PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR

S. Duke Han, PhD, ABPP-CN

Email: Duke.Han@med.usc.edu

Dr. Duke Han is a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in clinical neuropsychology, Director of Neuropsychology in the Department of Family Medicine, and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Neurology, Psychology, and Gerontology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Dr. Han is interested in the study of factors that impact cognition and decision making in aging. He also has special interests in using novel neuroimaging and statistical approaches to better understand these factors. Dr. Han maintains an active research collaboration with the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, where he was most recently a tenured faculty member and continues to retain a visiting professor status. 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), the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR), and the John A. Hartford Foundation. Dr. Han is actively involved in peer-review of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease research grants for the NIH, and is currently serving as the Chair of the NIA Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee. He reviews manuscripts for over 30 scientific journals and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Han is an inaugural Governance Committee member of the Global Council for Brain Health, an independent science collaborative convened by the AARP with support from AgeUK tasked to summarize scientific knowledge regarding brain health topics for the aging public. At the Keck School of Medicine of USC, he was awarded the distinction of Clinical Scholar, which is an honor given by the President of the University. Dr. Han currently serves as an oral examiner for the clinical neuropsychology board certification process and holds leadership 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 of Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40) of the American Psychological Association.

 

USC CTSI Profile

USC Neuroscience Graduate Program Profile

USC Department of Family Medicine Profile

USC Department of Psychology Profile

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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Gali Weissberger, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Gali Weissberger is a postdoctoral fellow in the Han Research Lab. 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. Gali is interested in understanding protective and deleterious factors that moderate an individual's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease utilizing neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and behavioral techniques. In graduate school, she focused her dissertation on the impact that bilingualism and other cultural factors have on the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease in Hispanic older adults. During her fellowship at the West LA VA, she investigated the impact of health risk factors such as inflammatory disease on the abnormal aging process, and explored the neural correlates of mood disorders in Alzheimer's disease. Gali is looking forward to continuing to pursue her research endeavors in the Han Research Lab.

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Jenna Axelrod, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Jenna Axelrod is a postdoctoral fellow in the Han Research Lab. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois. 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 also 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. Jenna’s research interests have focused on examining the validity of traditional neuropsychological measures used to assess executive functioning. Jenna is looking forward to continuing to pursue research endeavors and to better understand factors that contribute to financial decision making and susceptibility to scams in the Han Research Lab.

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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. Currently, Caroline runs the Finance, Cognition and Health in Elders Study (FINCHES) in the Han Research Lab, collecting data through neurocognitive measures and with neuroimaging. In addition to overseeing research projects and lab operations, Caroline serves as the neuropsychology technician for Dr. Han at the USC Neuropsychology Clinic within the Department of Family Medicine.

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Emanuil Parunakian

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Emanuil is currently an undergraduate at UCLA majoring in Psychobiology. Emanuil is interested in gaining clinical research experience in the Department of Family Medicine to learn how to treat and assess patients with neurological disorders. In addition to studying the science of brain-behavior relationships through his educational institution, he is dedicated to being involved in valuable research to become more knowledgeable on how to improve mental health.

Nathan Wei

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nathan is an undergraduate student studying Neuroscience at USC. 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 regards to developing protective policies and lifestyle recommendations for the elderly population.

Kyle Xia

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kyle is an undergraduate at USC majoring in Human Development and Aging. Through his work at the Han Research Lab, he wants to be involved in research surrounding early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and to learn more about current neuropsychological assessments. He hopes to gain valuable clinical research experience that will help him in his journey towards becoming a physician.

Morgan Goodman

Medical Student

Morgan is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is currently using data from the National Center on Elder Abuse’s (NCEA) call center to study incidences of reported abuse in an effort to better understand the scope and spectrum of problems present within the elderly population. She hopes her work within the Han Research Lab will aid the NCEA in identifying and addressing the greatest needs of this at-risk community.

Han Research Lab

Department of Family Medicine

University of Southern California

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