Healthy Aging Month: FSU experts available to speak on healthy aging

(Photo courtesy of
(Photo courtesy of

With Healthy Aging month in full swing, one of the preeminent fields of research at Florida State University is in the spotlight.

FSU’s history of prioritizing healthy aging and producing cutting-edge research in the field dates back decades. At FSU, healthy aging research is defined in large part by a multidisciplinary approach in which researchers and experts from across colleges and departments engage in solving some of the field’s most pressing challenges — and maximizing its many opportunities.

FSU’s robust network of expert collaboration has made it an influential national leader in healthy aging, shaping practices and policies and paving the way forward with real-world solutions that advance knowledge and serve communities and individuals.  

FSU researchers are available to speak with reporters about the university’s work on healthy aging.  

Katy Cao

Assistant Professor, College of Social Work 

Dr. Katy (Qiuchang) Cao is an assistant professor at the College of Social Work focusing on gerontology. Cao’s work has centered on strengthening social inclusion related to age, abilities, country of origin, race and ethnicity via community-engaged research and secondary data analysis. She is interested in the social mechanism that contributes to health among various groups of older adults. Her most recent work examines how the midlife work environment influences cognitive health in later life using data from the Health and Retirement Study and the Occupation Information Network. Her scholarship highlights the importance of the community environment and life course experiences in the physical, mental and cognitive health of older adults. Cao’s work involves the use of qualitative, quantitative and network analyses. 

Dawn Carr

Associate Professor and Director of the Claude Pepper Center, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

Carr’s work is aimed at enhancing the well-being of older adults and identifying factors that promote long-term health and activity. For the past decade, she has focused on the links between health, later-life transitions and social engagement. She explores both the health consequences of stressors such as retirement, social roles and major health events and the significance of early life experiences in leading a resilient life through older age.  

Neil Charness

William G. Chase Professor of Psychology, Director of Institute for Successful Longevity, Department of Psychology 

Charness focuses on the role of digital technology in enhancing the quality of life for aging adults. His work incorporates improved design and support through a human-factors iterative design approach. He researches intervention science to improve cognition, driving capabilities and work activities for aging people. He has written more than 200 publications spanning journals, book chapters and papers. 

Mia Lustria

Professor, FSU School of Information, FSU College of Communication and Information 

Lustria’s 20 years of research experience include studying eHealth and mobile-health intervention design, persuasive technology strategies and user-centered, participatory design approaches. She is a co-investigator on several NIH grants focused on exploring how mobile health, persuasive technology and gamification strategies can improve engagement in and adherence to a variety of behavior change interventions for at-risk and disadvantaged populations, including older adults, young adults with HIV, pediatric heart transplant patients and minority populations. This includes a grant with colleagues at the Institute for Successful Longevity aimed at testing the effectiveness of an AI-assisted smart reminder system to improve older adults’ adherence to cognitive training and assessment.

Miles Taylor

Professor and Director of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy

Taylor specializes in physical and mental health, life-course disadvantage, population aging and family dynamics. With a focus on longitudinal quantitative methodologies, her research explores life-course processes and their impact on older adult health. Taylor’s research has been published in prestigious journals within her field such as the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences and she was recently elected a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.