Personal profile

Research interests

I am passionate about brain, cognitive, and psychological health. Most of my interests revolve around identifying biological, cognitive, and social determinants of early cognitive changes associated with aging and disease, with the goal of developing targeted intervention strategies to prevent dementia. I work across neurodegenerative and other chronic conditions (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, Motor Neurone Disease, Down's syndrome). I take several approaches to my work spanning epidemiological, experimental, and interventional methods. A secondary interest of mine is the impact of chronic conditions on the psychosocial outcomes of informal caregivers (spouses, children). I am increasingly developing a public and global health focus in my work.

I graduated from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, before completing my Medical Research Council funded PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. I then completed post-doctoral research at Bangor University, Wales, as part of Professor Linda Clare's Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH) team (now based at Exeter University).  After this, I joined Professor Craig Ritchie's Centre for Dementia Prevention (now Edinburgh Dementia Prevention), University of Edinburgh. I maintain an honorarium at the University of Edinburgh.

I am a member of several cognitive aging and brain health research working groups, comprising academic, pharmaceutical, and other industry partners. I am the co-founder of FemBER (Female Brain Health and Endocrine Research) Consortium, B.I.N.D. (Binding in Neuropsychiatric Disorders) Collaboration, ECcRoN (European Consortium for Cross Cultural Neuropsychology), and a founding member of the GloDePP (Global Dementia Prevention Program) Collaboration. I am happy to assist small businesses and social enterprises with research development and clinical trial methodology.

Currently, I am completing a fellowship funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Alzheimer's Society (referred to as DECOMM Fellows). Under this fellowship, I am leading various projects aimed at involving underrepresented groups, notably people with Learning Disabilities, and global majorities (ethnic and language minorities) in Dementia and Brain Health Research. This includes a project titled "Revolutionizing Alzheimer's Disease Assessment in Down Syndrome: The RAD Study," which aims to advance earlier and more sensitive detection of cognitive changes in people with Down syndrome, using appropriate and engaging assessments. It also includes the "Brain Health Bridge" project, which is working with local organisations to involve global majorities populations in brain health research and involve diaspora communities to inform and co-design some of our funded global health projects.  I am also passionate about promoting Brain Health Awareness within underserved populations, and I am currently collaborating with expert by experience stakeholders to develop promotion strategies for these communities.  For more info on the DEMCOMM fellowship scheme, see:  

I am the Principal Investigator, along with collaborators Dr. Paul Ansell (Sports & Exercise, Northumbria University) and Dr. Chi Udeh-Momoh (Ageing Epidemiology (AGE) Research Unit, Imperial College London), on a project interested in understanding biopsychosocial determinants of brain health in female veterans. This work is funded by the Office for Veterans Affairs (Cabinet Office).

Also, under our FemBER Consortium, I co-lead the FemBER-Africa Study with Dr. Chi Udeh-Momoh. This work will extensively phenotype psycho-biological characteristics of dementia patients and controls to help identify sex-specific differences in in-country African versus diasporic cohorts. We are working with a team based at Aga Khan University, Nairobi, with colleagues throughout Kenya, Nigeria, the USA, and Europe. The project is funded by the Alzheimer's Association.

I am a Co-I for the AFRICA-FINGERS study, a multinational collaboration of dementia experts, aimed at assessing the feasibility and sustainability of multimodal brain health strategies and interventions in the Africa region. It includes research teams from Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania, and is a collaboration with the Global Brain Health Institute, The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, and the Alzheimer’s Association. We receive funding from the Medical Research Council. 

Students who are interested in the above work are encouraged to contact me for internship opportunities within my lab, The Neurosciences Research Venture (NeRVe).  Due to my current fellowship, I have reduced student project supervision. Unfortunately, I cannot be approached for formal thesis supervision, but I am always happy to learn about students' interests and brainstorm ideas.

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD

1 May 201431 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 May 2014

Psychology, BSc (Hons)

24 Jun 200931 Dec 2099

Award Date: 24 Jun 2009

External positions

University of Edinburgh

2017 → …


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