About Me

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1998 and my Masters of Science degree in Rehabilitation Psychology and Counseling in 2000 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After working for 3 years in public mental health and attaining my counseling licensure, I pursued a degree in research and received my doctoral degree in Neuroscience from Wake Forest School of Medicine in 2008. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in genomics, I began as faculty in the section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine here at Wake Forest in 2012. I have co-led support groups with the MCP, served on the board of the Western North Carolina Alzheimer’s Association, and worked on multiple NIH and foundation funded research grants investigating the effects of type 2 diabetes and obesity on the brain and risk for dementia, as well as the potential for movement and social engagement to protect brain health. As the Rebecca E. Shaw Professor and Director of the MCP, I co-lead support groups and set research priorities for the MCP.