Gene Alexander

Gene Alexander's picture
Real name: 
Professor, Clinical and Cognition & Neural Systems
Director, Brain Imaging, Behavior, & Aging Laboratory
Co-Director, Annual Conference on Successful Aging


(520) 626-1704 / (520) 626-0386 (Lab)
Psychology 315 / Psychology 317 (Lab)
Research Interests: 
  • Investigating health and lifestyle factors that influence the course of brain aging and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Evaluating individual differences in cognition and brain networks across the spectrum from successful to pathological aging
  • Using multimodal neuroimaging and cognitive methods to evaluate interventions for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease

My research interests focus on the study of brain-behavior relationships in the context of healthy aging and age-related, neurodegenerative disease. I use multimodal neuroimaging techniques, including structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), in combination with measures of cognition and behavior to address research questions on the effects of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

A major focus of my research program includes the use of network analysis techniques with neuroimaging methods and measures of neuropsychological function, health status, lifestyle characteristics, and genetic risk to advance understanding of how these multiple factors influence cognitive function as we age. My research also includes the application of these techniques to non-human animal models of aging and age-related disease, as well as the development of novel interventions for the treatment and prevention of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Selected Publications: 

Bergfield, K.L., Hanson, K.D., Chen, K., Teipel, S.J., Hampel, H., Rapoport, S.I., Moeller, J.R., & Alexander, G.E. (2010). Age-related networks of regional covariance in MRI gray matter: Reproducible multivariate patterns in healthy aging. Neuroimage, 49, 1750-9. PMID: 19796692

Alexander, G.E., Bergfield, K.L., Chen, K., Reiman, E.M., Hanson, K.D., Lin, L., Bandy, D., Caselli, R.J., & Moeller, J.R. (2012). Gray matter network associated with risk for Alzheimer’s disease in young to middle-aged adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 33, 2723-32. PMID: 22405043

Alexander, G.E., Ryan, L., Bowers, D., Foster, T.C., Bizon, J.L., Geldmacher, D.S., & Glisky, E.L. (2012). Characterizing cognitive aging in humans with links to animal models. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 4, 21. PMID: 22988439

Raichlen, D.A., & Alexander G.E. (2014). Exercise, APOE genotype, and the evolution of the human lifespan. Trends in Neurosciences, 37, 247-55. (Article featured on journal cover, May, 2014.) PMID: 24690272

Nguyen, L.A., Haws, K.A., Fitzhugh, M.C., Torre, G.A., Hishaw, G.A., & Alexander, G.E. (in press). Interactive effects of subjective memory complaints and hypertension on learning and memory performance in the elderly. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. PMID: 26185923

Research Program: