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The Black Scholar Series: Dr. Lisa Barnes

Dr. Lisa Barnes

We welcome our third speaker for the 2023-2024 Academic Year, Dr. Lisa Barnes, the Alla V. and Solomon Jesmer Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine and a cognitive neuropsychologist within the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center. She is also the Associate Director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan in biopsychology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Davis. She has been a faculty member at Rush Medical College since 1999. Dr. Barnes has received many NIH grants and has published over 300 manuscripts. Her research interests include disparities in chronic diseases of aging, cognitive decline, and risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. She is the Principal Investigator of the Minority Aging Research Study (MARS), which has been funded by NIA since 2004, and the Clinical Core Leader for the Rush African American Clinical Core. She advocates for recruitment of under-represented groups into clinical studies and has received many awards and fellowships.


Wednesday, March 13, 2024
10:00 – 11:30 AM CT
Main Lecture: Risk and Protective Factors of Cognitive Aging in Older African Americans

Older African Americans, a rapidly growing segment of the US population, are under-represented in clinical research studies of aging. They also bear a disproportionate burden of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment compared to non-Latinx Whites, with some estimates suggesting a two-fold higher risk. This presentation will present a program of research, ongoing for 20 years, to identify correlates of cognitive aging and risk of Alzheimer’s disease among older African Americans. The importance of the lived experience and other contextual factors will be discussed.

1:00 – 2:00 PM CT
Affinity Session: 
The Affinity Session provides the opportunity for Black students, staff, and faculty to come together in community with each other and the visiting scholar to collectively reflect on their realities of being Black and in the field of psychology.

3:00 – 4:00 PM CT
Special Session: Community-engaged research with older adults – lessons learned

Older African Americans are under-represented in clinical research studies of aging. Because of past abuses in research, scientists have struggled to engage this population in brain health research. Dr. Barnes will highlight efforts her and her team have made to recruit and retain over 800 older African Americans in a longitudinal study that has been ongoing for 20 years and involves organ donation. The presentation will highlight key steps in the process of community-engaged research with a particular focus on challenges and lessons learned.

**Zoom Auto Transcription is provided for virtual attendees. If you require a Live Transcriptionist, please email Dr. Loretta Hsueh ( or Dr. Dennis Sparta (