Current Postdoctoral Scholars
Marshall G. Miller, PhD
Marshall G. Miller, Ph.D. is a first-year Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University Medical Center. He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Tufts University where his dissertation explored dietary approaches to combatting age-related cognitive decline and the neuroprotective effects of berry fruit and nuts. His research interests focus on the interactions of diet, cognition, and physical function during older adulthood. He is currently working under the co-mentorship of Connie W. Bales, PhD, RD (Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics at Duke and Associate Director for Education, Durham VA GRECC) and Kathryn N. Starr, PhD, RN (Assistant Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics at Duke) to explore the relationship between physical and cognitive frailty among older adults undergoing weight loss.
Kendra Seaman, PhD
Kendra Seaman, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar at Duke University’s Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, earned her PhD in Applied/Experimental Psychology at the Catholic University of America. Prior to that, she served as a Teach For America Corps Member and is now in the Motivated Cognition and Aging Brain Laboratory in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke. Her co-mentors are Gregory Samanez-Larkin, PhD (Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke and Director, Motivated Cognition and Aging Brain Lab) and David J. Madden, PhD (Professor of Medical Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke). Her research examines the intersections of learning, motivation, and decision making across the adult life span using a variety of behavioral, modeling, and neuroimaging techniques.
Daniel C. Parker, MD
Daniel C. Parker, M.D. is a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and an Advanced Fellow in the Division of Geriatrics at Duke University Medical Center (DUMC). He received his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School 2013 and his residency in Internal Medicine in 2016. He completed his sub-specialty training in Geriatric Medicine at DUMC in 2017 Dr. Parker’s research interests include understanding age-related changes in inflammatory and metabolic markers and mechanisms by which exercise and caloric restriction affect biological aging. Under the mentorship of Kim Huffman, MD (Associate Professor of Medicine-Rheumatology at Duke; William Kraus, MD (Richard and Pat Johnson University Professor of Medicine-Cardiology at Duke), Miriam C. Morey, PhD (Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics at Duke and Associate Director of Research, Durham VA GRECC), Dr. Parker is working to characterize age-related changes in inflammatory and metabolic markers across the lifespan. He also studies the role of autophagy in mediating the benefits of caloric restriction and exercise on biological aging.
Shelytia CoCroft, PhD
Shelytia CoCroft received her Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at Wayne State University where she examined the impact of socioeconomic status on knowledge of and attitudes toward cognitive decline. She is now a first year Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University Medical Center. Her co-mentors are Kathleen A. Welsh-Bohmer, Ph.D. (Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke and Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center) and Tyson Brown, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Sociology at Duke and Co-Director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health Disparities). Dr. CoCroft’s current research is part of the REVEAL-Scan Study, a study designed to investigate the impact of disclosing amyloid brain imaging results to cognitively healthy individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease by their family history with this condition. Her current research focuses on factors that contribute to participation of older adults in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease trials.
Anna H. Casey, PhD
Anna H. Casey, Ph.D. completed her doctorate in Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience at American University and is a first-year fellow at the Duke Center for Aging. Dr. Casey’s dissertation research investigated the effects of task effort on the observing response in tufted capuchins at the NICHD’s Laboratory of Comparative Ethology. Her co-mentors are William C. Wetsel, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke and Director of the Mouse Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Analysis Core Facility); Anne D. Yoder, (Braxton Craven Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Director of the Duke Lemur Center); and Richard O’Brien, (Disque D. Deane University Professor and Chair of Neurology. Dr. Casey is currently examining age-related cognitive decline in gray mouse lemurs. Results from her cognitive-behavioral tests will be compared with genotyping and brain imaging to assess the viability of the mouse lemur model for late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Amy Thierry, PhD, MPH
Amy Thierry, Ph.D., M.P.H. comes to the Duke Aging Center’s Postdoctoral Research Training Program from the Pennsylvania State University College of Health and Human Development where she earned a Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Demography. For her dissertation research, Dr. Thierry used Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data to examine racial/ethnic and gender differences in the relationship between chronic stress and physical disability, while integrating telomere length as a predictor of disability development. Her current co-mentors are Dr. Scott Lynch, PhD (Professor of Sociology at Duke) and Linda K. George, PhD (Arts and Sciences Professor of Sociology at Duke and Associate Director, Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development). Dr. Thierry’s research at Duke will use the HRS to examine neighborhood stressors experienced by midlife and older adults to better understand how environmental context contributes to physical disability disparities. Her research includes measures of inflammation and telomere length, a biomarker of cellular aging, to elucidate potential cellular processes linking stress and physical disability.
Candace S. Brown, PhD
Candace S. Brown, PhD is a second-year Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University Medical Center (DUMC). She received her doctorate in Health Related Science/Gerontology in 2016 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her dissertation focused on understanding the participatory motivations of midlife to older Black women who compete in triathlons Under the co-mentorship of Miriam C. Morey, PhD (Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics at Duke and Associate Director of Research, Durham VA GRECC) and Deborah T. Gold, PhD (Professor of Medical Sociology in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology and Neurosciences at Duke). Dr. Brown is developing skills in mixed methodologies to be applied to the study of aging, and her mentor for qualitative research is Linda M. Burton, PhD (James B. Duke Professor of Sociology and Director, Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke). Brown is currently studying the psychosocial complexities of exercise motivation among older veterans who exercise in the program Gerofit at the Durham VA.
Grace A. Noppert, PhD, MPH
Grace A Noppert, Ph.D., MPH is in her second year as a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Duke Center for Aging. She comes from the University of Michigan where she received her Ph.D. in Epidemiologic Science. Her dissertation work investigated social patterning of tuberculosis in Michigan. Her primary co-mentors are Angela O’Rand, Ph.D., (Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Duke and Director of the Center for Population Health and Aging and of the Duke University Population Research Institute) and Harvey Cohen, M.D.( Walter Kempner Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics and Director, Center for the Study of Aging & Human Development). Dr. Noppert’s research focuses on advancing our understanding of persistent infections across the life course as a potential cause of health disparities in aging and is specifically interested in investigating the link between early-life social disadvantage and later-life immune dysfunction.
Marianne Chanti-Ketterl, MD, PhD, MSPH
Marianne Chanti-Ketterl, MD, PhD, MSPH is in her second year as a Postdoctoral Scholar from the Duke Center for Aging. Dr. Chanti-Ketterl earned an M.D. from Universidad Internacional de las Americas in Costa Rica and an MSPH in Epidemiology from the University of South Florida. She completed her PhD at the University of South Florida in Aging Studies and Gerontology. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of lipoproteins on physical and cognitive function in older adults. Her co-mentors are Professor Brenda Plassman, Ph.D (Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Neurology at Duke) and Deborah T. Gold, PhD (Professor of Medical Sociology in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology and Neurosciences at Duke) Dr. Chanti-Ketterl’s research focuses on genetic and environmental risk factors for cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and dementia. In addition, she has a special scientific interest in addressing health disparities among Latinos. Her current project looks at the association between pesticides and cognitive function in farmers from the Agricultural Health Study of Memory and Aging.