sealPurdue Aging and Health Experts

Animals and the elderly

Alan M. Beck

Dorothy N. McAllister Professor of Animal Ecology
Director, Center for Applied Ethology and Human-
Animal Interaction
(765) 494-0854

Studies the relationship between people and their companion animals and is co-author of "Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship," a classic in the field. Is working with Purdue Professor Nancy Edwards to study the physiological and behavioral effects of animals on patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Nancy Edwards

Assistant professor, nursing
(765) 494-4015

Is a geriatric clinical specialist with expertise in the areas of chronic illness, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Is working with Purdue Professor Alan Beck to study the physiological and behavioral effects of animals on patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Cardiovascular disease

Jo A. Brooks

Professor, nursing
(765) 494-4004

Has expertise in lifestyle interventions to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Can speak about nonpharmacological approaches to reducing cardiovascular risk and the role of professional nursing in health-care reform. Also can address role of nurse-managed centers in meeting health care needs in rural settings and in providing health services for well populations.

Chronic illness

Nancy Edwards

For biography, see "Animals and the elderly"

Sharon Wilkerson

Associate professor, nursing
(765) 494-4013

Has expertise in chronic illness and its impact on the individual and on the family.

Drugs and the elderly

Charles H. Brown

Associate professor, clinical pharmacy
(765) 494-1380

Expert on pharmacy services for older patients both at community pharmacies and in nursing homes.

Margaret Krach

Associate professor, nursing
(765) 494-4026

Studied prescription drug use and misuse and abuse of alcohol by the elderly. Also has studied the situation of working adults who are primary caregivers for the elderly. Has special interest in health needs/functionality of people over age 85.

Roger P. Maickel

Professor, pharmacology and toxicology
Director, Laboratory Animal Program
(765) 494-1406/494-9145

Expert in drug composition, use and effects, particularly for geriatric patients.

Michael D. Murray

Professor, clinical pharmacy
(317) 630-8299

Research interests include the renal effects of drugs and diuretics in elderly patients. Also studies medication compliance in elderly patients and strategies to improve their ability to take their medications. Is director of the Regenstrief Institute Health Data Core at Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis. Has served on the board of directors of the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology.

Nicholas G. Popovich

Professor, pharmacy
Interim associate head, Pharmacy Practice
(765) 494-5966

Expert on the delivery of pharmacy services to improve the health of institutionalized patients such as those in nursing homes. Studies self-care, especially the use of over-the-counter medications.

Fitness and aging

Donald L. Corrigan

Associate professor, health, kinesiology and leisure

(765) 494-3166

Studies physical fitness programs and their effects on aging. Has expertise on strength and aging.

Roseann M. Lyle

Associate professor, health/foods and nutrition
(765) 494-3158

Researches ways for the aging to maintain functional ability and independent living. Also studies ways to prevent hypertension; the effect of exercise on bone mass in women; and how exercise and activity affect health in women and the elderly.


Margaret Krach

For biography, see "Drugs and the elderly"

R. Colleen DeTurk

Associate professor, nursing
(765) 494-4012

Certified gerontological specialist. Expert on Medicare and other health care delivery systems for the elderly. Studies depression in the elderly, especially those in the home, and has expertise on the "oldest old," people 85 years and older. Also studies elderly in the community. Appointed to governor's board for CHOICE, a program to help keep the elderly independent and living in their own homes.

Health care/services

James G. Anderson

Professor, medical sociology
Director, Rural Center for Study of HIV/STD
(765) 494-4703

Has expertise in health care reform and the organization and delivery of health services in the United States and abroad. Has published eight books and more than 150 articles on health care and social services. Studied an experimental Medicare reimbursement effort aimed at containing Medicare costs. Also has studied the attitudes of medical professionals toward euthanasia.

R. Colleen DeTurk

For biography, see "Gerontology"

Kenneth F. Ferraro

Professor, medical sociology
Director, gerontology program
(765) 494-4707/494-4668

Studies include: "Does Religion Influence Adult Health?" "Assessing the Impacts of Community-Based Health Care Policies and Programs for Older Adults," "Are Black Older Adults Health Pessimistic?" "Cohort Change in Images of Older Adults" and "Are Older People Most Afraid of Crime?" Has produced book chapters on "Widowhood and Health" and "Health Needs and Services for Older Adults: Evaluating Policies for an Aging Society."

Health promotion

Gerald C. Hyner

Associate professor, health education
(765) 494-3151

Researches the effects of screening and health risk appraisal for elderly persons. Investigates modifying chronic disease risk factors, particularly among employees in work settings. Expert on risk factors for premature disease.

Hearing aids

Todd A. Ricketts

Assistant professor, audiology
(765) 494-3819

Research focuses on amplification, specifically predicting the success of hearing aids with specific types of amplification.

Interior design

Victoria Willis

Associate professor, art and design
(765) 494-3058

Expert in universal or transgenerational architecture and interior design. Research involves designing interiors for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

Marriage and family

Victor G. Cicirelli

Professor, developmental and aging psychology
(765) 494-6925

Has expertise in family relationships in the aging family. Studies sibling relationships throughout adulthood; effects of relationships when adult children care for elderly parents; and euthanasia in old age. Surveyed the elderly on end-of-life decisions they would make based on health concerns that resulted in a poor quality of life.

Clifford H. Swensen Jr.

Professor, clinical psychology
(765) 494-6977

Researches problems in long-term marriages and the impact of cancer on spouse and family. Is an expert on interpersonal relationships, particularly love relationships. Teaches a class in clinical gerontological psychology.


Dea K. DeWolff

Assistant professor, psychological sciences
(765) 494-9730

Studies cognitive functioning and memory in older adults. Looks at how being experienced in a certain area influences one's ability to function in that area.

Ronald E. Johnson

Professor, educational psychology and
psychological sciences
(765) 494-7246

Researches text processing and remembering. Recent research involves factors that affect the ability of older adults to memorize or learn material.

Mental health

R. Colleen DeTurk

For biography, see "Gerontology"


Dorothy M. Morré

Professor, foods and nutrition
(765) 494-8233

Studied the amount of vitamin A required by the body at various life stages. Also studied the interaction of vitamin A and vitamin D and membrane renewal and aging.

Louise W. Peck

Assistant professor, foods and nutrition
(765) 494-8236

Studies nutrition in relation to health and chronic disease associated with aging. Has studied fatty acids with regard to kidney disease, behavior and development.

Connie M. Weaver

Professor, foods and nutrition
Head, Department of Foods and Nutrition
(765) 494-8231

Researches exercise and bone mass in women and calcium metabolism in adolescent girls, important to deterring osteoporosis in later life. Has published extensively on minerals in human nutrition, especially calcium and iron.

Osteoporosis prevention

Ann H. Hunt

Associate professor, nursing
(765) 494-4023

Has expertise in prevention of osteoporosis. Was a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology. Has been quoted in the media about the health benefits of humor as well as about osteoporosis. Has done media interviews on the topic of skin care in winter.

Connie M. Weaver

For biography, see "Nutrition"

Sexuality and aging

Ruth N. Wukasch

Assistant professor, nursing
Clinical specialist psychiatric/mental health nursing
(765) 494-4019

Expert in women's health, especially issues relating to post-hysterectomy. Studies factors in sexuality as people age, and has made presentations on stress and coping, diets and body image.


Vicki L. Hammen

Assistant professor, audiology and speech sciences
(765) 494-1534

Studies Parkinson's disease and its effect on speech.

Amy B. Wohlert

Associate professor, audiology and speech sciences
(765) 494-3826

Studies communication disorders in old age. Also researches physical changes in old age that affect speech and swallowing.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page