Creating a Community of Scholars from Across the University of Michigan

Leadership

  • Vicki A. Freedman

    Vicki A. Freedman , Director

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Epidemiology, Yale University

    vfreedma@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Freedman has published extensively on the topics of population aging, disability trends and long-term care and has investigated the connections among disability, time use and wellbeing in later life. She has co-led the National Health and Aging Trends Study and the National Study of Caregiving since their inception and has served as an Associate Director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Through these efforts she has been instrumental in disseminating new measures to study disability and care needs of older adults.

  • Helen Levy

    Helen Levy , MiCDA Enclave Director

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
    Research Professor, School of Public Health & Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

    Ph.D., Health Economics, Princeton University

    hlevy@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Levy’s research interests include health economics, public finance and labor economics. Her most recent work explores the financial consequences of poor health for households without health insurance and the determinants of men’s and women’s occupation choices. She serves as an Associate Director of the Health and Retirement Study and directs the MiCDA enclave.

  • Robert F. Schoeni

    Robert F. Schoeni , External Innovative Networks Director

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center & Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research
    Professor, College of Literature, Science & the Arts & Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

    Ph.D., Economics, University of Michigan

    bschoeni@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Schoeni studies labor economics, the family, aging, and welfare policy. Recent studies include the investigation of family exchanges, changes in old-age health status and disability, the effects of welfare reform on various outcomes, the economic consequences of workplace injuries, and poverty among older women. He co-organizes MiCDA’s network on TRENDS in old-age disability. He previously served as co-director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.

  • Jana Deatrick

    Jana Deatrick , Program Administrator

    jlbruce@umich.edu

Affiliates

  • Joelle Abramowitz

    Joelle Abramowitz

    Assistant Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, University of Washington

    jabramow@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Abramowitz’s research examines the effects of health policies on individuals’ major life decisions and wellbeing. She has studied health insurance and medical out-of-pocket expenditures as well as marriage and fertility. She currently co-directs the Michigan Federal Statistical Research Data Centers.

  • Kristine J. Ajrouch

    Kristine J. Ajrouch

    Adjunct Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology, Wayne State University

    kajrouch@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Ajrouch’s research focuses on aging, health, immigration and family in the United Statues and the Middle East; social networks over the life course; and Arab American identity and well-being. Currently, she is working with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to study Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias among Arab Americans and directs the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • Toni C. Antonucci

    Toni C. Antonucci

    Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Life Span Developmental Psychology, Wayne State University

    tca@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Antonucci’s research examines the cross sectional, longitudinal and cohort effects of social relations to assess whether they contemporaneously or longitudinally predict health and well-being. She seeks to examine, clarify, and explain some of the recent complexities identified concerning social relations as well as their ability to help cope with or increase vulnerability to stress and other risk factors

  • Martha J. Bailey

    Martha J. Bailey

    Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, Vanderbilt University

    baileymj@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Bailey studies empirical questions about implications of demographic processes for outcomes across the life course, including later in life. Her recent research examines the short and long term impacts of community health centers on health care utilization and health outcomes. In addition, she directs the Longitudinal, Intergenerational, Family Electronic Micro-database (LIFE-M) project, which links historical records to understand the long-term determinants aging in the U.S

  • Kelly Marie Bakulski

    Kelly Marie Bakulski

    Research Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan

    bakulski@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Bakulski’s research focuses on the genetics of mental and cognitive health. She also has experience with heavy metals exposure assessment, particularly biomarkers of cumulative lead exposure. Dr. Bakulski’s current research integrates and applies multiple genome-wide measures to understand disease risk. In addition, she studies the interactions between multiple pollutant exposures and genetics in aging populations on the risk of cognitive decline.

  • Kira Birditt

    Kira Birditt

    Research Associate Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Human Development & Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University

    kirasb@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Birditt’s research focuses on the negative aspects of relationships, stress, and the implications of relationships and stress for health and well-being across the life span. She is particularly interested in understanding how relationships differentially influence health and well-being depending on the context of stress. Most of her projects involve examining individuals and dyads either over time and or within families.

  • John Bound

    John Bound

    Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, Harvard University

    jbound@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Bound’s research focuses on economic, demographic, and policy influences on the labor force participation and health status of older people in the United States. His recent research has also included studies on racial differences in earnings, employment, and health and changes in the returns to higher education. Previously he served as MiCDA director for 15 years and he currently serves on the MiCDA Advisory Panel.

  • Robin Brewer

    Robin Brewer

    Assistant Professor, School of Information

    Ph.D., Technology and Social Behavior, Northwestern University

    rnbrew@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Brewer’s research lies at the intersection of accessibility and social computing. Using primarily qualitative research methods, she designs and studies voice-based interfaces and online communities for older adults. Additionally, she has established partnerships with medium to large senior-serving residential and non-residential communities in the Midwestern United States to conduct sustainable community-engaged research.

  • Sarah Burgard

    Sarah Burgard

    Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

    burgards@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Burgard conducts research on the social stratification of aging and health with population-based survey data. She has published extensively on the social factors underlying health disparities by socioeconomic status, gender, and race/ethnicity across the life course. She studies the ways employment and other social roles like parenting constrain and enable women and men in their pursuit of financial security and career satisfaction. She currently serves as a MiCDA Advisory Panel member.

  • James F. Burke

    James F. Burke

    Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

    jamesbur@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Burke studies racial differences in long-term stroke outcomes and how to improve the value and cost-effectiveness of care for neurological conditions. He also applies advanced statistical methodology to optimize diagnostic and treatment decisions for individual patients.

  • Julie P W Bynum

    Julie P W Bynum

    Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical School Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

    bynumju@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Bynum’s research focuses on the assessment of healthcare delivery for older adults using national U.S. Medicare healthcare data linked to other datasets. She has successfully led interdisciplinary teams to answer questions about the performance of the health system and the complex drivers of quality and costs, especially for older adults nearing the end of life or with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • HwaJung Choi

    HwaJung Choi

    Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School
    Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, University of Michigan

    hwajungc@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Choi’s research focuses on the implications of family availability for healthcare and healthcare costs for older adults. She is currently examining the influence of family resources on care utilization among older adults with dementia and the role of local contextual factors in health differences at older ages between the US and England.

  • Christine Cigolle

    Christine Cigolle

    Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical School Associate Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine

    ccigolle@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Cigolle’s research investigates how geriatric conditions such as cognitive impairment contribute to multimorbidity in the older adult and to disability and mortality outcomes. She has broad experience in the secondary analysis of large datasets, including the methodological issues of missing data, variable specification and validation, and longitudinal analysis.

  • Philippa J. Clarke

    Philippa J. Clarke

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
    Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Social Science & Health, University of Toronto

    pjclarke@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Clarke’s research interests center around the role of neighborhood built environments for health. Using population-based survey data linked to secondary data sources, she has investigated the importance of neighborhood social and built environments for disability, mobility and cognitive function and has identified inequalities by life course social position and residential location. 

  • Frederick Conrad

    Frederick Conrad

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
    Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts

    Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University of Chicago

    fconrad@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Conrad studies respondent behavior in a survey context. He has investigated biases in judgments about the frequency of behaviors, the effect of automatic progress feedback on respondents’ willingness to continue filling out a questionnaire, and the decision to participate in a survey. He currently directs the University of Michigan’s Program in Survey Methodology.

  • Joshua Ehrlich

    Joshua Ehrlich

    Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Cornell University

    joshre@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Ehrlich is a clinician-scientist whose research on vision impairment cross-cuts population health and health services research. He has an interest in the health and disability trajectories of older adults with visual and multisensory impairments. He conducts research on low vision and vision rehabilitation; aging and vision; and the epidemiology of eye disease. As a co-investigator on the National Health and Aging Trends Study, he has collaborated on the design of a set of vision tests for use by interviewers in the home.

  • Jessica Faul

    Jessica Faul

    Associate Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Epidemiology, University of Michigan

    jfaul@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Faul’s scholarly interests are at the intersection of epidemiology, biodemography, and aging. She is currently collaborating on a grant to identify gene-by-environment interactions and their influence on later life cognitive decline and is co-leading a study to characterize disparities in Alzheimer’s disease risk through analysis of polygenic risk and other epidemiologic factors. She is a co-investigator on the Health and Retirement Study and Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol and has led the development of a workshop to train social scientists on the use of genomic data.

  • Lauren Gerlach

    Lauren Gerlach

    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School

    D.O., Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences

    glauren@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Gerlach has used national surveys and administrative claims data to evaluate the growth of central nervous system medication polypharmacy use among older adults and to understand how health systems respond to warnings (e.g., from the US Food and Drug Administration) for psychotropic medications. She has also explored questions surrounding safe and rationale psychotropic medication prescribing among older adults.

  • Arline T. Geronimus

    Arline T. Geronimus

    Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education, School of Public Health
    Research Professor, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research

    Sc.D., Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health

    arline@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Geronimus originated the biopsychosocial theory of “weathering,” which posits that the health of African Americans is subject to early health deterioration as a consequence of social exclusion. Much of her scholarly work is related to developing and testing this framework.

  • Michele Heisler

    Michele Heisler

    Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education, School of Public Health

    M.D., Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    mheisler@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Heisler develops and tests evidence-based primary care interventions to prevent and manage chronic diseases, particularly diabetes. She has developed and tested several peer support models that were found effective in improving diabetes outcomes. She also led a multi-site clinical trial (the AIM study) that led to improved blood pressure among high-risk patients with diabetes.

  • Brooke Helppie-McFall

    Brooke Helppie-McFall

    Associate Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D, Economics, University of Michigan

    bhelppie@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Helppie-McFall’s research interests include labor and demographic economics, the economics of aging, and survey methodology and design. Much of Helppie-McFall’s work and research agenda focuses on retirement planning, with respect to both timing and related decisions such as Social Security claiming, retirement sequencing, bridge jobs and working longer. A new area of interest is the interaction between cognition and economic decision-making.

  • Theodore J. Iwashyna

    Theodore J. Iwashyna

    Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School
    Faculty Affiliate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    M.D., Medicine, University of Chicago
    Ph.D., Public Policy, University of Chicago

    tiwashyn@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Iwashyna’s research focuses on the long-term impacts of acute health events, blending both clinical and social science perspectives. His recent work has examined the extent to which acute illnesses cause disruptions in the lives of patients and their families, and how social, organizational, and family factors moderate these adverse consequences. His research combines the traditional tools of demographic and health services research with emerging techniques in network analysis and longitudinal data analysis.

  • James S. Jackson

    James S. Jackson

    Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Social Psychology, Wayne State University

    jamessj@umich.edu

    Interests

    James S. Jackson’s research focuses on issues of racial and ethnic influences on life course development, attitude change, reciprocity, social support, and coping and health among African Americans. His research efforts include conducting a number of national surveys and an international survey of black populations.  He co-directs the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research.

  • David S. Johnson

    David S. Johnson

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
    Research Professor, Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

    Ph.D., Economics, University of Minnesota

    johnsods@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Johnson’s research interests include the measurement of inequality and mobility (using income, consumption and wealth), the effects of tax rebates, equivalence scale estimation, poverty measurement, and price indexes. He currently serves as director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and organizes MiCDA’s network on Longitudinal Studies of Aging in the U.S.

  • Sharon L. R. Kardia

    Sharon L. R. Kardia

    Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Human Genetics, University of Michigan

    skardia@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Kardia’s research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of common chronic diseases and their risk factors. She is particularly interested in gene-environment and gene-gene interactions and in developing novel analytical strategies to understand the complex relationship between genetic variation, environmental variation, and risk of common chronic diseases. Her research utilizes genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic measures on large epidemiological cohorts. She is a Health and Retirement Study co-investigator.

  • Carrie Anne Karvonen-Gutierrez

    Carrie Anne Karvonen-Gutierrez

    Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Epidemiology, University of Michigan

    ckarvone@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Karvonen-Gutierrez’s research focuses on the impact of chronological aging, reproductive aging and obesity and their intersections.  She also studies the development and progression of chronic disease and musculoskeletal outcomes through the creation of a metabolically-dysfunctional and pro-inflammatory environment.

  • Gábor Kézdi

    Gábor Kézdi

    Research Associate Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, University of Michigan

    kezdi@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Kézdi’s research spans many fields including labor economics, household finances, aging, and social inequality. His research has focused on individual expectations and preferences, cognitive capacity, health, employment, wealth, as well as individual decisions relevant for health or household finances. Before joining the Health and Retirement Study as a co-investigator, he was a country team leader of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe.

  • Lindsay Kobayashi

    Lindsay Kobayashi

    Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London

    lkob@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Kobayashi studies the social epidemiology of cognitive aging and health equity among low-income older populations.  Her current research focuses on life course determinants of cognitive aging in rural South Africa and the population health implications of improving cancer survival rates in the U.S.

  • Amanda Kowalski

    Amanda Kowalski

    Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts Professor, Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

    Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    aekowals@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Kowalski specializes in bringing together theoretical models and econometric techniques to answer questions that inform current debates in health care.  Her recent research advances methods to analyze experiments and clinical trials with the goal of designing policies to target insurance expansions and medical treatments to vulnerable populations.

  • David Lam

    David Lam

    Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts Director, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, University of California, Berkeley

    davidl@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Lam’s research incorporates economic theory, mathematical demography, and empirical econometrics to analyze the economics of population dynamics, marriage, fertility, and intergenerational support. Much of his research has focused on education, health, and the economics of population aging. He has worked extensively in Brazil and South Africa, where a particular focus of his research is on intergenerational transmission of extreme inequality in these countries. Dr. Lam previously served as MiCDA director from 1999-2003.

  • Kenneth M. Langa

    Kenneth M. Langa

    Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School
    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Health Policy, University of Chicago M.D., Medicine, University of Chicago

    klanga@umich.edu

    Interests

    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. Dr. Langa’s is currently studying the relationship of cardiovascular risk factors to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-age and older adults.  He serves as an Associate Director for the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and as a MiCDA Advisory Panel Member.

  • Pearl Lee

    Pearl Lee

    Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Saint Louis University

    pearllee@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Lee has a long-standing interest in how to improve the functioning of older adults – both cognitive and physical – to preserve their independence and improve their quality of life. Her research interests also include how to improve the quality of medical care for older adults with multiple medical conditions, particularly those with diabetes mellitus, geriatric conditions and physical function disabilities.

  • Amanda Leggett

    Amanda Leggett

    Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School

    Ph.D., Human Development & Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

    leggetta@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Leggett’s research focuses on the development of a taxonomy of dementia caregiving care management styles and determining how style might be used to target interventions and optimize care. She is also interested in depression and sleep problems in caregivers and older adults more broadly.

  • Susan Hautaniemi Leonard

    Susan Hautaniemi Leonard

    Associate Research Scientist, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Michigan

    hautanie@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Leonard’s areas of research include macro- and micro-level population processes and land-use in the Great Plains, including migration and aging populations and intergenerational transfers. She has also studied the evolution of nomenclature for deaths at older ages and mortality in industrial communities.

  • Margaret Levenstein

    Margaret Levenstein

    Director, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research
    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research & School of Information

    Ph.D., Economics, Yale University

    maggiel@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Levenstein’s research focuses on the evolution of information systems and relationship with firm organization, historical changes in firm competition, information networks, contemporary international cartels, and the design of competition policies for a global economy. She currently directs the Institute for Social Research’s Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and serves as a MiCDA Advisory Panel Member.

  • Jersey Liang

    Jersey Liang

    Professor, Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health Research Professor, Institute of Gerontology, Medical School

    Ph.D., Sociology, Wayne State University

    jliang@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Liang’s research interests focus on social determinants of health and well-being in old age in the United States and East Asian countries including Japan, Taiwan, and China. Throughout his career, he  has been particularly interested in the dynamic linkages between health and living arrangements in old age within the context of social stratification across diverse social and cultural settings.

  • Cindy Lustig

    Cindy Lustig

    Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts

    Ph.D., Psychology, Duke University

    clustig@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Lustig’s research program examines how adults control and overcome different forms of interference, and the consequences when they don’t.  Underlying themes in her cognitive aging work emphasize factors that influence task engagement, including how task constraints versus monetary incentives affect age differences in performance, reports of boredom, distraction, and mind-wandering.

  • Elham Mahmoudi

    Elham Mahmoudi

    Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Medical School

    Ph.D., Economics, Wayne State University

    mahmoudi@med.umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Mahmoudi’s research interests include evaluating healthcare policies, reducing disparities in access to quality healthcare, and optimizing care management for patients with multiple chronic conditions.

  • Donovan T. Maust

    Donovan T. Maust

    Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

    maustd@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Maust’s research interests focus on ensuring that older adults with mental health and cognitive disorders receive targeted, timely, and appropriate intervention.

  • James McNally

    James McNally

    Associate Research Scientist, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology/Demography, Brown University

    jmcnally@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. McNally’s research focuses on aging and life course issues and on methodological approaches to the improvement and enhancement of secondary research data. He is currently working on innovative tools and approaches to allow more efficient access to restricted data in a manner that maximizes both efficiency and subject confidentiality. He currently leads the NACDA Program on Aging, a data archive distributing studies on health and the aging life course.

  • Roshanak Mehdipanah

    Roshanak Mehdipanah

    Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Biomedicine, University of Pompeu Fabra

    rmehdipa@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Mehdipanah’s research interests focus on social determinants of health including aging, ethnicity, and gender and their link to various health outcomes including mental health, physical health and overall wellbeing. Her current research focuses on the relationship between housing and health in later life.

  • Neil Mehta

    Neil Mehta

    Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health
    Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Demography, University of Pennsylvania

    nkmehta@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Mehta’s research interests focus on socioeconomic and racial/ethnic health disparities and the modelling of complex population health dynamics. His prior work has contributed to understanding the contributions of obesity and cigarette smoking to mortality and disability levels, the mechanisms through which health disparities arise, and healthy life expectancy. Dr. Mehta co-organizes MiCDA’s network on TRENDS in Old-Age Disability.

  • Carlos Mendes de Leon

    Carlos Mendes de Leon

    Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Global Public Health, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Preventive Medicine and Community Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch

    cmendes@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Mendes de Leon’s research focuses social and psychological determinants of late-life health and health disparities, with a particular emphasis on black-white differences. Specific areas of interest include the role of neighborhood social processes and environments in late-life health, the complex interplay between life-course social conditions and biological processes and their impact on late-life functional decline, and the cumulative and interactive effects of racial background and life-course socioeconomic disadvantage on health and well-being in later life.

  • Colter Mitchell

    Colter Mitchell

    Research Assistant Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
    Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology, University of Michigan

    cmsm@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Mitchell is interested in the influence of the social and familial environmental on health and behavior over the life course. His earlier research focused mainly on the social environment and child and young adult behavior in early life. Over the last decade, he has expanded on this research by examining how social contextual factors interact with genetic, epigenetic, and neurodevelopment factors to predict health and wellbeing over the life course, including in later life.

  • Edward Norton

    Edward Norton

    Professor, Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts

    Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    ecnorton@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Norton has a long-standing interest in long-term care and aging. He also uses modern econometrics to control for endogeneity and obtain causal estimates.

  • Sela Panapasa

    Sela Panapasa

    Associate Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology/Demography, Brown University

    panapasa@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Panapasa studies family support and intergenerational exchanges among aged Pacific Islanders living in the US and Pacific region. Her work examines changes in elderly living arrangements and headship status in response to demographic and socioeconomic change.

  • Mark D Peterson

    Mark D Peterson

    Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical School

    Ph.D., Physical Activity, Nutrition & Wellness, Arizona State University

    mdpeterz@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Peterson’s background is in physical activity and rehabilitation science with an interest in factors that influence health and life expectancy in persons with and without disabilities. His specific research interests have been devoted to physical activity epidemiology and behavioral interventions for the treatment/prevention of obesity and related cardiometabolic diseases, frailty, functional motor declines, cognitive health, and early mortality.

  • Fabian T. Pfeffer

    Fabian T. Pfeffer

    Research Associate Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
    Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts

    Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    fpfeffer@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Pfeffer’s research focuses on the transmission of socio-economic status across two or more generations in the United States and other industrialized countries. Recent projects have investigated the change in wealth inequality during the Great Recession, the relationship between parents’ wealth and their children’s educational and occupational outcomes (compared both across time and countries), and the transmission of inequality across multiple generations in the United States.

  • Amy M. Pienta

    Amy M. Pienta

    Research Scientist, Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

    apienta@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Pienta studies retirement and health in later life. Her current research focuses on determinants of couples’ retirement behavior and uncovering social processes underlying health disparities among African Americans.

  • Courtney Allyn Polenick

    Courtney Allyn Polenick

    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School

    Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University

    cpolenic@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Polenick’s research interests center on family relationships and family caregiving. She is particularly interested in understanding mutual influences within older couples managing chronic conditions including dementia and multimorbidity.

  • Lindsay Ryan

    Lindsay Ryan

    Associate Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University

    linryan@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Ryan’s  research investigates individual and contextual influences on psychological well-being, physical health, and cognition as adults age. She has extensive experience  developing, implementing and harmonizing over the life course new measures for studies of older adults.

  • Matthew D. Shapiro

    Matthew D. Shapiro

    Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor & Director, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    shapiro@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Shapiro’s interests focus on integrating administrative data measurements to study late-life processes, including savings and retirement, health and long-term care behaviors. His research activities have focused on creating new data resources and using household-level and business-level data to address questions concerning macroeconomics, finance, saving, retirement, health, and long-term care.

  • Lesli E. Skolarus

    Lesli E. Skolarus

    Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Medical School
    Associate Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

    M.D., Medicine, Wayne State University

    lerusche@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Skolarus research interests focus on disability, caregiving, transitions in care and the promotion of health equity among older adults with neurological conditions. Her recent work investigates end-of-life experiences among older individuals with ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  • Jacqui Smith

    Jacqui Smith

    Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Psychology, Macquarie University

    smitjacq@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Smith applies life course/lifespan theory to the study of health and well-being in late life. Much of her research focuses on tracing life course predictors and pathways of different trajectories of functional maintenance, change, and survival.  She serves as a co-investigator on the Health and Retirement Study.

  • Jennifer A. Smith

    Jennifer A. Smith

    Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
    Research Assistant Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Epidemiologic Sciences, University of Michigan

    smjenn@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Smith studies genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics of age-related chronic disease and its risk factors.  Her recent research investigates the interaction between genetic risk and socioeconomic risk factors as determinants of chronic disease phenotypes, particularly those that lead to disparities in health.

  • Amanda Sonnega

    Amanda Sonnega

    Associate Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Health Psychology, Johns Hopkins University

    asonnega@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Sonnega conducts research on the social contextual determinants of work, health and well-being within a multidisciplinary life course. Her current work examines both health and work with a goal of informing policies that can positively affect both.

  • Melvin Stephens

    Melvin Stephens

    Professor, Department of Economics, College of Literature, Science & the Arts Professor, Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

    Ph.D., Economics, University of Michigan

    mstep@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Stephens’ research intersects labor economics, household consumption behavior, and aging and retirement issues. His current work examines the relationship between food intake and retirement using cross-sectional datasets spanning four decades as well as a number of longitudinal datasets.

  • Erin Bakshis Ware

    Erin Bakshis Ware

    Research Assistant Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Epidemiological Sciences, University of Michigan

    ebakshis@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Ware conducts high throughput statistical analysis of genomic data to study disparities by in psychiatric outcomes by race and sex. She also explores gene-environment interactions as determinants of chronic disease.

  • Noah J. Webster

    Noah J. Webster

    Assistant Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Sociology, Case Western Reserve

    njwebs@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Webster’s research focuses on social relations across the life course and highlights how social ties can serve as a resource across various age groups and in particular during later life.

  • Melissa Y. Wei

    Melissa Y. Wei

    Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School

    M.D., Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

    weimy@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Wei studies multimorbidity, including its measurement, prognosis, and prevention in older adults. She also seeks to understand how multimorbidity influences clinical outcomes, healthcare costs, and policy. Through this work she Her aims to prevent multimorbidity progression and complications such as physical impairment.

  • David Weir

    David Weir

    Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Economics, Stanford University

    dweir@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Weir’s research interests include the measurement of health-related quality of life; the use of cost-effectiveness measures in health policy and medical decision-making; the role of supplemental health insurance in the Medicare population; the effects of health, gender, and marital status on economic well-being in retirement; and the effects of early-life experience on longevity and health at older ages. He has directed the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) since 2007.  and organizes MiCDA’s HRS Sister Studies Network.

  • Laura Beth Zahodne

    Laura Beth Zahodne

    Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Literature, Science & the Arts
    Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

    Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Florida

    lzahodne@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Zahodne’s research focuses on cognitive and brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), and racial disparities in ADRD. The overall aim of her research program is to understand how psychosocial experiences influence late-life cognitive trajectories and the expression of neurodegenerative disease.

  • Wei Zhao

    Wei Zhao

    Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Psychology, University of Michigan

    zhaowei@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Zhao’s work spans several areas of genomic epidemiology, including gene discovery, gene-environment interaction, epigenomics, transcriptomics, mitochondrial genomics, and risk prediction.

  • Kara Zivin

    Kara Zivin

    Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School Professor, Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health

    Ph.D., Health Policy, Harvard University

    kzivin@umich.edu

    Interests

    Dr. Zivin studies intended and unintended consequences of policies that influence vulnerable populations with mental disorders, including older adults. Her research focuses on predictors and consequences of depression, particularly among vulnerable populations, including the elderly, people with multiple medical comorbidities and people who face barriers to accessing and adhering to depression treatment.