Plenary Panel: Brain Health

Monday, July 16
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Regency Ballroom-Lower Level

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects approximately 5.5 million Americans. As a result of the disease’s prevalence and impact on families and communities, many individuals are looking to strategies such as dietary interventions and brain games to try to stave off cognitive impairment and the development of the disease. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), developed and sponsored a two-step study on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The first step involved a systematic evidence review conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) program. In the second step, an expert committee, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), reviewed the evidence findings from the AHRQ EPC and made a series of recommendations to inform communication strategies and future research. Presenters will share the findings from the study and what has been done at the NIA to address study findings, such as identifying research needs, promoting uniform measurement strategies, and initiating new research. The Healthy Brain Roadmap, an ongoing initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will be showcased as a vehicle to engage public health leaders and communities in implementing what we know.

Learning Objectives:

Melinda S. Kelley, PhD

Director, Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities
National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health

Dr. Melinda Kelley is the Director of the Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). In addition to serving as the NIA legislative point of contact for Congressional members and staff interested in aging-related public health policy issues, she provides outreach to non-governmental organizations that have an interest in the NIA mission, including advocacy groups, professional societies, and non-profit organizations. She also serves as a liaison to international agencies and foreign organizations involved in aging research and policy, and conducts special projects for the NIA leadership. Previously, she worked at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute managing outreach and community engagement for multiple health education activities. She has also served as a Senior Science Advisor at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and as the Director of Research and Education at the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Dr. Kelley received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship training at the University of Washington and Georgetown University.


Send Email for Melinda Kelley

Molly V. Wagster, PhD

Chief, Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience Branch, Division of Neuroscience
National Institute on Aging

Dr. Molly V. Wagster, Ph.D. is Chief of the Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch in the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Dr. Wagster oversees administration and development of research in cognitive and emotional change with age and in sensory and motor disorders of aging. She directly manages a portfolio of research in mechanisms of cognitive change with age that spans research from molecules to behavior. She served as Project Officer for development of the NIH Toolbox® for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. She serves as a Federal Liaison to AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health and leads NIA's component of the joint McKnight Brain Research Foundation/NIA Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging, through the Foundation for NIH.

Dr. Wagster came to the NIA from the Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For over a decade, Dr. Wagster investigated neural mechanisms of learning and memory changes with age in animal models and in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Wagster received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Biopsychology) from Tulane University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropathology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Send Email for Molly Wagster

Lisa C. McGuire, PhD, MA

Lead, Alzheimer's Disease + Healthy Aging Program
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lisa McGuire is the Lead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program, which houses the congressionally-appropriated Healthy Brain Initiative. Dr. McGuire earned a PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from Bowling Green State University and completed a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Gerontology Center at The Pennsylvania State University, where she worked on the Seattle Longitudinal Study. She joined CDC in 2004 and has published over 75 articles and book chapters on aspects of chronic health conditions, obesity, cognition and brain injury, disability, caregiving, and aging. Dr. McGuire is a member of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Federal Advisory Council, Board of Directors for the National Alliance for Caregiving, the Editorial Board of The Gerontologist, and Fellows of Division 20 of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America.


Send Email for Lisa McGuire


Plenary Panel: Brain Health


Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Plenary Panel: Brain Health