biophoto Olivia Okereke, MD, MS, is an American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology-certified geriatric psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). She is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Professor in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). A graduate of Harvard College and Yale University School of Medicine, she completed a general psychiatry residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/ McLean program and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at McLean Hospital. She also completed a Master of Science in Epidemiology degree at HSPH as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Kirschstein-National Research Service Award recipient. At BWH, she holds appointments as an Associate Psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry, where she provides continuity outpatient care in geriatric psychiatry, and also as an Associate Epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine. Additionally, she is a clinical affiliate psychiatrist in the MGH Gerontology Research Unit and Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

The programmatic goals of this lab are: (1) to employ epidemiologic research methods to identify modifiable risk factors (e.g., diet, lifestyle) involved in healthy mental aging and (2) to translate and apply knowledge gained into effective strategies for large-scale prevention of major adverse mental aging outcomes, such as late-life depression and cognitive decline. As a Principal Investigator, Dr. Okereke has obtained numerous independent research grants from the National Institutes of Health and private/non-profit foundations. Her peer-reviewed work has appeared in JAMA, Archives of Internal Medicine, Annals of Neurology, Archives of Neurology, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Neurobiology of Aging, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and other scientific journals.

Beyond the lab, Dr. Okereke is active in efforts to promote education and research in the area of late-life mental health. She regularly provides education on healthy brain aging and maintenance of emotional wellbeing at community centers, local Councils on Aging, and other seniors’ agencies around Massachusetts. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter (2007-2013; reached term limits) as well as a current member (2007-present) and past Chair (2012-2013) of the Chapter’s Medical and Scientific Committee. She has previously served as Chair of the Chapter’s Annual Meeting, and more recently on its Public Health and Public Safety working group for the development of a Massachusetts State Plan for Alzheimer’s.

Research Summaries