Dr. Launer received her Ph.D. in epidemiology and nutrition from Cornell University. From 1990 to 1999 she held academic appointments in the Netherlands (Erasmus University Medical School, Free University, National Institute for Public Health) where she collaborated in many epidemiologic studies of neurologic diseases including dementia and migraine headache. Dr. Launer joined NIA as Head of the Neuroepidemiology Unit in February 1999 and received tenure in 2005.
Studies in the Neuroepidemiology Section focus on understanding the contribution of genetic, inflammatory, metabolic, vascular, and hormonal factors to sub-clinical and clinical outcomes in brain disease and investigating the links between brain disease and other common diseases of old age. Research is conducted using large epidemiologic studies, which allow us to test in the general population, hypotheses on risk/protective factors and mechanisms identified at a more basic science level.