About Our Research
Research Faculty and Labs
Grace Baranek PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Dean, Chair, and Mrs. T.H. Chan Professor of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Dr. Grace Baranek’s research focuses on identification of behavioral and neurophysiological risk markers in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She has developed numerous clinical measures, including the First Years Inventory and the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire. As a Principal Investigator (PI) of the Parents and Infants Engaged (PIE) project funded by NICHD, she is developing a novel intervention to promote caregivers’ awareness and responsiveness to their infant’s sensory reactivity and social-communication in everyday life. During her career, Dr. Baranek has served as the PI or Co-PI of multiple extramural grants funded by federal agencies and private foundations and is the author of more than 90 peer-reviewed papers. She has been a member of working groups of the National Academy of Science and the National Institutes of Health to establish guidelines for evidence-based practices and has served as a technical expert for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Committee on comparative effectiveness of interventions targeting sensory challenges in children with ASD. As the director of the Innovations in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research (insp!re) Laboratory, she leads a dynamic multidisciplinary team of collaborators, students, and postdoctoral fellows, all of whom are dedicated to promoting optimal engagement and development for young children with neurodevelopmental differences.
The Innovations in Neurodevelopmental Sensory Processing Research (insp!re) Lab is a multidisciplinary team of researchers, students, postdoctoral fellows, and volunteers committed to advancing our knowledge of early risk signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders. At insp!re, we believe that true innovation occurs at the intersection between science, creativity, and technology. This belief led us to partner with local artists, engineers, clinicians, and families to employ cutting-edge methods and technologies to design novel multimodal screening tools, including parent-report and biobehavioral measures, for pediatric settings. We are also developing efficacious interventions for caregivers and infants to optimize development in the areas of social-communication, sensory reactivity and regulation, and overall engagement in daily routines such as play and mealtime.
Joy Agner PhD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor of Research
Dr. Joy Agner is an Assistant Professor of Research, an occupational therapist, and director of the Health and Empowerment Action (HEAL) Lab within the USC Chan Division. Dr. Agner received her master’s degree in occupational science and therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her PhD degree in Community and Cultural Psychology from the University of Hawai ́i at Mānoa. For her postdoctoral work, Dr. Agner directed a project evaluating six initiatives within Hawai ́i’s Medicaid system (MedQUEST) meant to improve services for individuals with complex, co-occurring systemic and individual health vulnerabilities. She continues this work and collaboration as a faculty affiliate at the University of Hawai ́i Social Science Research Institute.
Dr. Agner’s passion for social justice through health systems research has resulted in numerous awards. She is a Rehabilitation Research Career Development K12 Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Ford Family Foundation Scholar. Dr. Agner has a strong publication record and has presented at more than 30 conferences nationally and internationally. She deeply enjoys mentoring and mentorship, which has been key to her own success as a first-generation college student from a small logging and fishing community in Oregon.
The Health and Empowerment Action (HEAL) Lab, directed by Dr. Joy Agner, focuses on improving health systems and services for underserved populations, such as racial minorities, people in poverty, and individuals with chronic disability or severe mental illness, using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach.
Current research projects within HEAL include:
- Examining the impact of care coordination and integrated care on health and quality of life for individuals with multiple, complex health needs
- Understanding how peer support networks, such as those fostered within mental health Clubhouses, impact health literacy, health outcomes, and quality of life
- Advancing theory on cultural humility in occupational science and the use of culturally-informed models to promote health equity among racial minorities, such as Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
- Advancing theory on empowerment and disempowerment in medical systems, from both individual and structural perspectives
HEAL research utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods, including innovative methods such as Photovoice and social network analysis. Based on the CBPR model, research within HEAL is shaped through ongoing collaboration with community partners, from question development to dissemination, and aims to provide a meaningful and empowering experience for lab members and community partners alike.
Rebecca Aldrich PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Dr. Rebecca Aldrich is an internationally recognized scholar whose theoretical, methodological, and empirical works have advanced knowledge about the situated nature of occupation. Dr. Aldrich earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at the University of Southern California, and a PhD degree in occupational science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served on the executive boards of the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA and the International Society for Occupational Science, and held guest and associate editor roles for the Journal of Occupational Science and OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health.
As director of the Human Occupation, Precarity, and Employment (HOPE) Lab, Dr. Aldrich aims to cultivate critical curiosity regarding conditions that limit occupational engagement, such as unemployment. With students, colleagues, and research consultants, Dr. Aldrich works toward dual goals of knowledge generation and mobilization by embracing complexity, questioning taken-for-granted assumptions, leveraging partnerships, and seeking inclusion, equity, and justice.
The Human Occupation, Precarity, and Employment (HOPE) Lab, directed by Dr. Rebecca Aldrich, aims to illuminate assumptions, practices, and policies that differently shape access to, and engagement in, occupation. The lab draws on dynamic theoretical foundations — such as the transactional perspective and critical social theories — and multiple methodologies — such as ethnography and time diaries — to enact critical inquiries that reflect the complexity of people’s daily lives. The overall goals of the HOPE Lab are to generate refined, inclusive understandings of occupation; to illuminate how an occupational perspective articulates with approaches to a range of social problems; and to equip occupational scientists and occupational therapists with concepts and findings that can support the pursuit of equity and justice.
Amber Angell PhD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Dr. Amber Angell’s research focuses on understudied and underserved groups of individuals on the autism spectrum, including Latinx children, girls and women, and adults. The overall purpose of her lab is to reduce disparities in autism diagnosis and services among underserved groups. She recently completed the Rehabilitation Research Career Development K12 Scholar Program funded by the NIH/NICHD. Her work as PI has been supported by the Health Resources & Services Administration, the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA. Dr. Angell earned a bachelor’s degree in health studies and master’s degree in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University, and was an occupational therapy clinician for several years before earning her PhD degree in occupational science from the University of Southern California. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The mission of the Disparity Reduction and Equity in Autism Services (DREAmS) Lab, led by Dr. Amber Angell, is to identify, measure, understand, and reduce disparities in autism diagnosis and services. The lab’s overarching vision is to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity for all individuals on the autism spectrum. The lab is composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, students, and volunteers who use a range of health services research methods and designs, including surveys, large data analysis of health records, in-depth qualitative methods, and mixed methods approaches. Their research focuses on groups of autistic people who are under-identified with autism, underrepresented in research, and underserved by health systems. The lab’s current projects are focusing on autistic girls and women, Latinx autistic children and their families, and LGBTQIA+ autistic adults.
Lisa Aziz-Zadeh PhD
Associate Professor, joint appointment with USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology
Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh trained at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in neuroscience, and her PhD degree in psychology with an emphasis in cognitive neuroscience. She completed postdoctoral work with Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti’s laboratory at the University of Parma (Italy), Dr. Richard Ivry’s laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a fellow at the UCLA Tennenbaum Family Creativity Initiative. She has published numerous papers and book chapters on the mirror neuron system, embodied cognition, and language. In 2008-2009, she was an invited fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Berlin.
Dr. Aziz-Zadeh studies embodied representations, creativity, and language from a cognitive neuroscience perspective, using techniques including structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), gene sequencing, and gut microbiota composition analysis.
Our bodies are one of the most fundamental ways we understand ourselves, the world, and other people. The Center for the Neuroscience of Embodied Cognition’s research program explores the idea that rudimentary sensory-motor brain regions, which may have been originally designed for processing our own body states, may be intrinsically involved in processing aspects of higher cognition, including language, thought, emotions, empathy, and social understanding. Current projects funded by the NIH, US Dept. of Defense, and IARPA include:
From Sensory-Motor to Social in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Children with ASD often have both motor and sensory deficits in addition to autism’s hallmark social deficits. However, the neurological basis of the relationship between sensorimotor and core social deficits is poorly understood. By comparing ASD to Developmental Coordination Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder, we hope to better understand the relationship between sensory-motor processing and social traits in autistic children.
Relationship between the Gut Microbiome, the Brain, and Behavior
The gut has three times as many neurons than the spinal cord, and most of those connections send information to the brain. However, the relationship between the gut microbiome, the brain, and behavior is poorly understood. We are working to better understand this relationship in both typically developing individuals and autistic individuals.
Embodied Semantics and Communication
Most of our metaphors are embodied: We “handle” situations, “kick off” a new year, and “chew over” decisions. Using fMRI and behavioral studies, we investigate both literal and metaphorical language to explore how language processing involves sensorimotor brain representations.
Sharon Cermak EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Professor, joint appointment with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Sharon Cermak received her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from The Ohio State University, her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University, and her doctoral degree in special education from Boston University. Dr. Cermak’s current research focuses on health promotion in children with disabilities, which is a critical area of national health concern for children. Dr. Cermak is renowned for her expertise in autism spectrum disorders and sensory processing. She has conducted extensive research in dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorder, including physical activity, participation and obesity, and early identification. She co-edited a leading text, Developmental Coordination Disorders. Her research expertise also includes the sensory processing and developmental effects of deprivation in institutionalized and post-institutionalized children. Dr. Cermak has more than 170 publications.
The Sensory Adaptations in Dental Environments (SADE) Lab, led by Dr. Sharon Cermak, studies interventions that alter the sensory characteristics of the dental environment in order to decrease children’s physiological anxiety and negative responses during oral care and contribute to increased child comfort as well as safer, more efficient, and less costly dental treatment. This intervention is being implemented with children with autism spectrum disorder and is being pilot tested with children with Down syndrome. If successful, this intervention has the potential to revolutionize clinic-based dental care for the growing population of children with autism spectrum disorder, as well as for children with developmental disabilities and typically developing children with dental anxiety and/or sensory over-responsivity.
Leah Stein Duker PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor of Research
Dr. Leah Stein Duker, the director of the Tailored Environmental Modifications (TEM) Lab, completed her undergraduate education at Emory University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology. She received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy with an emphasis on pediatrics, including school-based practice and sensory integration interventions. She worked in the field of pediatrics before coming back to USC Chan to complete her PhD in occupational science, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship. She joined USC Chan as Assistant Professor of Research in 2015, focusing on the use of tailored environmental modifications to reduce stress and anxiety in patients, family members, and healthcare providers during challenging healthcare encounters. Her work is currently supported by the NIH (NIDCR and NCMRR) and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.
Dr. Stein Duker’s research interests include: pediatrics, sensory processing, multisensory environments, behavioral and physiological measures of distress (e.g., video-coding, electrodermal activity), autism, and wearable sensors.
The Tailored Environmental Modifications (TEM) Lab focuses on the broad-ranging effects of environmental factors on stress, well-being, and activity engagement during challenging healthcare encounters, and the efficacy of TEM interventions to alleviate these challenges. Using a variety of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research, the TEM Lab features highly interdisciplinary team science, bringing together collaborators from a diverse array of fields such as occupational therapy, dentistry, primary care, oncology, and engineering. Research in our lab focuses on the:
- identification of environmental barriers and facilitators to positive healthcare encounters; and
- development and evaluation of evidence-based TEM interventions to improve healthcare experiences for consumers and healthcare providers.
Current TEM Lab studies include the examination of healthcare encounters in children during dental care (those with autism, Down syndrome, and/or dental fear and anxiety), adults with autism at primary care visits, children with cancer during chemotherapy infusions, and children receiving treatment in the Emergency Department.
Mary Lawlor ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Chair of Research and Professor, joint appointment with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Department of Pediatrics
Dr. Mary C. Lawlor’s research program reflects her commitment to effective and compassionate partnerships and interventions among children with developmental and special health care needs, their families, and communities — with particular attention to populations who are chronically underserved. Her research interests include examining the meanings of illness and disability in family and community life; the social nature of therapeutic experiences; sociocultural influences on health care and health equity; developmental processes; narrative structuring of social action; and occupational science perspectives on living and learning in everyday life.
She is currently leading a project funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and has previously been funded by several agencies and foundations, including NICHD at NIH. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Academy of Research, and recently served as Chair of the AOTF Board of Trustees. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in occupational therapy, received her master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and earned her ScD in therapeutic studies from Boston University.
The Boundary Crossings Lab, directed by Dr. Mary Lawlor, addresses a range of issues related to the lived experiences of children, adolescents, and adults who have health and developmental challenges as they engage in the extraordinary and ordinary activities that constitute living and learning in daily life. In 1997, USC Professors Mary Lawlor and Cheryl Mattingly and an interdisciplinary research team began conducting a longitudinal, ethnographic study of healthcare trajectories in 30 African American children with illnesses and/or disabilities, their families, and the practitioners who served them through a series of studies funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and NICHD (NCMRR) at NIH. The research aims were to identify, describe, and situate how families contribute to the production of culturally responsive care, and to reveal the strategies families and practitioners employ to establish commonality and bridge differences to effectively “partner up.” Using an approach that is both event-centered and longitudinal, this study led to information about how discrete moments of healthcare encounters produce effects across both context and time. Findings of this study facilitate a reconsideration of dominant models of cultural competency and health literacy at multiple policy levels.
This series of studies formed the foundation for more recent and current work related to meanings of illness and disability in family life, “partnering up” and collaboration, social and community participation, the role of narrative in clinical action and transformation, health disparities in autism, cultivation of family expertise with home invasive therapies, and adolescent and adult experiences with community engagements and social participation. We continue to develop research methodologies and designs to examine these complex phenomena and enhance rigor in ethnographic, phenomenological, and qualitative methods.
Sook-Lei Liew PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor, joint appointments with the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy; Viterbi School of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; and Keck School of Medicine of USC, Neurology
Dr. Sook-Lei Liew is an Assistant Professor and the director of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation (NPNL) Lab at the University of Southern California. She has joint appointments in the Divisions of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Neurology and is a member of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Rice University and master’s and PhD degrees from USC. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has been a visiting scholar at Peking University, the University of Tübingen, and Johns Hopkins University. The goal of Dr. Liew’s research is to understand mechanisms of neural plasticity in healthy individuals and individuals after neurological injury in order to help them learn and recover. Her laboratory uses big data approaches to brain imaging and behavior to understand how people recover after stroke, as well as neuromodulatory techniques and technologies such as noninvasive brain stimulation, brain computer interfaces, and virtual reality to promote learning and enhance plasticity and rehabilitation after brain injury. Her work has been funded by the NIH, National Science Foundation, US Army, and American Heart Association, among others, and featured at SXSW and in press outlets such as Forbes, CNET, and PC Magazine.
The overall mission of the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation (NPNL) Lab is to enhance neural plasticity in a wide population of individuals in order to improve their quality of life and engagement in meaningful activities. We study how the brain changes in response to different events and test new technologies and methods to enhance brain plasticity and recovery after diseases such as stroke.
Specifically, the Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Lab aims to:
- characterize and predict neural plasticity changes in healthy individuals and in individuals after stroke throughout the process of learning or recovery using big data approaches;
- enhance neural plasticity or neural recovery in individuals using noninvasive brain stimulation, brain–computer interfaces, virtual reality, and/or novel behavioral paradigms; and
- personalize the use of plasticity-inducing paradigms in order to capitalize on each individual’s unique learning or recovery potential.
Bobbi Pineda PhD, OTR/L, CNT
Dr. Bobbi Pineda served in pediatric clinical roles at Tampa General Rehabilitation, All Children’s Hospital, Duke University Medical Center and University of Florida Shands Hospital from 1992 through 2006, where she gained expertise with outpatient and inpatient pediatric therapy, including services to fragile infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The premature birth of her first child, in addition to her ongoing interest in learning, led her to pursue her doctorate to conduct research with premature infants. After earning her PhD degree in rehabilitation science, she worked at Washington University in St. Louis for 12 years exploring factors that can improve the lives of infants born prematurely.
Dr. Pineda has expertise in early neurobehavioral and feeding assessment, and is a trainer for the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale and Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment, which she developed. She is co-chair for the Neonatal Therapy Certification program, which aims to recognize and advance interprofessional neonatal therapy practice through evidence-based certification standards, including validation of clinical experience and knowledge essential for effective delivery of neonatal therapy. Dr. Pineda also was part of the team who developed the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) program, which is being implemented in hospitals throughout the US and abroad. With personal experience as a mother of a high-risk infant in the NICU, Dr. Pineda is constantly striving to better understand and improve developmental outcomes for infants who start their lives in the NICU and their families.
The NICU Therapy Lab, led by Dr. Bobbi Pineda, explores the impact of the environment, medical conditions, and therapeutic interventions on brain structure and functional outcomes of infants born prior to 32 weeks gestation who are hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit. The lab also conducts research centered around parental engagement, access to early intervention services, and development of assessment tools and new technologies and interventions. Recent developments from the NICU Therapy Lab include the Neonatal Eating Outcome Assessment, the Supporting and Enhancing NICU Sensory Experiences (SENSE) program, and the Baby Bridge program. Currently, the lab is focused on implementation of the SENSE program in hospitals throughout the US and abroad, adapting the Baby Bridge program to telehealth, and understanding early feeding performance and its implications on later outcomes.
Beth Pyatak PhD, OTR/L, CDCES, DipACLM, FAOTA
Dr. Beth Pyatak, the director of the Lifestyle Redesign® for Chronic Conditions (LRCC) Lab, is an occupational scientist, occupational therapist, and certified diabetes care and education specialist. Her research encompasses two main themes: First, to understand the lived experiences and healthcare needs of underserved populations with chronic conditions, particularly diabetes, who experience health disparities (including transition-age youth, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, and racial/ethnic minority groups); second, to develop and evaluate innovative interventions that apply principles of occupational science and occupational therapy to the challenges of living with chronic conditions. Several of her studies have focused on developing and evaluating Lifestyle Redesign® interventions to promote well-being and quality of life among individuals with diabetes, and the dissemination and implementation of these interventions in real-world settings.
The Lifestyle Redesign® for Chronic Conditions (LRCC) Lab, led by Dr. Beth Pyatak, explores the impact of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis on health and well-being. Our research particularly focuses on addressing the needs of populations that are medically underserved or at an elevated risk for poor health and quality of life.
Research conducted in our lab focuses on:
- Identifying unmet needs among individuals with chronic conditions which are potentially amenable to occupational therapy intervention
- Developing and evaluating intervention approaches to address these needs
- Identifying strategies to widely disseminate these interventions to positively impact population health and well-being
- Using a variety of qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and translational research methodologies to explore these questions
Shawn Roll PhD, OTR/L, RMSKS, FAOTA, FAIUM
Dr. Shawn Roll is Associate Professor and Director of the PhD Program in the Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. He is an occupational therapist and a registered musculoskeletal sonographer (RMSKS). He has clinical experience in work programs and musculoskeletal disorders focused on the assessment, prevention and rehabilitation of work-related injuries. Dr. Roll has led multiple federally funded studies, including a CDC-funded longitudinal study to explore early identification of median nerve pathology using sonographic imaging and to identify risk factors of work-related injuries in dental hygienists, as well as an NSF-funded study evaluating the use of artificial intelligence to enhance health, wellness and performance in office workers. Dr. Roll is an accomplished presenter, is widely published, is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research, a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association and a Fellow of the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine.
The Musculoskeletal Sonography and Occupational Performance (MSOP) Lab employs a holistic approach to examine interrelationships among occupational performance, health, and well-being. Research is primarily focused on worker well-being within built, organizational, and social contexts, and the evaluation, prevention, and rehabilitation of work- related musculoskeletal disorders. MSOP research is highly transdisciplinary, leveraging collaborations among occupational science, rehabilitation science, radiologic science, engineering, medicine, and other disciplines.
- Investigating, measuring, and intervening to optimize interactions among environments (built, organizational, social), occupational performance (e.g., praxis, engagement, productivity), and the health and well-being of workers
- Understanding how individual behaviors, physical exposures, stress, psychosocial factors, and personality traits relate to the development of musculoskeletal disorders or other work-related injuries, and how each factor mitigates or promotes successful prevention (e.g., ergonomics) and rehabilitation (e.g., hand therapy) efforts
- Advancing the use of sonographic imaging for the evaluation, prevention, and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders with a primary focus on the upper extremities
Stacey Schepens Niemiec PhD, OTR/L, DipACLM
Associate Professor of Research
Dr. Stacey Schepens Niemiec completed her undergraduate and graduate education at Wayne State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, a master’s degree in occupational therapy with a focus on assistive technology, and a PhD in instructional technology with a focus on interactive technology. While pursuing her PhD, she completed a pre-doctoral fellowship in aging and urban health, mentored by Allon Goldberg, PhD, PT and Cathy Lysack, PhD OT(C). She later completed
a postdoctoral fellowship in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, under the guidance of Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA. She transitioned to the University of Southern California for a second post-doctoral fellowship in clinical trials methodology, mentored by Florence Clark, PhD, FAOTA. She joined the USC Chan faculty in 2013 and is now Director of the Healthy Aging Research & Technology Lab, studying interventions that foster older adults’ meaningful activity engagement and application of technology to support healthy lifestyles in later life. Dr. Schepens Niemiec’s research has been recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been supported through multiple federally funded grants sponsored by the NIH National Institute on Aging.
The mission of the Healthy Aging Research & Technology (HART) Lab is to promote older adult wellness by investigating interventions — with special emphasis on application of cutting-edge technology — designed to support healthful, meaningful activity participation in later life. Under the direction of Dr. Stacey Schepens Niemiec, HART Lab research features highly interdisciplinary team science, bringing together collaborators from a diverse array of fields such as engineering, social work, gerontechnology, and business. HART Lab personnel engage in community-based participatory research, working closely with older adult stakeholders and community partners to identify means of enhancing the quality of life and well-being of older people. Research activities in the HART Lab have ranged from building a comprehensive physical activity-targeted smartphone application for underactive older people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, to developing a culturally tailored lifestyle intervention for late-midlife Latino adults.