Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Alexandra L. Clark


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program

Alexandra L. Clark

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Interests


aging, neuropsychology, mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, clinical cultural neuroscience, brain health equity, neuroimaging

Biography


Dr. Clark received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology from the San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program. She completed a full-time postdoctoral fellowship in Interprofessional Polytrauma TBI Rehabilitation at the San Diego VA Healthcare System as well as a part-time fellowship in Neuropsychology and Novel Neuroimaging Metrics for Alzheimer's Disease at the University of California San Diego from 2019-2021. She has extensive training in the neuropsychological assessment of a broad range of neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, TBI, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD), and has provided clinical supervision to doctoral students and interns. Dr. Clark will join the UT Austin Clinical Psychology Faculty in Fall 2021.

Dr. Clark’s research utilizes novel neuroimaging tools (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging, arterial spin labeling) and biofluid markers (e.g., serum and cerebrospinal fluid) within aging and traumatic brain injury clinical populations to (1) characterize the pathophysiological mechanisms and neural consequences underlying cognitive dysfunction, (2) better understand the temporal course of brain changes and various factors (e.g., genetic risk) that mediate/moderate the neural response, and (3) explore links between social determinants of health and heterogeneity in cognitive, biomarker, and neuroimaging signatures within racially/ethnically diverse older adults. With regards to the latter, her goal is to develop inclusive Alzheimer's disease frameworks that highlight sociocultural contributions to biological mechanisms underlying disparities in dementia risk. She is particularly interested in inflammatory and vascular contributions to pathologic aging trajectories and works with several large-scale data initiatives (e.g., ADNI, ADNI-DoD, HABS-HD) to model these effects.

Dr. Clark welcomes all members of our community and is an ally to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, first-generation, low SES, neurodiverse, and visibly/non-visibly disabled persons.

 

Courses


PSY 341K • Diversity In Cognitive Aging

43029 • Fall 2021
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM ECJ 1.306

This course will highlight biological, social, and cognitive factors underlying brain aging. The instructor will leverage a life course perspective to discuss how environmental and sociocultural factors lead to non-universal brain aging trajectories that disproportionately affect diverse groups. An emphasis will be placed on understanding how (1) traditional models of brain aging confer limited applicability to distinct racial/ethnic groups; (2) examining modifiable factors of risk and resiliency that may promote a more complete understanding of brain aging across diverse samples; and (3) prioritizing inclusive scientific initiatives coupled with public policy changes can lead to more equitable brain aging pathways.

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  • Department of Psychology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043
    512-471-1157