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Dr. Erin Harrell, a woman smiling wearing a tan blazer and white shirt.
Office(s): Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)
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Dr. Erin R. Harrell is a Program Official in the Individual Behavioral Processes (IBP) Branch in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA). She manages a portfolio on Applied Cognition that includes research related to the effects of aging and cognitive decline on functions such as driving, negotiating challenges associated with aging-in-place, and interacting with the built environment. Prior to joining NIA, Dr. Harrell served as a Scientific Review Officer at the Center for Scientific Review in the Clinical Care and Health Interventions Branch and led Special Emphasis Panels involving fellowships in Population Science and Epidemiology. Prior to joining CSR, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama where she directed the Healthy Aging across the Lifespan using Optimization (HALO) lab. Positioned at the intersection of human factors, changes in cognition, patient outcomes, and intervention development, Dr. Harrell’s scientific work focused on understanding ways that technology can facilitate the aging process by investigating adherence and adoption of technology. Additionally, part of her research portfolio focused on older adult caregivers and low-income minority adults in rural settings and aimed to explore how stress across the lifespan may be accelerating the aging process. Dr. Harrell was an active advocate for science as a mechanism to promote health equity by reducing health disparities and enjoyed mentoring undergraduate and graduate students from various majors including biology, criminology, nursing, and psychology. Dr. Harrell earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Florida State University. She was a McKnight Doctoral Fellow and participant in the Department of Homeland Security’s HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Her research was supported in part by funding from NIA through an R36 Aging Research Dissertation Award to Promote Diversity.

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