Women's Health Research Day - “Healthy Aging - Women's Health Beyond Menopause”

Speaker Information

Susan R. Johnson, MD, MS
Dr. Johnson received all her education and training at the University of Iowa, after which she was on the faculty until her retirement as Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Epidemiology.

Dr. Johnson served for 20 years in academic administrative positions, including associate dean and associate provost for faculty, and as University Ombudsperson. She continues her work in women's health research as Chair of the NIH-funded multicenter longitudinal cohort study of menopause, the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a multi-site longitudinal, epidemiologic study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years.

Michelle M. Mielke, PhD
Dr. Mielke received a Bachelor's of Science in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in Psychiatric Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was previously a Professor of Epidemiology and Neurology at the Mayo Clinic and the Associate Chair of Faculty Development and Academic Affairs in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences. She recently joined Wake Forest University School of Medicine as Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and Professor of Epidemiology.

Dr. Mielke works as a translational epidemiologist to further understanding of the etiology and epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases. One focus of her research is the identification of fluid biomarkers for the diagnosis, prediction, and progression of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Here work, in both CSF and blood, has emphasized the utility of lipids, total tau, phosphorylated tau, neurofilament light, and inflammatory markers. She is the past chair of the Biofluid-Based Biomarker Professional Interest Area under the Alzheimer's Association and a member of the Global Biomarkers Standardization Consortium (GBSC) and Standardization of Alzheimer's Blood Biomarkers (SABB).

Another focus of Dr. Mielke's research is on understanding sex and gender differences in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease and of other aging-related conditions. She directs the Mayo Clinic Specialized Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) on Sex Differences. Dr. Mielke is co-Chair of the Sex and Gender Diversity Group for the Alzheimer's Association Professional Interest Area. She received the John R. Raymond Mentor Award from the Women Scholars Initiative.

Dr. Mielke is an Associate Editor of the Alzheimer's and Dementia, Alzheimer's Research and Therapy, and on multiple Editorial Boards. She serves on the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee (FDA) and Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Research Program (PRARP). She is the PI of several NIH- and Foundation-funded clinical- and epidemiological-based grants and has published over 360 manuscripts.

Nazema Y. Siddiqui, MD, MHSc
Dr. Siddiqui completed her training in OBGYN at the combined MetroHealth and Cleveland Clinic program in Cleveland, Ohio. She then completed fellowship training in Urogynecology at Duke University, and during that time sought a Master's Degree in Clinical Research. Since 2010 she has remained on the Duke Faculty where she has an active clinical practice as well as a translational research laboratory that focuses on multiple urologic disorders in women including recurrent urinary tract infections and overactive bladder.

Jamy Ard, MD
Dr. Ard is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and the Department of Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is also co-director of the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Weight Management Center, directing medical weight management programs. Dr. Ard's research interests include clinical management of obesity and strategies to improve cardiometabolic risk using lifestyle modification. Dr. Ard has more than 20 years of experience in clinical nutrition and obesity. He has served on several expert panels and guideline development committees, including the Institute of Medicine Committee on Consequences of Sodium Reduction in Populations, the AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline Panel on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, and the USDA's 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Candace Parker-Autry, MD
Dr. Parker-Autry is an Assistant Professor in Urogynecology in the Department of Urology. She is an alumnus of Wake Forest School of Medicine and returned to our faculty to enhance the care of pelvic floor disorders we provide for women and to engage our Center on Aging in urinary incontinence research. She is a graduate of our leadership development program for junior faculty and went on to serve as past Chair of the Research and Education committee of WIMS. When she is not caring for her patients, she is working as a leader at the intersection of urinary incontinence and geriatrics to establish the geriatric incontinence syndrome in clinical practice.

Michael P. Bancks, PhD, MPH
Dr. Bancks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention in the Division of Public Health Sciences. Mike's training is in epidemiology and his research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, promotion of healthy aging, and eliminating disparities in these health conditions. He is involved in multiple observational cohorts and clinical trials. He has been at Wake Forest University School of Medicine since 2018.

Jessica Bartfield, MD
Dr. Bartfield graduated from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. Following this she accepted a fellowship position at the University of Alabama Birmingham, with dedicated training in clinical nutrition and obesity medicine. She joined faculty at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina in 2017, where she practices obesity medicine at its comprehension Weight Management Center in Greensboro. She is co-director of the Obesity Medicine Fellowship and directs the 4th year medical student obesity medicine elective. Past research experience includes behavior modifications for weight management. Outside of work she attempts to keep up with her four children, loves to travel and attend any type of live music event.

Kristen M. Beavers, PhD, MPH, RD
Dr. Beavers is an Associate Professor of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University. She received her BS from Cornell University in Human Biology, Health and Society; MPH from The University of North Carolina at Chapel H ill in Nutrition; and PhD from Baylor University in Exercise, Nutrition, and Preventive Health. She is a Registered Dietitian and certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer. Dr. Beavers' academic and professional interests lie in the study of nutrition and exercise as interdisciplinary sciences, specifically as they relate to prevention and etiology of chronic disease and disability. Her current research focuses on the identification of optimal weight loss therapies for older adults with obesity.

Alain G. Bertoni, MD, MPH
Dr. Bertoni is an epidemiologist and internal medicine physician. He has been at Wake Forest since 2001 and he currently serves as Professor and Associate Director for Population Health for Public Health Sciences. His research focuses on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and is currently the Wake Forest PI for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis field center.

Kathryn E. Callahan, MD, MS
Dr. Callahan is a geriatrician and health systems researcher whose work focuses on integrating frailty and physical function metrics into practice to inform medical decision-making and improve healthcare outcomes for older adults. Kate is an Associate Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Internal Medicine: Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, with cross-appointments in Implementation Science and the CHI. She holds a K76 Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging; she is co-PI of the eFI-cacious Lab (EHR-based Frailty Index for ClinicAl Care In Older adUltS) in the Center for Healthcare Innovation (CHI).

Mark A. Espeland, PhD
Dr. Espeland is a Professor in the Section of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine and the Division of Public Health Sciences at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. His PhD is from the University of Rochester in Statistics. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Society for Clinical Trials, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has authored/co- authored 400 methodological and biomedical journal articles and has received awards for his research from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Espeland has held leadership roles in over 40 multicenter clinical trials and cohort studies. He was founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences at Wake Forest and has served on the NIA Clinical Trials Advisory Panel and as Statistical Editor of the Journal of Gerontology. Dr. Espeland's current research is focused on the interfaces among aging, diabetes, cognition, sex, and lifestyle.

Olivia Gilbert, MD, MSC, FACC
Dr. Gilbert is an Assistant Professor in Cardiovascular Disease, Department of Internal Medicine, and Wake Forest School of Medicine with board certification in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, as well as Echocardiography. As an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, my administrative, clinical, and research interests are focused on heart failure. Accordingly, I am heavily involved in heart failure management at all five of our institution's campuses and have led a successful, multi-site quality improvement initiative for heart failure patients called the Golden Hearts Pathway.

Leon Lenchik, MD
Dr. Lenchik is Professor of Radiology and Division Chief of Musculoskeletal Imaging at Wake Forest University School of Medicine with over 25 years of research experience in quantitative imaging, focusing on sarcopenia, adiposity, and osteoporosis, spanning a range of technologies including CT, MRI, and DXA. He is currently Co-Leader of the Bio-imaging Resource Core of Wake Forest Older Americans Independence Center (WF OAIC). He has conducted CT-derived body composition measurements in many large studies, including the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), Diabetes Heart Study (DHS), Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS), Health Aging and Body Composition Study (Health ABC), and Study of Muscle Mobility and Aging (SOMMA). His current research focuses on validation, automation, and implementation of novel CT measurements in the evaluation of body composition.

Carol A. Shively, PhD
Dr. Shively has been on the faculty of Wake Forest School of Medicine for 36 years. She is a Professor in the Department of Pathology/Comparative Medicine, leads the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Nonhuman Primate Service, and is a member of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer's Prevention, the Cardiovascular Research Center, and the Center for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Dr. Shively received her PhD in Psychology from the University of California at Davis in 1983, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and was appointed to the faculty of the department of Pathology/Comparative Medicine in 1986. Dr. Shively won the National Association for Women's Health Annual Award for Excellence in Research, the AAMC GWIMS Award for Women in Medicine and Science, and is listed in Who's Who of American Women, and International Who's Who. She reviews and consults for NIH, has been a primate center site visitor for 29 years, reviews for numerous journals, has been a guest editor for several journals, and published an edited volume on Social Inequalities in Health in Nonhuman Primates. She has authored over 200 research publications.

Dr. Shively is a leader in the development of nonhuman primate (NHP) models of women's health and was the first to develop female NHP models of:

1) Visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome, demonstrate that it results in exacerbated coronary and 
carotid atherosclerosis, and that social stress increases visceral fat deposition;

2) Social stress-associated depressive behavior in females which recapitulates key physiological 
and neurobiological features of treatment-resistant depression in people;

3) Depression and coronary artery disease comorbidity in which depression results in a four-fold 
increase in coronary artery atherosclerosis illuminating the mechanistic relationship of the 
depression - CHD association in human beings. Models of comorbidities are rare and valuable as many 
prevalent human diseases present as comorbidities;

4) Western versus Mediterranean diet effects on health; and

5) Aging-associated loss of cognitive and physical function accompanied by decreased brain matter 
and increased amyloid burden.

Sally A. Shumaker, PhD

Dr. Shumaker is a full professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, within the Division of Public Health Sciences, at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Prior to joining the Wake faculty in 1990, she was a Scientific Administrator at the National

Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, and prior to that, she was a faculty at The Johns Hopkins University. She holds a PhD in Social Psychology from The University of Michigan, and completed post-doctoral training in Social Ecology and Health Psychology, at the Universities of California, Irvine and Los Angeles, respectively.

Since joining the faculty at Wake, she has held a number of leadership positions, including: Founding Director of the National Women's Health Center of Excellence, Founding Section Head of Social Sciences & Health Policy (now a department), Associate Dean for Faculty Services & Career Development, Senior Associate Dean for Research, and Director of Intercampus Program Development. She has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on a number of grants and contracts over the years. Most recently, she served as the PI for the Southeast Regional Center for the Women's Health Initiative, and was the PI of the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study and several of its ancillaries. She served on the Council of the Office of Research on Women's Health, as an expert consultant on a number of NIH programs, on NIH-sponsored Data and Safety Monitoring Boards, and on NIH study sections. She has over 300 publications in the areas of older women's health, dementia, health-related quality of life, adherence, and psychosocial factors in disease history and progression. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Society for Behavioral Medicine.

In addition to her research interests and administrative roles, Sally has formal training in mediation, executive coaching, 360/Benchmark assessments, team science, conflict management and negotiations, and non-violent communication. She provides workshops and training in these areas for various professional organizations nationally and she has served in several roles within the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program, and as a consultant for the Center for Creative Leadership. Sally is an Executive Coach for senior women leaders in primarily academic settings throughout the United States and Canada. She has dedicated most of her career to the study of women's health, and facilitating the advancement of women into leadership roles.

Bharathi Upadhya, MD, FACC, FASE
Dr. Upadhya is a clinician investigator with a board certification in Cardiovascular Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Adult Congenital Heart Disease. My research spans a wide range of topics in cardiovascular medicine including medical imaging- related projects and cardiac rehabilitation, exercise physiology, and aging. However, my most intense focus has been heart failure, particularly heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Ashley Weaver, PhD
Dr. Weaver is a Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor of the Center for Injury Biomechanics at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Weaver has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from NC State University, and M.S. and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Wake Forest. Her group aims to advance the computational injury biomechanics field by applying medical imaging and finite element modeling approaches to predict, mitigate and prevent musculoskeletal injury in both high-energy trauma (e.g. automotive, aerospace) and low-energy trauma (e.g. older adult falls). She is PI of a NASA study evaluating spine injury risk in spacecraft landings, and PI of a NIA K25 grant and Co-I of a NIA R01 investigating dietary and exercise-related interventions to mitigate bone loss in older adults undergoing intentional weight loss.