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Clinical Psychologist, Brain Sciences Center, Minneapolis VA Anita Kunin Chair of Healthy Brain Aging and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota
BA Boston University; MS, PhD Florida State University
My program of research combines neuroimaging with genetic, behavioral, and lifestyle data to identify factors conferring risk or resilience with regard to brain health, with emphases on age-related brain changes, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Gulf War Illness. I am particularly interested in factors influencing brain health and disease in women. A recent focus of my work has been the role of immune-related genes, Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA), on brain health and disease both for individuals and at the population level. This line of research has led to identification of HLA alleles that protect against Gulf War Illness and age-related brain changes and documented robust associations between the population frequencies of HLA alleles and the population prevalences of several conditions including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Type I diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.