Michelle Rae Caunca

McKnight MD/PhD Student Trainee
Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
Department of Neurology
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
1120 NW 14th Street, 13th Floor
Miami, FL 33136
Email: m.caunca@med.miami.edu

Michelle Caunca received her BS. In Neurobiology with a minor in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine, graduating cum laude with Honors in Biological Sciences and Campuswide Honors. She worked in the The 90+ Study at UCI under the mentorship of Claudia H. Kawas, MD, and Maria Corrada, ScD, where she published her Honors thesis on amyloid PET imaging and cognitive performance in the oldest-old in the Journal of Undergraduate Research. Michelle is currently in the MD/PhD Program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, pursuing her PhD in Epidemiology. Under the mentorship of Tatjana Rundek MD, PhD and Clinton B. Wright, MD, MS, she was awarded Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellowship (F30) to study regional brain MRI markers of cognitive aging in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS). She is also completing a dissertation on multi-level psychosocial and contextual determinants of brain aging in diverse populations under the mentorship of Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, PhD and Tatjana Rundek, MD, PhD, using datasets from NOMAS, the Coronary Artery Disease Risk in Young Adults study, and Health and Retirement Study. She aspires to be an academic neurologist and epidemiologist studying cognitive aging and translating epidemiological findings into public health and clinical practice.