Lilah Besser, PhD, National Institute on Aging Awardee

Dr. Lilah Besser, Assistant Professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning and I-HEALTH, has been awarded a National Institute on Aging career development award (NIA K01), totaling $632,070 over 5 years.  Focusing on “Longitudinal associations between neighborhood greenspace and brain aging in cognitively normal older adults”, the grant provides Dr. Besser with the opportunity to obtain didactic and experiential training in her field of expertise, and to conduct a rigorous research study. The career development portion will involve a mentoring team of experts in urban and regional planning, neurology, epidemiology, brain imaging, and neighborhood environments and health, from FAU, University of Miami, Columbia University, Louisiana State University, and Drexel University. The research portion will study participants from 3 NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers, investigating if exposure to greater neighborhood greenspace in early, mid, and late-life is associated with healthy brain aging as measured via regional brain volumes and longitudinal decline on multiple cognitive domains. The ultimate goal is to provide evidence for community-level interventions that can increase cognitive resilience and healthy behaviors throughout the lifespan, promoting healthy brain aging and allowing older adults to age in place.