Toni Antonucci, Ph.D.
Director of LCD
Toni C. Antonucci is the Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Program Director and Research Professor in the Life Course Development Program at the Institute for Social Research, all at the University of Michigan, USA. Her research focuses on social relations and health (physical/psychological/cognitive functioning) across the life span. Professor Antonucci studies all types of social relations including close social relations, peer and family relations, caregiving, and social media. She is interested in family multigenerational relations, child and adult development. Further, Professor Antonucci has conducted comparative studies on social relations and health in the United States, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
Jess Francis, Ph.D.
Jess Francis is a Research Investigator in the SRC’s Life Course Development (LCD) Program. She began working at the LCD in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Toni Antonucci. Prior to joining the LCD she received her PhD in Information and Media Studies from Michigan State University in 2018 and completed a year-long postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and translational science at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Center for Health + Technology. Dr. Francis conducts research on social relations and aging, digital inequalities, social isolation, and the impact of emerging technology use on older adults’ well-being. She is also currently conducting research on an NSF-funded grant to study the future of remote work and worker health.
Noah J. Webster, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist
Noah J. Webster received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University with specializations in Medical Sociology and Research Methods. Dr. Webster’s research focuses on the bidirectional influences of health and social relationships and the role of the lived environment in shaping social relations. His work has examined these topics across developmental contexts using representative survey data from the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. He is principal investigator of multiple sponsored research projects focused on translating knowledge from these research areas to develop interventions designed to promote health-related behaviors through social resources in communities with fewer economic resources.
Kristine J. Ajrouch, Ph.D.
Adjunct Research Professor
Kristine J. Ajrouch received her PhD in Sociology from Wayne State University in 1997. She joined LCD in 1998 as a post-doctoral fellow, and has retained her affiliation since that time. She is also Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University. Her research has focused, for over twenty years, on Arab Americans beginning with ethnic identity formation among adolescent children of immigrants followed by the study of social relations, aging and health.
Anne Petersen, Ph.D.
Anne Petersen is Research Professor (Adjunct), University of Michigan, in two units. She is Founder/President of Global Philanthropy Alliance, a foundation making grants in Africa. Petersen authored 15 books and over 350 articles, currently emphasizing global science policy and philanthropy, with continuing emphases on adolescence/youth development and evaluation/research methods. She co-founded Society of Research on Adolescence and was President of several scientific societies. She chairs NASEM Policy & Global Affairs Divisional Committee and the NASEM EnCoRe Committee, and is key faculty for two fellowship programs in Africa, among other US/global voluntary boards/committees. She is a member of the Templeton World Charity Foundation Board of Directors.
Laura B. Zahodne, Ph.D.
Dr. Zahodne is a clinical neuropsychologist who received her PhD from the University of Florida and completed her neuropsychology internship at Brown University. Before joining the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan and affiliating with the Life Course Development program in 2016, she completed postdoctoral training at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Zahodne’s interests include: psychosocial factors in cognitive aging and neurodegenerative disease and racial/ethnic inequalities in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs).
Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Ph.D.
Patricia Reuter-Lorenz received her PhD in Psychology in 1987 from the University of Toronto and became a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan in 1992. She joined the LCD in 2012. She studies neurocognitive aging of memory and executive functions using behavioral and brain imaging methods, along with interventions that may ameliorate cognitive decline.
Elaine Wethington, Ph.D.
Adjunct Research Professor
Elaine Wethington is Professor Emeritus of Human Development at Cornell University. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan PhD program in Sociology. Since 2003 she has been Co-Director and Director of the Pilot Study Core for the Cornell Edward R. Roybal Center for Translation of the Behavioral and Social Sciences of Aging. Her current research focuses on developing efficient measures of toxic stress in families, relationship transitions, and exposure to major and minor stressors that can be used in longitudinal studies of the population in surveys, randomized controlled trials with frequent follow-up, and on smartphones.
Kristi Chin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr. Chin received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2022. She is currently a joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research’s Life Course Development Program and in the School of Nursing. Her focus is on close relationships and health. In particular, she is interested in why some people have higher quality relationships than others and examines psychological and physiological factors that can help us understand these differences. She has worked on grants funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and was the 2017 recipient of the Doctoral Fellowship.
Simon Brauer, Ph.D.
Research Area Specialist
Simon Brauer is a quantitative sociologist with research interests in religion across the life course and within families. He received his PhD in Sociology from Duke University in 2019. He is currently a research area specialist working on the dissemination and analysis of complex social network survey data. He is interested in Bayesian probability modeling and using machine learning to enrich existing datasets.
Zeina R. Tout received her Bachelors of Science from Eastern Michigan University with a double-major in Psychology and Communication. As part of her research pursuits, she worked on developing treatment plans and providing psychotherapy to vulnerable populations in Detroit, Michigan. She has also worked directly with refugees offering them career counseling and guidance to ease their integration into a new culture. She works on the Detroit Area Wellness Network (DAWN), which conducts multiple studies that examine cognitive health and social relations among different racial and ethnic groups in metro-Detroit. She also works with the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD), an Alzheimer’s disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research. Zeina has developed a strong interest in researching Alzheimer’s disease and its effects on families and caregivers.
Nour Fakhoury is a project manager of the Detroit Area Wellness Network studies in LCD. Nour received a master’s degree in sociology from Eastern Michigan University in 2012. She is currently a graduate student in the Survey and Data Science program at the University of Michigan. Nour has a passion for research on health and wellbeing especially among minority and immigrant populations. She is also interested in questionnaire design and interviewer effects.
MCCFAD Project Coordinator
Marwa Khalil is the Project Coordinator at the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD). Marwa received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Michigan in 2022. Marwa is passionate about research focused on studying the needs of underrepresented communities and working toward addressing social determinants of health within these communities.
Myriam Al Bcherraoui
Myriam is a first-year PhD student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Lebanese American University in May 2022. Myriam is interested in examining how parent-child relationships support children’s social and emotional development and prevent negative behavioral outcomes. She is also interested in exploring how early family relationships serve as a source of emotional security that promote children’s healthy development across the lifespan, and contribute to later behavioral and health outcomes.
Jasmine Cooper is a second year PhD student at the University of Michigan majoring in Psychology with a double concentration in developmental psychology and cognition and cognitive neuroscience. Her research focuses on ethnic and racial disparities of Alzheimer’s disease and related Dementias (ADRD) in older adults. Specifically, she investigates how certain biological and environmental risk factors that influence development across the lifespan, such as chronic illness and neighborhood disparities, have a cumulative effect on cognitive outcomes in at-risk older adults. Prior to joining UMich and LCD in 2021, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Cal Poly Pomona.
Emily Briggs is a PhD student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. She joined LCD in the Fall of 2022 after completing her Bachelor’s degree with Honors from Towson University in May of 2021. Emily’s research centers around how social interaction and activity participation influence feelings of well-being in older adults.
Rita Xiaochen Hu
Rita Hu is a PhD student at the University of Michigan’s joint program in Social Work and Psychology. She joined LCD in the fall of 2018 after receiving her Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the development and influence of age stereotypes across the lifespan, the intersectionality of age, gender and race/ethnicity, as well as the protective role of social relations in combating ageism and promoting social and emotional well-being among older adults.
Joonyoung Cho received his MSW and MPH from Washington University in St. Louis, and he is a Ph.D. student in the Joint Program in Social Work and Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. His research interest includes aging-in-place, relocation, life course, social relation, productive aging, and internet communication and technologies.
Jay is a doctoral student in The Joint Program in Social Work and Developmental Psychology at The University of Michigan. He has earned bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Social Work from The University of Iowa and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to coming to Michigan he spent five years working in direct practice as a social worker in an acute care setting. He is clinically licensed in Missouri and Michigan. His current research interests center around older adults with chronic health and mental health concerns and older adults experiencing elder abuse.
Maham Adnan is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan. She is majoring in Biology, Cognition & Neuroscience with a minor in Law, Justice & Social Change. Maham has closely worked with patients of Alzheimer’s disease in nursing facilities. She has developed a strong interest in social relations and its impact on Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive health. Maham Adnan plans to apply to medical school in pursuit of neurology.
UROP Lab Assistant
At the University of Michigan, Christina is majoring in Neuroscience at the college of LSA and minoring in
Entrepreneurship at the Ross School of Business. Christina is also a member of the
Entrepreneurship Leaders Program 2023 cohort. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Christina
founded Save Summer 2021 which was a nonprofit campaign for the advocacy of COVID-19
vaccines. Christina plans on pursing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and intends to further partake in
in research involving degenerative brain diseases.