Brian Downer, PhD
Division of Rehabilitation Sciences
As a researcher, Dr. Brian Downer's goal is to analyze large, cohort studies of aging to produce evidence that informs the development of interventions that improve the overall health and well-being of older adults. This goal stems from his PhD training in gerontology having taken place at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.
Dr. Downer's public health perspective has influenced his research during all stages of his career. His doctoral research focused on identifying potentially modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease among older adults with a genetic predisposition for dementia. His research as a T32 post-doctoral fellow at UTMB advanced his interest in studying high-risk populations by investigating potentially modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment and physical decline among older Hispanics.
Dr. Downer's current research includes studying how cognitive impairment contributes to the progression of physical frailty among older Hispanics. He is also currently involved in research using claims data files to study the healthcare utilization of older adults, with a focus on older adults with cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and related dementias. In the future, Dr. Downer plans to collaborate with other UTMB School of Health Professions faculty who have expertise in developing interventions so that he can achieve his goal of conducting translational research.