Wayne State University

Aim Higher

We have a broad group of faculty and pre-doctoral students knowledgable on topics related to aging health and well-being. If you are looking for an expert who can respond to questions please refer to our list below. To schedule a speaker for your event or organization, contact Donna MacDonald, Community Outreach Director, at 313.664.2605 or email donnamacdonald@wayne.edu.  EXPERT LIST


URBAN HEALTH EQUITY: Neurocognitive Impairment & Elder Abuse

Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP Geriatric Neuropsychology
Director, Institute of Gerontology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute

p.lichtenberg@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2633
• Financial capacity, financial exploitation and older adults
• Alzheimer’s disease, dementias and depression
• Aging and health disparities (particularly in minorities living with chronic disease)
• Clinical geropsychology, frailty

Thomas B. Jankowski, PhD (Associate Director of Research) Politics and Policy of Aging
t.jankowski@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2603
• The aging of the population and the demography of older adults
• The politics, economics, and history of growing old in the U.S.
• Social Security, Medicare, and other public policies related to aging

BRAIN HEALTH & DEMENTIA

Jessica Damoiseaux, PhD Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience
damoiseaux@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2642
• Structural and functional brain changes in healthy older adults
• Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

Voyko Kavcic, PhD Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience
voyko@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2613
• Early detection of perceptual and cognitive declines leading to dementia
• Community-based early detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in African Americans
• Neuro-electric activity (EEG) as a marker of MCI and Alzheimer’s disease

Noa Ofen, PhD Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience
noa.ofen@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2643
• Changes in brain structure and function between childhood and young adulthood
• The development of basic cognitive abilities, learning and memory

Naftali Raz, PhD (Director, Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience)
nraz@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2617
• Age-related changes in the brain’s structure and function
• Impact of aging on learning, memory and reasoning skills
• Effect of physiological and genetic risk factors on brain-cognition relationship throughout the 
lifespan

URBAN HEALTH EQUITY: Studies in the Built Environment

Heather Fritz, PhD, OTR/L Occupational Therapy
heather.fritz@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2627
• Prevention and management of chronic conditions
• Occupational science including theory, habits, environments and health
• Neighborhood environments, health and aging

Mark Luborsky, PhD (Director, Aging and Health Disparities) Medical Anthropology
mluborsky@wayne.edu | 313-664-2639
• Success at reorganizing life after adverse health events or normal life transitions
• Preventing and managing infectious disease (HIV, polio) and physical disability

Cathy Lysack, PhD, OT(C) Occupational Therapy
c.lysack@wayne.edu
• Training health professionals to improve rehabilitation practice
• Adjustment and community participation after spinal cord injury
• Impact of urban environments on older adults’ health and social well-being

Jessica Robbins-Ruszkowski, PhD Cultural Anthropology
jrr@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2628
• Social change and experiences of aging
• Critical theories of successful and active aging
• Biographical, social and historical memory in later life

URBAN HEALTH EQUITY:  Predicting Future Needs

Gail Jensen Summers, PhD Health Economics
gail.jensen@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2622
• Health insurance, Medicare, long-term care, health care reform
• Links between medication non-adherence, health outcomes, and well-being

Wassim Tarraf, MBA, PhD Health Care Policy
wassimtarraf@wayne.edu  |  313-664-2632
• Health care services, expenditures, use and quality
• Minority health and aging