Office of Research Team Research Forum: Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention in Women - Office of Research

Team Research Forum: Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention in Women

Team Research Forum May 12 at 10:30am. Alzheimer's Disease Prevention in Women

Although dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) significantly impacts women more than men, there is a dearth of research on brain health and dementia in women from diverse communities. Join the UC Davis Office of Research and UC Davis Health at 10:30am on Friday, May 12th to learn more about risk and resilience factors for dementia, what factors are particularly relevant in women , why a lifecourse approach for reducing risk of cognitive impairment is needed and how the GROW Program, Greater Sacramento Women’s Brain Health Program aims to fill in the gaps in this research. GROW is providing brain health education to communities in the Sacramento area and the GROW research study will follow a group of diverse middle aged and elderly women to understand risk and resilience factors for dementia and brain health .

GROW is one of four UC Davis Health programs funded as part of a new UC Davis initiative is known as the HEAL-HER (Heart, BrEast and BrAin Heath Equity Research) Program. HEAL-HER is supported by a $24 million award to UC Davis Health for women’s health research in breast cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease.

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Rachel Whitmerrachel whitmer portrait
Professor of Public Health Sciences and Neurology
Chief of the Division of Epidemiology
UC Davis School of Medicine

Associate Director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Professor Whitmer was the first female ‘Target of Excellence’ hire at UC Davis School of Medicine, a special hiring mechanism to recruit high impact scientists who are internationally renown experts in their fields and will bridge needed gaps in the research mission of the university.

Dr. Whitmer was hired to meld population science and epidemiology with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s disease research center and help the center expand into community-based sciences with a focus on groups historically underrepresented in research. Dr. Whitmer is Director of the Population Brain Health Lab which uses lifecourse epidemiological methods to reduce inequities in brain aging; through study of dementia incidence, cognitive aging, and brain pathology in diverse racial/ethnic groups, those with diabetes, and the oldest-old. She is Principal Investigator of four National Institutes of Health funded cohort studies of dementia, cardiovascular health, and cognitive aging as well as US POINTER, a lifestyle multi-domain behavioral intervention clinical trial.


Kristen Georgekristen george portrait
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences
UC Davis School of Medicine

Dr. George’s research assesses cardiovascular contributions to dementia and cognitive aging. She is particularly interested in how social determinants of health interact with cardiovascular risk factors over the life course contributing to the disparities in cognitive impairment and dementia.


Oanh Meyeroanh meyer portrait
Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology
UC Davis School of Medicine

Dr. Meyer leads the Research Education Component at the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and is Co-Director of Integrating Special Populations into Research (INSPIRE) Program at the CTSC. Dr. Meyer received her PhD in social psychology and her Masters in Advanced Study in Clinical Research at UC Davis. Her current research interests include social determinants of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), geographic disparities in cognitive and mental health for older adults, and culturally appropriate dementia caregiving interventions.


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