Position title: Associate Professor
Phone: (608) 265-4479
Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr Okonkwo’s research focuses on clarifying how alterations in the brain and other biomolecules (such as cerebrospinal fluid β-amyloid) place some cognitively-normal individuals on a pernicious trajectory that culminates in probable Alzheimer’s disease. In this context, Dr Okonkwo is also interested in discovering new knowledge concerning the modulation of the link between brain changes and cognitive decline by both modifiable (e.g., cognitively-stimulating activities, physical exercise) and non-modifiable (e.g., genetic vulnerability) factors. This program of research leverages the broad state-of-the-art resources available at the UW including the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging, and the UW Biotechnology Center. It involves partnerships with colleagues in geriatrics, neuroradiology, medical physics, biostatistics, genetic epidemiology, exercise physiology, and clinical chemistry; and has been generously supported by the NIA, the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), the John A. Hartford Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
In my personal and professional life, I aspire to foster an environment where the intellectual contributions, worldviews, and cultural heritage of every person is acknowledged and celebrated irrespective of their sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, or other individual differences.
Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive reserve, lifestyle, physical activity, genetics