Professor & Evelyn McKnight Chair of Clinical Translation in Cognitive Aging
College of Public Health and Health Professions
Ronald Cohen’s research investigates what successful cognitive aging can look like.
Specifically, he is responsible for conducting studies of brain aging-mechanisms and age-associated comorbidities that affect cognition and the brain (e.g., heart disease, obesity, diabetes, HIV, metabolic disturbances, and alcohol and drug use).
“My research has explored comorbid risk factors and etiologies that impact cognitive and brain aging,” Cohen said. “For example, we’ve looked at the vascular and metabolic disturbances that can affect brain dysfunction.”
His lab also explores different interventions to prevent, slow or reduce age-associated cognitive decline.
“Recently, my work is more squarely focused on successful aging,” Cohen said. “We’re looking at efforts to identify and develop neuroimaging and laboratory biomarkers that can eventually be routinely used in clinical settings for the assessment of older adults.”
Successful aging is a term generally used to describe an individual’s advancement in years without significant presence of disease or disability, engaging in meaningful interactions with those around them and having appropriately high physical and cognitive abilities.
As the Director of the Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory (CAM) at the University of Florida, Cohen’s research exemplifies the center’s multidisciplinary identity. His lab integrates neurocognitive, neuroimaging and different laboratory biomarker methods. These imaging techniques allow researchers to examine different brain structure, function and physiology related to aging.
Cohen has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters on topics related to successful aging. He has had continuous NIH funding since arriving at UF in 2012 and throughout his previous appointment at Brown University.