Genetics - Genetics of Aging; Public Health - Epidemiology; Public Health - Health Services Research
Dr. Seemans proposed role as a co-investigator for the UCLA CTSI draws on her experience as a social epidemiologist with post-doctoral training in neuroendocrinology, her research career has been interdisciplinary in focus throughout, seeking to elucidate the biological and other pathways through which SES and other social and psychological factors impact on trajectories of health and aging. She has published widely on socio-economic status, social relationships, behavioral and biological risk factors in relation to a range of major health outcomes of aging, including incidence and recurrence of cardiovascular disease, patterns of cognitive and physical functioning, frailty and overall longevity. She has also been one of the leading contributors to empirical research on the concept of allostatic load (a multi-systems approach to biological risk), contributing the original work documenting links between allostatic load and subsequent health risks as well as evidence linking differences in both socio-economic and social relationship histories to differential accumulation of allostatic load. Her research has contributed to our understanding of the role of social factors (including socio-economic status and social relationships) along with psychological factors in health and aging, including specific attention to the multiple biological pathways linking such social and psychological factors to major health outcomes over the life-course. More recently, her work has focused on development and implementation of intergenerational programs designed to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children while simultaneously promoting better health and well-being in older adult populations. The latter work draws importantly on her prior work identifying factors associated with better outcomes in aging. Most recently, she has developed community partnerships with the LA Urban League and principals from several Los Angeles elementary schools and has successfully implemented a small demonstration project for our Generation Xchange program. The CTSI builds on those initial, highly successful partnerships as well as her existing collaborative work with Drs. Brown and Norris and others at UCLA. As a Co-Investigator for CTSIs Integrated Special Populations, Dr. Seeman will serve as a mentor to trainees and faculty doing research with older adults as well as helping to foster multi-investigator proposals and appropriate life course research approaches. For her role in the CTSI biostats program, she will join the subgroup of community investigators in the Design and Biostatistics Program and provide epidemiology consulting as well as teach a course in the TPTS track 3 program on observational study design and analysis.