Current Scientists (2022-23)

The San Diego AD-RCMAR is pleased to welcome our four selected AD-RCMAR Scientists funded for the 2022-23 academic year:

Lauren Brown, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Health Management & Policy, School of Public Health, San Diego State University

Project Title: Examining Cohort Variation in Chronic Stress, Anthropometric, Biological, and Cognitive Function of Black and White Older Adults Across Age Cohorts

Aim 1. Compare Black-white differences in 8-yr trajectories of physical, biological, and cognitive function between young-old (54-79) and long-lived (80+) white and Black older adults to determine patterns across age cohorts.

Aim 2. Assess variation in chronic stress exposure and appraisal as an explanation for race and cohort differences in physical, biological and cognitive function trajectories among young old and long lived Black and white older adults.

Krystal R. Kittle, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Health, Social & Behavioral Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Project Title: Racial/Ethnically Diverse Sexual and Gender Minority Caregivers of Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Project Aim. To explore the lived experiences of racial/ethnically diverse SGM ADRD care partners in terms of socioenvironmental, and risk and protective factors related to their health.


Sabrina Smiley, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, San Diego State University

Project Title: A Qualitative Study Designed to Explore the Experience of Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Cognitive Function among Older Black Individuals with Cocaine-Use Disorder (CUD)

Aim 1. How to older Black individuals with CUD reflect on pathways toward cocaine use initiation and changes in cognition? Individual semi-structured interviews will be conducted with 24 participants (12 women; ages 50+ years) in the CURB-2 study.

Aim 2. How do older Black individuals with CUD describe contributors to, consequences, and alleviators of social isolation and loneliness? We will explore health effects related to the role of cocaine use, perceived social support, and social stigma.

Lize Tibiriçá, PsyD, T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, Stein Institute for Research on Aging, UC San Diego, Department of Psychiatry

Project Title: The Effects of Perceived Discrimination and Nativity Status on Cognitive Decline among Hispanic/Latin American Older Adults

Aim 1: Examine the association of perceived discrimination and cognitive decline among Latin American adults.

Aim 2: Determine the effect of nativity status on cognitive decline among Latin Americans.

Aim 3: Analyze the joint effect of perceived discrimination and nativity status on cognitive decline among Latin Americans.