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, Director of Neuropsychology in the Department of Family Medicine, and a tenured Full 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 UCSD and the San Diego VA Healthcare System. He 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 visiting professor status.

 

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) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR). He is the primary investigator on numerous research grants extramurally funded by the NIH and private foundations. Dr. Han is actively involved in peer-review of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease research grants for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 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). He reviews manuscripts for over 30 scientific journals and has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 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). In 2021, he was elected a Fellow of the APA, a status conveyed for “evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology." His work has been featured in 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 third-year 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 runs the Finance, Cognition and Health in Elders Study (FINCHES) in the Han Research Lab, collecting 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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Angela Wang

Project Assistant 

Angela is a recent graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Gerontology. During her time at UCLA, she volunteered as a Memory Trainer in Memory Care, a cognitive training program for older adults with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. She also assisted with two clinical research projects: one that studied the relationship between insomnia and depression in older adults, and another that studied how a woman's reproductive life history and early immune exposures may influence her risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Her research interests include studying aging from a lifespan perspective to understand how people's life circumstances affect their aging experiences, from birth to death. She looks forward to applying her prior knowledge in novel ways and learning new things with everyone in the Han Lab.

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Cinamin Aalund

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Cinamin is an undergraduate at USC majoring in Biochemistry. She is interested in gaining research experience through her work at the Han Research Lab and to become more involved in research regarding brain function and decision making. She hopes to gain experience in the field of research that will help her on her journey to a career in medicine.

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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.

Madison Nii

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Madison is an undergraduate student at USC majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Accounting. Through the Han Research Lab, she strives to obtain a better understanding of the factors that impact the cognitive and psychological health of the elderly community. By doing so, she plans to help older adults combat abuse with the knowledge gained through studies performed by the lab. In the future, Madison plans to integrate the valuable clinical research methodology learned during this experience into her pursuit of graduate dental academia.

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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.

Romano Orlando

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Romano is an undergraduate student at USC majoring in both Neuroscience and Italian. He was recently accepted into the Keck School of Medicine's Translational Biotechnology Master's program as a progressive degree student and will take his first Master's courses in the Spring of his junior year. He hopes to combine his knowledge of neuroscience and biotechnology to work in a non-profit within the biotech industry sphere. Through the Han Research Lab, Romano hopes to gain a better understanding of how clinical research can be utilized to protect vulnerable people groups, such as America's elderly population. He is excited, eager, and ready to begin working with the Han Lab!

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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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COLLABORATORS

Han Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Scholars

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Gali Weissberger, PhD

2017-2020

Medical Student Research Assistants

Devika Chandramohan

Devika Chandramohan

2020

Lara Nikki Windisch

Lara (Nikki) Windisch

2019

Morgan Goodman

Morgan Goodman

2017-2019

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Kyle Xia

Kyle Xie

2019-2020

Emanuil Parunakian

Emanuil Parunakian

2017-2020

Jacqueline Chen

Jacqueline Chen

2017-2019

Via Savage

Via Savage

2017

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Jenna Axelrod, PhD

2019-2021