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PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR

Duke Han USC

S. Duke Han, PhD, ABPP-CN

Email: dukehan@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, and a tenured Professor of Psychology, Family Medicine, Neurology, and Gerontology at the University of Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a specialization in Neuroscience from Duke University, and his PhD Doctorate Degree 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 clinical 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 leveraging novel empirical approaches to better understand these factors, and in the advocacy of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations in aging and neuroscience research. In addition to directing his own extramurally-funded research lab, he serves as the Co-Leader of the Research and Education Core for the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and the Editor-In-Chief of The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences. He was the recipient of the prestigious Paul B. Beeson fellowship, which is considered the premiere career development award of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and has been actively involved in the peer-review of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease research grants, including serving 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 is a founding governance 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 advice about brain health. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and the American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Task Force on Neuropsychological Test Norming in Diverse Populations. Dr. Han has served as an oral examiner for the clinical neuropsychology board certification process for the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN), and he currently 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 APA. 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

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Jenna Axelrod, PhD

Staff Scientist

Dr. Jenna Axelrod is an Adult Neuropsychologist and staff scientist in the lab. 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. She also previously worked at the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL where she conducted 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. Dr. Axelrod joined the Han Research Lab to help research factors that contribute to financial decision-making and susceptibility to scams.

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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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Daisy Noriega-Makarskyy

Graduate Student

Daisy is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology Program at USC. In 2019, she received her B.A. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN) from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Before beginning graduate school, she spent two years at Massachusetts General Hospital working as a bilingual Clinical Research Coordinator for the Boston Latino Aging Study. Her research interests include understanding the biopsychosocial risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, particularly in diverse groups through the use of biomarkers and culturally appropriate neuropsychological measurements. 

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Camille Erdman

Operations Manager

Camille is a recent graduate from USC where she earned her B.S. in Neuroscience. She is interested in the intersection between lifestyle and longevity and the important role that interpersonal connections play in health and well-being. As an aspiring physician, Camille’s hopes to help improve and maintain the quality of life in older adult populations. At the Han Research Lab, Camille is excited to gain experience in a research setting as well as learn about protecting older adults against financial vulnerability.

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Jordan Williams

Project Assistant

Jordan T. Williams is a recent graduate of Columbia University, where she earned her MPH in Population and Family Health, following a B.A. in Health and Human Sciences from the University of Southern California. With aspirations to pursue an MD/PhD, she aims to bridge the gap between public health and medicine through addressing systemic barriers to well-being among institutionally oppressed groups. At the lab, Jordan is enthusiastic about contributing to a study tackling the public health challenges surrounding financial exploitation of aging adults, and the potential to inspire strategies to protect this vulnerable demographic from abuse and premature mortality.

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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.

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 elderly 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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Camdyn Wu

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Camdyn is an undergraduate student at USC studying Cognitive Science. She is interested in research surrounding aging and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Through the Han Research Lab, she looks forward to gaining research experience and understanding the cognitive functions of older adults in combination with the common occurrences of financial decision-making. In the future, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Gerontology, with the goal of beneficially impacting the daily lives of the growing older adult population.

Paige Kim

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Paige is an undergraduate student at USC studying Health and Human Sciences. She is interested in investigating the variety of elder abuse risk factors and how they differ in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. At the Han Research Lab, she hopes to gain hands-on experience in understanding the methodology and research design behind the studies that identify risk factors. She hopes to apply this experience in the healthcare field by implementing preventive measures against elder abuse and developing treatments for its aftermath.

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Sumiya Naksi

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sumiya is an undergraduate student at USC pursuing a degree in Neuroscience and a Minor in Gerontology. She is interested in studying the theoretical processes behind emotional regulation and the biological markers that indicate how the subsequent mechanisms contribute to stress, trauma, and the development of cognitive diseases when aging. As a research assistant for the Han Research Lab, she is interested in contributing to the scientific community as well as expanding her knowledge of how the progression of cognitive diseases affects financial health within a collaborative and enriching environment. She will be able to apply this valuable experience in clinical research as she plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Geriatrics with the goal of developing enhanced care for minority populations.

Jimin Han

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jimin is an undergraduate student at USC studying Psychology with a Minor in Health Care Studies. She is interested in studying how psychology plays a part in elderly people and how it impacts the ways decisions are made through a neuropsychological viewpoint. Through her time with the Han Research Lab, she hopes to better understand the differing cognitive functions in older adults and how it correlates with financial decision making abilities. Additionally, she is hoping to gain research experience while collaborating with the people around her with similar goals and interests. In the future, she plans to pursue medical school while utilizing the valuable skills and experiences gained from the lab working towards her goal of becoming a physician.

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Katie Jack

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Katie is an undergraduate student at USC studying Neuroscience. She is interested in the intersection of neuropsychology and social justice. During her time in the Han Research Lab, she plans to gain clinical research skills and learn more about how aging impacts decision making. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school and become a physician. 

 

COLLABORATORS

Annie Nguyen, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor

UCSD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science

Dr. Annie Nguyen is a public health scientist and an Associate Professor at the UCSD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. Her research focuses on the determinants of resilient 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 was a NIH/NIA William Butlers Scholar and was part of the first cohort of scholars in the Sustained Training for HIV and Aging Research program. She is a past-Chair of the Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association and a past-President of the American Academy of Health Behavior. 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

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.

Han Lab Alumni

Assistant Professor

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Annie Nguyen, PhD, MPH

2016-2023

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

Operations Managers

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Caroline Nguyen

2016-2023

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Jennifer Herrera

2022-2024

Project Assistants

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Angela Wang

2021-2022

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Catherine Kim

2020-2023

Kyle Xia

Kyle Xie

2019-2020

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Romano Orlando

2020-2022

Emanuil Parunakian

Emanuil Parunakian

2017-2020

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Madison Nii

2020-2022

Jacqueline Chen

Jacqueline Chen

2017-2019

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Cinamin Aalund

2019-2022

Via Savage

Via Savage

2017

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Nathan Wei

2022-2024

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Shaneen Upal

2022-2024

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Natalie Macias

2023-2024

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