Karen A. Dorsman
Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology
Place of work / study:
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Area of Research:
Environmental and Sociocultural Determinants of Cognitive Health Across the Lifespan; health disparities; cultural neuropsychology.
How is your work funded?
Currently looking for (and applying to) scholarships!
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born and raised in Nicaragua in a large family. The brain, human behaviour, and science fascinated me from a young age, so I majored in Psychology. In my first year, my first mentor introduced me to Neuropsychology, and from then on, my path found me. A couple of years later, I moved to Uruguay to finish my undergraduate degree. My first ‘adult’ job was as a psychometrist at a memory clinic, where I discovered my love for cognitive aging. After a few years, I moved to the United States and worked at several non-profits supporting family caregivers. In 2016, I became a clinical research coordinator at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, managing the center’s Spanish-speaking participants enrolled in the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Hillblom Aging Network. Soon, I realized my heart was determined to become a clinician-researcher; a realization that led me to my current position as a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology at UTSW. I am passionate about community outreach/partnerships, as well as serving as peer mentor for students from minoritized backgrounds.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I am a dancer at heart and enjoy dancing Nicaraguan folklore. I also love long walks with my dog, cooking and eating (but mostly eating).
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Our bodies keep a footprint, a registry of our environment, cognitive, emotional, and physical experiences throughout our journey in this world. I believe cognitive aging reflects that footprint. Therefore, the more we learn about the mechanisms behind risk factors for dementia, the more knowledge we will have to create and tailor public policies that will impact the lives of all of us –at all ages. I also have the utmost respect for caregivers of a loved one living with dementia, and I want to contribute to science to find a way to keep our loved ones and ourselves growing older and healthier.