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Laboratory of Epidemiology & Population Science

Lenore J Launer, Ph.D., Acting Chief

  1. Study long-term exposures and subclinical disease indicators that increase the susceptibility to loss of cognitive and physical function and subsequent disability.
  2. Identify biomarkers and other useful surrogates that are integrated measures of pathology and ‘disease.’
  3. Identify life periods when exposures initiate or aggravate pathologies that increase the risk for loss of cognitive and physical function and disability.
  4. Identify factors that precipitate crossing thresholds to clinical cognitive or physical disability and determine whether control of these factors decreases the risk for clinical events.
  5. Provide data from observational studies and clinical trials for use in translational research in experimental and public health settings.
  6. Investigate the biology of health disparities in the context of aging.
  7. Disentangle the interaction between socioeconomic status and race in the development of age-associated health disparities.

LEPS’s mission also includes mentoring the next generation of leaders in the epidemiology of aging, health disparities and behavior. LEPS reaches these goals through research in 3 sections:  Neuroepidemiology (Lead L.J. Launer), Health Disparities Research (Lead M. Evans), Behavioral Epidemiology (Lead A. Zonderman).

List of Portfolio/Research Areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Biology of aging in diverse populations
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognitive function
  • Health Disparities
  • Physical function
  • Biologic risk factors for disease
  • Socio-economic risk factors for disease
  • Accelerometry
  • Brain imaging
  • Body composition imaging
  • Gene-environment interactions

Findings and Publications

Zonderman AB, Mode NA, Ejiogu N, Evans MK. Race and poverty status as a risk for overall mortality in community-dwelling middle-aged adults. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2016;176(9):1394-1395.

Launer LJ, Lewis CE, Schreiner PJ, Sidney S, Battapady H, Jacobs DR, Lim KO, D'Esposito M, Zhang Q, Reis J, Davatzikos C, Bryan RN. Vascular factors and multiple measures of early brain health: CARDIA brain MRI study.

Dluzen DF., Noren Hooten N., Zhang, Y., Kim, Y., Glover, F., Tajuddin, SM., Jacob, K., Zonderman, AB., Evans MK. Racial differences in microRNA and gene expression in hypertensive women. Scientific Reports 2016; 6, 35815.


Health Disparities Research Section
Behavioral Epidemiology Section
Neuroepidemiology Section

Laboratory of Epidemiology & Population Science Staff