the Sandoz Premier Prize by the International Geriatric Association in 1995, and the Irving Wright Award of AFAR and the Research Award of AGE in 1999. He was the founder of the NIA-funded Alzheimer Disease Research Center in 1984 and currently serves as co-Director. Finch became a University Distinguished Professor in 1989, an honor held by sixteen other professors at USC who contribute to multiple fields. He is a member of five editorial boards and has written four books and 475 articles. A new research area is the effect of air pollution on brain development and aging, which he is developing through a USC-wide network (AirPollBrain website)
University of Michigan
Dr. Freedman is a Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She has published extensively on the topics of population aging, disability, and long-term care. She currently serves as co-Principal Investigator of the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and the National Study of Caregiving (NSOC), Associate Director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), and co-Director of the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA). As part of a program project on health and wellbeing that she directs, she has led supplemental PSID studies of disability, time use and well-being among older adults and a mixed mode study of wellbeing.
Dr. Freedman has served on over a dozen national advisory panels for federal agencies, and she currently serves on the National Research Council’s Committee on Population. She earned her doctorate in Epidemiology from Yale University and master’s degree in Demography from Georgetown University.
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.
National Institute on Aging
John Haaga has served since May 2016 as Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research in the National Institute on Aging. From 2004 to 2015 he was Deputy Director, and from April 2015 Acting Director, of the division. He leads NIA's extramural program funding research in economics, demography, epidemiology, cognitive science and social neurosciences, behavioral genetics, and health services research related to aging. This program includes major data collection and dissemination in the United States and cross-national comparative research on global health and aging. Dr. Haaga also serves as coordinator for the trans-NIH Common Fund Program in Health Economics. Dr. Haaga has served as president of the Association of Population Centers and secretary-treasurer and elected member of the Board of Directors (2012-2014) for the Population Association of America. He received his Ph.D. in public policy from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and he has a B.A. in modern history from Oxford University and an M.A. in international relations from John Hopkins University.
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Pamela Herd is Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology. Broadly, her work focuses on aging, policy, health, and inequality. She has two streams of research. One stream examines how social policies (i.e., Social Security) affect gender, race, and class inequalities. The second stream focuses on the relationship between social factors and health. She is the Principal Investigator of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a member of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Herd co-authored the 2007 book Market Friendly or Family Friendly? The State and Gender Inequality in Old Age with Madonna Harrington Meyer. The book is part of the American Sociological Association's Rose Series on Public Policy and was the winner of the Gerontological Society of America Section on Behavioral and Social Sciences Kalish Publication Award.
Michael D. Hurd
Michael Hurd is a senior principal researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he directs the RAND Center for the Study of Aging. His research interests cover a wide range of topics in the economics of aging including: the structure of private pensions and Social Security and their effects on retirement decisions; the economic status of the elderly; the determinants of consumption and saving; the use of health care services; methods of assessing uncertainty in a population; bracketing and anchoring effects in the elicitation of economic information; and the relationship between socioeconomic status and mortality. His most recent research focuses on the monetary costs of dementia, and the costs of long-term care. Hurd has an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
University of California, Santa Barbara
Kenneth S. Kosik completed a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University in 1972 and an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1976. He served as a resident in neurology at Tufts New England Medical Center and was Chief Resident in 1980. Beginning in 1980 he held a series of academic appointments at the Harvard Medical School and achieved the rank of full professor in 1996. In 2004, Kosik became the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Kosik lab approach is largely reductionist with an emphasis on genes, molecules and cells, and studies in the lab also encompass systems level informatic approaches that include large genomic and transcriptional and imaging data sets. One theme in the lab is how cells acquire and lose their identities. The lab is also interested in the underlying molecular basis of plasticity, particularly how protein translation at the synapse affects learning and how impairments of plasticity lead to neurodegenerative diseases.
Kenneth M. Langa
University of Michigan
Dr. Langa’s research focuses on the epidemiology and costs of chronic disease in older adults, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. He is currently focusing on the relationship of cardiovascular risk factors to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-age and older adults. In 2007, Dr. Langa was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge where he established collaborations with an interdisciplinary research team performing cross-national comparisons of the epidemiology and outcomes of dementia in the United States and England.
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
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.
Colleen McCullough is a Research Programmer/Analyst working on Labor and Population projects with the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, and she has extensive experience with data collection, management, analysis and visualization. Her current work includes the development, management and support of RAND data products created using the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative study of older households in the United States, as well as data management and analysis of member and claims data in the Colorado All Payer Claims Database. Prior to joining RAND, Ms. McCullough was a data analyst at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she worked on research examining the impact of electronic health records, quality improvement initiatives, and patient-centered care models on the delivery and measurement of clinical preventive services in small, independent, primary care practices across New York City. She received her Master of Public Administration in Health Policy and Management from New York University and B.A. in Biology from the University of Chicago.
Kathleen J. Mullen
Kathleen Mullen is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and director of the RAND Center for Disability Research; she is also associate director of the Economics, Sociology and Statistics Department and editor-in-chief of The RAND Journal of Economics, a leading peer-reviewed journal on industrial organization, regulation, and contracting. Her work addresses the economics of disability, health and retirement, 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.
Dr. O’Rand’s major research interests focus on patterns of inequality across the life span, with a special interest in the temporal diversity of life transitions, their consequences for later life, and the impact of institutions on these transitions over time. Over thirty-three years she has examined workplace policies related to wage and benefit structures and the impact of workers' educational, work and family histories on wage and fringe benefit outcomes. The changing employment relationship and the re-organization of retirement institutions (especially pensions) have been a central concern of my research. Most recently, Dr. O’Rand has turned to the cumulative impact of economic adversity on midlife health risks, such as heart attack. This research has uncovered the persistent effects of childhood adversity on midlife heart attack risk, especially among women. She is expanding this focus over the next few years to examine the more general question of "life course risks" and increased economic and social inequalities.
James M. Poterba
NBER & MIT
James M. Poterba is the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT and the President of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit research organization with nearly 1400 affiliated economists. He has served as President of the Eastern Economic Association and the National Tax Association, as vice president of the American Economic Association, and as a director of the American Finance Association. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society.
Dr. Poterba's research focuses on how taxation affects the economic decisions of households and firms, particularly those involving saving and portfolio behavior. His recent research has analyzed the determinants of retirement saving, the draw-down of assets after households reach retirement, and the role of tax-deferred retirement saving programs such as 401(k) plans in contributing to retirement security.
Dr. Poterba holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, a Batterymarch Fellow, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In 2014 he received the Daniel M. Holland Medal from the National Tax Association for the study and practice of public finance.
Roland J. Thorpe, Jr.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Roland J. Thorpe Jr. holds joint appointments in medicine and in neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is an associate professor of health, behavior and society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He serves as the director of the Program for Research on Men's Health at the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. Dr. Thorpe’s research focuses on racial and socioeconomic health disparities, particularly among U.S. men.
He received his B.S. from Florida A&M University. He earned his M.S. and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. Dr. Thorpe is a member of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
University of Southern California
Jenny Wilkens is a Research Programmer for the Program on Global Aging, Health, and Policy at the USC Center for Economic and Social Research. Her academic background constitutes a BA in economics and a MPH with an emphasis in epidemiology. Additionally, she has practical experience with genetics and statistical programming. She primarily works on data harmonization for the international family of HRS sister studies, as well as working to further develop and to maintain the Gateway to Global Aging Data.
University of California, San Francisco
Kristine Yaffe, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology, the Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair and Vice Chair of Research in Psychiatry at UCSF. Dr. Yaffe is dually trained in neurology and psychiatry and completed postdoctoral training in epidemiology and geriatric psychiatry, all at UCSF. In addition to her positions at UCSF, Dr. Yaffe is the Chief of Neuropsychiatry and the Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. In her research, clinical work, and mentoring, she has worked towards improving the care of patients with cognitive disorders and other geriatric neuropsychiatric conditions.
Dr. Yaffe's research has focused on the predictors and outcomes of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. She is particularly interested in identifying novel risk factors for cognitive impairment that may lead to strategies to prevent cognitive decline. Dr. Yaffe is the principal investigator of 8 NIH grants as well as several other grants, and she has published over 450 peer-reviewed articles (H-index=118) in numerous prestigious journals including the Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, and NEJM. In 2014, she was recognized as one of Thomas Reuters World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds and honored by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry with the Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Yaffe was recently awarded the prestigious Potamkin Prize by the American Academy of Neurology.