PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR

Duke Han USC

S. Duke Han, PhD, ABPP-CN

Email: Duke.Han@med.usc.edu

Duke Han, PhD, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology, Director of the Neuropsychology Division in Family Medicine, and a tenured Professor of Family Medicine, Neurology, Psychology, and Gerontology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He received his bachelor of science degree in psychology with a specialization in neuroscience from Duke University, and his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He received training in clinical neuropsychology and experimental neuroimaging techniques through various programs of Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital. He continued his clinical neuropsychology and neuroimaging activities during his internship and postdoctoral fellowship years at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the San Diego VA Healthcare System. He maintains an active research collaboration with the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center (RADC) in Chicago, where he was formerly a tenured faculty member. 


Dr. Han is interested in the factors that affect cognition and decision making in aging. He also has special interests in using novel neuroimaging and statistical approaches to better understand these factors. He was the recipient of the prestigious Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award in aging research, which is supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR). He is the primary investigator on numerous research grants extramurally funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private foundations. Dr. Han is actively involved in peer-review of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease research grants, and has served as the Chair of the NIA Clinical and Translational Research of Aging Review Committee (NIA-T) and the Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA-N). Dr. Han currently serves as an oral examiner for the clinical neuropsychology board certification process for the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN), and holds multiple service or mentorship roles in the International Neuropsychological Society (INS), the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN), and the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Han is a founding governance committee member of the Global Council on Brain Health, an international independent science collaborative convened by AARP that is tasked with offering the aging public the best possible advice about brain health. His work has been featured in multiple media outlets, including Reuters, CBS, PBS, Forbes, Fox Business News, and U.S. News and World Report.

 

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RESEARCH TEAM

Annie Nguyen, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Dr. Annie Nguyen is a public health scientist and an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the social determinants of successful aging and quality of life for people aging with chronic conditions. She has specific interests in the health and aging experiences of older adults from minority and underserved backgrounds including racial and sexual minorities. She is part of the current cohort of scholars in the Sustained Training for HIV and Aging Research program which seeks to develop skilled researchers in the intersection of HIV and aging research. Dr. Nguyen’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, and she maintains an active publication record.

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Aaron Lim, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Aaron Lim is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology with emphases in behavioral neuroscience and quantitative psychology from University of California Los Angeles. He completed his pre-doctoral clinical internship with a gero-neuropsychology emphasis at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital psychology internship program. Dr. Lim’s research interests include elucidating psychiatric and medical comorbidities that contribute to dementia risk, health disparities in financial decision making, and potential impacts of substance use on cognitive aging.

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Laura Fenton

Graduate Student

Laura is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology Program at USC. She received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and spent two years working as the lab manager of a neuroscience lab studying aging and dementia, before beginning graduate school. Laura’s research interests include early detection of neurodegenerative disease through the use of neuroimaging and neuropsychological assessment and the study of modifiable factors that can reduce dementia risk and promote successful aging. As part of her graduate program, Laura is also being trained in neuropsychological assessment and psychotherapy and has a specific interest in working with older adult populations.

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Caroline Nguyen

Operations Manager

Caroline is the operations manager of the Han Research Lab. She received her B.S. in Psychology, with a focus in Neuroscience, from Yale University. Following her undergraduate studies, Caroline worked in the Ataxia Unit of the Neurology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital where she assisted with research to analyze the role of the cerebellum and frontal lobe in motor function learning, executive functioning, visuospatial cognition, and language. Caroline oversees the various studies in the Han Research Lab and collects study data through neurocognitive measures and with neuroimaging. She is also currently pursuing her Executive Master of Health Administration at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

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Nathan Wei

Project Assistant

Nathan is a recent graduate from USC with a B.S. in Neuroscience. His goal is to help elders live informed, guarded lives by contributing to research focused on identifying elder abuse risk factors. Along with risk factor identification, Nathan hopes to learn how neuropsychological vulnerabilities develop in elders, and how these vulnerabilities can eventually be addressed in regard to developing protective policies and lifestyle recommendations for the elderly population.

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Jennifer Herrera

Project Assistant

Jennifer Herrera is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley where she earned her B.A. in Psychology. She spent two years volunteering at a developmental lab studying cognitive development and decision-making in young children. At the Han Research Lab, Jennifer hopes to expand her knowledge on the neurological factors that influence decision-making throughout adulthood and later stages in life. She is eager to grow with the lab as she continues to pursue her passions for neuroscience and learning about the intricacies of the human brain.

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Catherine Kim

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Catherine is an undergraduate student studying Human Biology and Communication at USC. She is interested in examining physiological (specifically cognitive) abilities with respect to aging and neuropsychological abnormalities. As an aspiring physician, she hopes to bridge the gap between public health and research to grasp a comprehensive understanding of the overall impact that neurological impairments may have on our lives and everyday functions.

Riddhi Mandavia

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Riddhi is an undergraduate at USC pursuing a degree in Psychology. Through the Han Research Lab, she intends to gain research experience in a setting where she can learn about methodology and interact with a group of professionals who share a similar passion. She is looking forward to learning about neuropsychology and the impact of diseases like Alzheimer’s in the older population. She is excited to apply these skills in the future as she works towards graduate school and other career paths in Psychology.

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Shaneen Upal

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Shaneen is an undergraduate at USC studying Cognitive Science and Neuroscience. She is interested in investigating decision making and the impact of neurological disorders on decision making abilities. Through her work at the Han Research Lab, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how neuropsychological vulnerabilities affect the lives of the elderly. Additionally, she aims to gain clinical research skills that will allow her to make positive changes in the lives of others as she pursues a career in the healthcare field.

John Brow

Undergraduate Research Assistant

John is an undergraduate at USC working towards a degree in Psychology. He is interested in the pragmatic ways psychology relates to various fields, including gerontological issues. Through his time with the Han Research Lab, he hopes to gain valuable research experience that he can apply to his studies, as well as a better understanding of the impacts that aging has on neurology and subsequent decision-making. With plans to study public health, he hopes to help with associated challenges in the legal field.

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COLLABORATORS

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Gali Weissberger, PhD

Senior Lecturer

Bar Ilan University in Israel

Dr. Gali Weissberger is a Senior Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences at Bar Ilan University in Israel. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from the San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego, Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in 2015. She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship with a neuropsychology emphasis at the VA Boston Healthcare System's psychology internship program. She also completed a two-year research fellowship at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital and a two-year T32 fellowship funded by the National Institute on Aging under the mentorship of Dr. Duke Han. Dr. Weissberger's research interests include understanding contextual factors that impact cognitive aging, decision making, and financial exploitation of older adults utilizing neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and behavioral techniques.

Jenna Axelrod, PhD

Adult Neuropsychologist

NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL

Dr. Jenna Axelrod is an Adult Neuropsychologist at the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and she completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship with a neuropsychology emphasis at the Long Beach VA HealthCare System’s psychology internship program. While there, she dedicated part of her time to being a member of the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Team where she developed a deep appreciation for working with elderly populations. Dr. Axelrod joined the Han Research Lab in 2019, where she researched factors that contribute to financial decision making and susceptibility to scams. Currently, she conducts comprehensive evaluations of adults presenting with a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric conditions including dementia, traumatic brain injury, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, stroke, depression, anxiety, and other condition that can impact cognitive functioning. Though her evaluations are primarily outpatient, Dr. Axelrod also serves inpatient and neurosurgical teams for assessments. Further, Dr. Axelrod participates in an active training program comprised of early career practicum students, as well as advanced technicians.

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Han Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Scholars

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Gali Weissberger, PhD

2017-2020

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Jenna Axelrod, PhD

2019-2021

Medical Student Research Assistants

Devika Chandramohan

Devika Chandramohan

2020

Lara Nikki Windisch

Lara (Nikki) Windisch

2019

Morgan Goodman

Morgan Goodman

2017-2019

Project Assistant

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Angela Wang

2021-2022

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Romano Orlando

2020-2022

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Madison Nii

2020-2022

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Cinamin Aalund

2019-2022

Kyle Xia

Kyle Xie

2019-2020

Emanuil Parunakian

Emanuil Parunakian

2017-2020

Jacqueline Chen

Jacqueline Chen

2017-2019

Via Savage

Via Savage

2017