At a Glance


Founded: 2010

Mission: To understand why and how the mind ages and to help develop ways to slow cognitive aging and prevent or delay the onset of crippling disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Leadership: Center director Dr. Michael Rugg together with Dr. Denise Park, director of research, are accomplished cognitive neuroscientists and distinguished chairs in the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Team: Six research laboratories that together employ more than 50 people including a dozen postdoctoral fellows, as well as graduate students, research assistants, and administrative support staff.

Research: Center investigators are engaged in a wide variety of studies aimed at understanding the aging mind including the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study, which aims to understand who ages successfully and why, as well as who may be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease well before symptoms appear; the Synapse Project, which is testing whether an engaged lifestyle can keep the mind healthy in old age; and efforts to elucidate how memories are formed and retrieved and how these processes change with age.

Collaborations: Center investigators maintain affiliations and research collaborations with local, national, and international universities including UT Southwestern Medical Center, UT Arlington, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Duke National University of Singapore, and University College London.

Publications: Research articles by Center scientists regularly appear in the top peer-reviewed scientific journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, and Neuropsychologia.

Community Involvement: More than 1,000 Dallas-Fort Worth residents have participated in Center for Vital Longevity research studies.

Federal Funding: Center scientists oversee grants from the National Institutes of Health and other federal and state agencies, with a total award value of more than $12.3 million.

Facilities: 30,000 square feet of research space including offices, cognitive testing rooms, and laboratories.