Antoni Barrientos, PhD

Dr. Barrientos is interested in the basic processes underlying the biogenesis of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) and how they bear on human neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders and during the aging process. We use yeast and mammalian cell culture models for our research
Three of the research lines in the lab involve:
1- We intend to delineate the assembly process of the enzymes composing the MRC, with special emphasis in cytochrome c oxidase (COX). COX deficiency is the most frequent cause of mitochondrial neuromyopathies in humans and has been shown to decline with age.
2- We are interested in the creation of yeast and neuronal models of age-related human neurodegenerative disorders (including Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease). This will help us study the alterations in mitochondrial physiology that could be essential for the pathogenic mechanism of such disorders.
3- We have created novel yeast models of chronological aging that are being used to explore the role of mitochondrial function in the aging-disease relationship. The results obtained are being validated in mammalian neuronal aging models.


Joyce Gomes-Osman, P.T., Ph.D.

Joyce is a physical therapist, health coach and neuroscientist. After completing her physical therapy degree in her native country of Brazil, she obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. As a rehabilitation neuroscientist, Dr. Gomes-Osman is driven to answer questions that can impact people’s ability to live more functional and independent lives. Before joining Linus, Dr. Gomes-Osman worked as an Assistant Professor at the Departments of Physical Therapy and Neurology at University of Miami, dividing her time between teaching neurophysiology, and carrying out studies to disentangle the complex relationships between physical exercise, brain health and postural control in older adults and individuals with various neurological conditions. An important focus of Dr. Gomes-Osman’s work is focused on better understanding how we can optimize lifestyle interventions to promote better brain health for individuals who are aging. This interest in brain health has stemmed both from scientific curiosity, and from experiencing the reality behind the statistics, witnessing memory deficits as a family member. She is deeply committed to characterizing the “active ingredients” of physical exercise as it pertains to maintaining mental sharpness in aging adults. Joyce is very excited to join Linus and work to achieve her long-term goal of delineating individualized exercise and lifestyle programs to promote better brain health in aging. Her work has been featured in many media outlets including The Boston Globe, The Times, CBS News, Medscape, Healthline, and was featured in the Time Magazine article “Here’s How Much Exercise You Need to Keep Your Brain Healthy.” On her free time, Joyce enjoys spending time with her 2.5 year old son Danilo, her husband Brian and their golden doodle puppy Samba. She is passionate about cooking and growing tropical plants, including exotic orchids from all over the world.

David Loewenstein

David Loewenstein, PhD, ABPP/CN

Dr. David Loewenstein is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and Director of the Division of Neuropsychology. Previously, Dr. Loewenstein served as Director of Neuropsychology Laboratories and Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL and Chief of Psychology for Jackson Memorial Hospital. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health at the University of Miami for more than 25 years and has brought in over 21 million dollars in Federal and State grants. His work is regularly published in top scientific journals and is considered cutting-edge. Dr. Loewenstein’s laboratory has a long history in the development of innovative cognitive and neuropsychological instruments and examining their relationship with biomarkers of brain health (amyloid and tau PET scans and CSF, MRI, fMRI). Dr. Loewenstein developed the first scale for the direct assessment of functional capacity in Alzheimer’s disease which has been translated into numerous languages. Most recently, Dr. Loewenstein and associates developed the Loewenstein and Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L), a cognitive stress test to address the concern that current neuropsychological measures may not capture the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The LASSI-L is a sensitive marker of the early manifestations of AD and has been increasingly adapted by other laboratories.


Susan Halloran Blanton, PhD

Dr. Blanton received her PhD in Human Genetics from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. She obtained post-doctoral training in Biostatistics (University of Pittsburgh) and Population Oncology (Fox Chase Cancer Center). Her primary research has focused on the mapping of genes for Mendelian and complex diseases; she has been instrumental in studies identifying over twenty genes/loci for Mendelian disorders. Stroke and the underlying genetics of its risk factors, deafness, retinal diseases, skeletal dysplasias, cleft lip/palate, and clubfoot are among the diseases which she currently studies. She collaborates with Drs. Sacco, Wright and Rundek to identify genetic factors influencing white matter and cognition and their relation to ageing. In addition, she has been involved in developing and implementing genetic education materials for Federal and appellate level judges and science writers in an ELSI sponsored project. Dr. Blanton is the Executive Director of the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics as well as the Associate Director of Communications and Compliance. She is an Associate Professor in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics.


Elizabeth Crocco, MD

Dr. Elizabeth Crocco received her MD from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. She then completed her residency training in general psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. She specializes in geriatric psychiatry, and completed her fellowship at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Crocco is currently the Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine. As the Medical Director of the University of Miami Memory Disorder Clinic, within the University of Miami’s Center on Aging she oversees the coordination of clinical services at the MDC. As a clinical scientist she also participates in research on caregiving and the development of measures to diagnosis MCI and PRE-MCI. She also serves as the geriatric psychiatry training director at Jackson Memorial Hospital and facilitates the primary training and supervision of all geriatric psychiatry fellows, psychiatry residents, medical students and other physicians/health care professionals.


Chuanhui Dong, PhD

Dr. Dong is Research Associate Professor of Neurology and Biostatistician for the McKnight Brain Institute. Dr. Dong’s research focus is on the independent and interactive effects of social-demographic, environmental, behavioral, metabolic and genetic factors on the risk of complex diseases such as metabolic disorders, depression, cognition, drug response to clinical treatment, subclinical and clinical cardiovascular diseases. He is a member of the American Heart Association, the American Statistical Association, the International Genetic Epidemiology Society and the American Association of Human Genetics.

Sarah Getz

Sarah Getz, PhD

Sarah Getz, PhD, is an instructor in the Division of Neuropsychology, in the Department of Neurology of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Getz earned her doctorate in psychology with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience at Princeton University in 2013. Her dissertation research focused on the role of cognitive control in decision making processes. She completed her clinical training in Boston, including advanced externships at Harvard Medical School, and her clinical internship at the Miami VA Medical Center. Current lines of clinical research include investigations into the role of lifetime emotional factors in developing the frailty syndrome as well as cognitive and socio-affective correlates of scam susceptibility and deception. Current efforts are focused on screening measures and primary interventions to reduce deception among vulnerable elderly. [/av_textblock]

Sonya Kaur

Sonya S. Kaur, PhD

Dr. Kaur was born and raised in Singapore. She moved to the United States to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.  She completed her internship in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She currently serves as an Instructor in the Division of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

She conducts neuropsychological assessments for a range of neurological and psychiatric populations including but not limited to pre-and post-neurosurgery evaluations, cardiovascular disease and stroke, epilepsy, autoimmune conditions, movement disorders and dementias. She is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and is interested in applying therapeutic techniques to treat poor sleep in a range of neurological conditions.

Dr. Kaur’s research focuses on mechanistic pathways that mediate cognitive impairment in aging. She has a special interest in examining the impact of lifestyle interventions (e.g. exercise, sleep) on markers of disease progression in a variety of neurodegenerative processes.

Katalina Fernandez McInerney

Katalina Fernández McInerney, PhD

Dr. McInerney’s research focuses on intervention and rehabilitation strategies for neurologically compromised individuals along with the understanding and promotion of healthy aging. She is currently engaged in research examining neuropsychological and affective changes associated with frailty in older age and the effect of moderate and high intensity exercise on sedentary individuals. Additionally, she is involved in several studies examining decision making, including identifying markers of competency in healthy cognitive aging. She is working on a screening questionnaire to assess financial and medical capacity in Hispanic and non-Hispanic individuals with mild cognitive impairment and the oldest old. Her prior research focused on the neurocognitive correlates of hazard perception and probabilistic learning in healthy aging older adults.


Roger McIntosh

Roger McIntosh, PhD

Dr. McIntosh’s work broadly examines risk factors associated with accelerated cognitive aging in chronic disease populations. His previous work addressed how cognitive-emotional impairment impacts disease management amongst persons living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Currently, Dr. McIntosh utilizes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to focus on how cardiovascular disease risk factors, inflammatory-immune biomarkers and psychological distress impact the neural circuitry underpinning cognitive processes such as executive function, episodic memory and interoceptive awareness. Dr. McIntosh was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health (NHLBI) K01 award to conduct an fMRI study examining how HIV impacts the neural substrates underpinning cardio-autonomic regulation amongst HIV+ individuals at risk for developing hypertension. [/av_textblock]