Pre-Doctoral Training Faculty Mentors

Gail Jensen Summers, PhD
IOG Director of Pre-Doctoral Training Program

gail.jensen@wayne.edu or 313-664-2622


IOG Pre-Doctoral Training Faculty

Gail Jensen Summers, PhD, Professor of Economics and Training Director, Institute of Gerontology. .  Dr. Jensen Summers has directed the Institute of Gerontology’s (IOG) pre-doctoral training program since 2014. She is responsible for ensuring a strong research and training experience for all students. She chairs the pre-doctoral graduate training program committee (GRTC) meetings, organizes and oversees the IOG Colloquium Series, and supervises the activities of students at IOG.  She has an established program of research in the areas of health policy evaluation, health insurance among older adults, and health care disparities. Her research has been sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and other sources, resulting in over $1.5M in funded research as a principal investigator. Dr. Jensen Summers has served as the doctoral dissertation supervisor of more than 20 WSU graduate students in economics over the years. Many of these students co-authored manuscripts with her and some also submitted for and obtained external funding for their dissertation work. She has published over 90 scholarly articles and chapters.

Diane Adamo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Care Sciences (Occupational and Physical Therapy).  Dr. Adamo’s research examines human sensorimotor control systems and performance. She is interested in the peripheral and central components associated with sensorimotor control, and more recently, the extent to which changes in cognition contribute to human performance in older individuals. Her research uses neurophysiological and behavioral approaches as complementary methods to investigate the role of proprioceptive, exteroceptive, visual information and cognitive processes in the control and regulation of sensorimotor activities.

Boris B. Baltes, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychology.  Dr. Baltes’ research interests include examining the effects of stereotypes on workplace outcomes, age and workplace issues, and work-family balance.  He currently serves as an associate/action editor for the Journal of Organizational Behavior and is on the Editorial Boards of Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Business and Psychology, and Work, Aging and Retirement. Dr. Baltes is a Fellow of SIOP (APA Division 14).  He has also been a board member for the Sloan Research Center on Aging & Workplace Flexibility at Boston College.  He has been the doctoral adviser for more than 15 graduate students in psychology and he has been recognized for his mentoring and teaching by receiving both the College of Science Teaching Award (2002) and the Wayne State University Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award (2008).

Jeske Damoiseaux, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology and Department of Psychology.  Dr. Damoiseaux’s main research goal is to understand the changes in brain function and cognition that accompany normal and abnormal aging. She is particularly interested in examining the influence of biological and cognitive predisposition on cognitive and brain network connectivity changes in healthy older adults. The primary approach Dr. Damoiseaux uses to study brain network connectivity is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In addition, she uses other neuroimaging techniques, such as structural MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study brain structure and structural brain connectivity.

Heather Dillaway, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Dr. Dillaway’s research interests include sex and gender, women's reproductive health, social stratification, the intersections of gender, race class, and other inequalities, family, aging, and the body. Dr. Dillaway's latest research is focused on women's experiences of menopause and reproductive aging. She is also involved with research on African American men’s knowledge of and participation in prostate cancer research trials.

Heather Fritz, PhD, OTR/L. Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology and Department of Health Care Sciences (Occupational Therapy).  Dr. Fritz's research foci are preventing and managing chronic illness, community participation of older adults, and interventions to improve both. She is especially interested in the role of habits and habit modification in health behavior change and translating the principles of habit development into behavioral interventions. Dr. Fritz's work also seeks to understand how older adults with mild cognitive impairment participate in complex urban environments and how community participation impacts their health. Her work is informed by a transactional theoretical perspective with a focus socio-cultural environments and engagement in daily occupations. Her work incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods and she has a commitment to translating scholarship to practice.

Allen C. Goodman, PhD, Professor of Economics. Dr. Goodman serves as Professor of Economics, and Director of the M.A. Program. He has served as the principal investigator on three R01 grants, and he served on the NIDA-F Health Services Review Committee from 2006 through 2010. Dr. Goodman co-authors The Economics of Health and Health Care, which is the leading health economics text, now in its seventh edition. He has conducted cost analysis on substance abuse treatment field for 30 years and on cancer screening for 25 years. He and Dr. Jensen Summers established the health economics field at Wayne State, and together they oversee one of the most successful health economics graduate programs in the nation. He has directed the Ph.D. and the M.A. programs in the Economics Department since 2000.

Neha P. Gothe, PhD, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology Health and Sport Studies. Dr. Gothe’s research explores the psycho-social health benefits of physical activity across the lifespan and the physiological changes that mediate the psychological health benefits of physical activity. She directs the Exercise Psycho-Physiology Research Lab and focuses on promoting physical activity, including non-traditional modes such as yoga, as a means to improve health and quality of life, especially among older adults. She has experience working with several different populations and a variety of modes of intervention delivery, including class- and home-based exercise programs as well as cross-sectional studies with college students examining Hatha yoga and exercise benefits. The goal of these projects has always been to enhance physical activity behavior by targeting self-efficacy (social cognitive theory) and to improve various health outcomes, including reduced functional limitations, improved cognitive function and psycho-social health among geriatric populations.  Dr. Gothe is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Society of Behavioral Medicine and she mentors masters and doctoral students at WSU. Dr. Gothe has established herself as a national and international leader in yoga research and has been featured in popular media including the TIME magazine, Huffington Post, Daily Mail UK and public radio for her research in yoga and health. http://coe.wayne.edu/kinesiology/eprl/index.php

Janet Hankin, PhD, Professor and Chair of Sociology, & Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, School of Medicine. Trained as a medical sociologist, Dr. Hankin has received NIH grants to study mental illness in primary group settings, utilization and cost of health services for alcohol, drug abuse, and mental disorders, and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders among African American pregnant women. She is currently principal investigator of the Psychosocial Community Measures Core of the Center for Urban & African American Health, Department of Internal Medicine, at the School of Medicine at WSU. She teaches courses in medical sociology, women and health, urban health, and the sociology of health care institutions. She has served as the chair/advisor for more than 35 masters essays, theses, and dissertations. More details can be found at: http://www.clas.wayne.edu/unit-faculty-detail.asp?FacultyID=45

Faith Hopp, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor, Doctoral Program Coordinator, School of Social Work.  Dr. Hopp holds the prestigious title of being a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar.  Prior to her faculty appointment at WSU, she was a Research Investigator with the Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. She has served as principal investigator and co-investigator on federal and foundation grants focused on interventions and programs for people facing chronic diseases, including heart failure and diabetes, and end of life issues for these populations. For more information on Dr. Hopp’s research areas see: https://socialwork.wayne.edu/faculty/bio.php?id=852
 
Thomas B. Jankowski, PhD, Associate Director for Research Technology and Infrastructure at the IOG & the Merrill Palmer Skill Institute, & Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science.  Dr. Jankowski assumes responsibility for all aspect of the computing technology and building security at the IOG and MPSI. He also supervises several staff persons who provide direct computing support services to IOG and MPSI trainees, faculty, staff, RAs, etc. His research interests focus on adult political socialization and the effects of the aging process on political behavior, civic knowledge, and public opinion. He is also interested in the effects of race, gender, and the aging process on the development of political orientations, habits of media use, and patterns of political behavior in individuals. His website Phinished http://www.phinished.org/  has garnered international recognition.
 
Voyko Kavcic, PhD, Assistant Professor (Research), Institute of Gerontology. Dr. Kavcic's long-range research goals are to investigate and understand how advanced age and/or neurodegenerative diseases, primarily Alzheimer’s disease (AD), affect cerebral structures and functions. To pursue these goals he searches for converging experimental evidence from a variety of methodological approaches, including neuropsychological testing, human psychophysics, visual evoked potentials (VEPs), even-related potentials (ERPs), and MRI diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Currently, Dr. Kavcic is conducting NIH supported research project “Community-Based Early Identification of MCI in at Risk African Americans”.

Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director of the Institute of Gerontology.  Dr. Lichtenberg founded IOG’s pre-doctoral training program in 1996, and was Director of the pre-doc training program from 1996 to 2014.  Dr. Lichtenberg also led the two NIH-funded T32 training grants that IOG has held for its training program over this period.  He is very active in aging and urban health, mentoring graduate students, teaching, and engaging in an active program of funded research. He is a nationally recognized expert in health disparities with a particular interest in dementia, depression and independent functioning in urban older adults. Along with Dr. James Jackson from the University of Michigan, Dr. Lichtenberg is a principal investigator on a center grant (Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research) and several other training, research and educational grants resulting in a grant portfolio over $8,000,000. A developing research interest of Dr. Lichtenberg is the evaluation of cognitive and financial competency. He is increasingly being sought out for expert testimony and consultation in complex legal cases in the state of Michigan and nationally.

Mark Luborsky, PhD, Professor of Anthropology & Director of Aging & Health Disparities at the Institute of Gerontology.   Dr. Luborsky is one of the foremost experts in the qualitative study of aging and health and disability across the lifespan. His current grant portfolio consists of over $7M in NIH funding as principal investigator. He has studied the personal meaning of mobility loss, the meaning of self-rated health, HIV treatment adherence, and breast cancer awareness and treatment. Ongoing research projects focus on the social consequences of hip fracture and downsizing households in late life, both funded by NIH R01 grants. His dedication to graduate student training and mentoring was recognized at WSU in 2005 when he was awarded WSU’s Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award. In 2012, he completed his term as co-editor for the journal, Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

Cathy Lysack, PhD, OT(C), Deputy Director of the Institute of Gerontology and Professor in the Department of Health Care Sciences (Occupational Therapy).  Dr. Lysack’s research focus is centered on understanding community inclusion and social participation after injury and illness in older adults and persons with disabilities. She also conducts research to improve the clinical practices of occupational therapists and other health care professionals. Her previously funded grants have focused on community adjustment after spinal cord injury, downsizing household transitions for older adults, and training methods to improve depression detection and treatment in geriatric rehabilitation settings.  More information on Dr. Lysack’s research and publications can be found here:  http://www.iog.wayne.edu/profile/catherine.lysack/

Noa Ofen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology, the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, and Department of Psychology.   Dr. Ofen's long-range research goal is to understand how learning and memory work in the human mind and brain. This includes memory for experiences and facts (declarative memory) and memory for skills (procedural memory). In particular, she aims to understand, via cognitive neuroscience, how memory mechanisms develop from childhood through adulthood. Dr. Ofen uses behavioral methods and multiple brain imaging methods, including fMRI and structural imaging.  http://www.iog.wayne.edu/profile/noa.ofen/

Tam Perry, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work.  Dr. Perry’s research is primarily on the relocation of older adults. Her current interests focus on the experiences of relocation among older adults and their family members in Detroit.  Dr. Perry is conducting a research project to analyze relocation experiences of African Americans in and around Detroit.  This study is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health,5P30 AG015281, and the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research.  She was also recently funded by the John A. Hartford Change AGEnts Initiative.  She was also recently funded by the Wayne State University Humanities Center for a project titled, "Surviving in Detroit: Men Experiencing Homelessness due to Death of a Parent." For more about her research, see www.therelocationlab.com

Naftali Raz, PhD, Professor of Psychology & Director of Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Gerontology.  Dr. Raz's research focuses on the neural correlates and modifiers of cognitive aging. His research has been supported since 1992 by the National Institute on Aging. He was recently awarded an NIH merit award.  The main themes in the current studies in Dr. Raz's lab are: Differential aging of brain structure; Cognitive consequences of structural brain aging; and Modifiers of brain aging. In the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Laboratory, graduate students acquire a wide range of research skills. Their training includes computer-aided processing and analysis of MR images, design and administration of cognitive and neuropsychological tests and statistical analysis.  Details on the research activities in the Raz Lab can be found here: http://agingbrain.wayne.edu/

Dr. Raz has an extensive list of published journal articles and book chapters. He is an internationally known cognitive neuroscience expert and more information can be found here: http://www.iog.wayne.edu/profile/naftali.raz/

Jessica Robbins-Ruszkowski, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology and Department of Anthropology.  As a medical and sociocultural anthropologist, Dr. Robbins-Ruszkowski studies how individuals’ experiences of aging, especially of health and illness, are part of broader cultural, political, economic, and historical processes.  Her research is motivated by a conern for how some older people become valued and socially included, while others are devalued and socially excluded.  As an anthropologist, she seeks explanations for these moral processes in the links between personal experience, personal and discursive imaginations, and transformations in political economy.  So far, she has sought answers to these questions through ethnographic research in Poland, a place where radical sociocultural, political, and economic transformations have occurred in the lifetime of the oldest generation.  For more information on Dr. Robbins-Ruszkowski, see: http://www.iog.wayne.edu/profile/jessica.robbins-ruszkowski/

Jeffrey A. Stanley, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Director of the Translational Neuroscience Ph.D. Graduate Program, Co-Director of the Brian Imaging Research Division. Dr. Stanley is a trained physicist in Magnetic Resonance (MR) with over 25 years of research experience in developing and applying different MR neuroimaging methodologies to investigate brain structure (myelin and cortical thickness and shape), function and biochemistry.  This has led to numerous significant contributions to the understanding of the neural basis of different psychiatric and neurologic disorders including schizophrenia, populations at risk for schizophrenia, ADHD, brain development and aging.  Dr. Stanley has established multiple collaborations with faculty members across the SOM, WSU campus and around the world and has mentored numerous trainees at different levels.  He has over 130 publications and been awarded multiple National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) R01 grants as Principle Investigator as well as a recipient of the Independent Investigator Award from National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). http://brain.med.wayne.edu and http://tnp.wayne.edu.

Wassim Tarraf, MBA, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology and Department of Healthcare Sciences, and faculty in the Master's of Public Health Program, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences.  Dr. Tarraf is a health services researcher with a public health orientation. His work focuses on issues related to disparities in health outcomes and healthcare use among immigrant, and ethnic and racial groups in the United States.  Dr. Tarraf has considerable experience using large national health datasets and is particularly skilled in advanced statistical analysis techniques.  More on Dr. Tarraf’s work and recent publications are found here:  http://www.iog.wayne.edu/profile/wassim.tarraf/

John Woodard, PhD, Professor of Psychology. Dr. Woodard’s research is in the following areas:  Neuropsychological and neuro-imaging studies of memory in aging and dementia; Cognitive and health-related risk factors for late life anxiety; Detection and tracking of sport related concussion; Statistical and methodological issues in neuropsychological test construction and assessment. He has numerous funded grants in these areas. He is an active teacher at Wayne State University and in 2007 was awarded Fellowship Status by the National Academy of Neuropsychology.