Brent P. Forester, MD, MSc, chief of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, and chair of the search committee overseeing the recruitment of Weisenbach, noted that Weisenbach was selected from a number of extraordinary candidates.
“This was a robust and competitive search process that afforded us the enviable opportunity to meet with several exceptional candidates,” said Forester. “Sara was an absolute standout—in her reputation, interviews, and in her clinical and research acumen. As we look forward to welcoming Sara to McLean, I am excited to partner with her and other members of the Neuropsychology Department, to support the growth of the program and the individuals within it.”
Weisenbach, who is joining McLean after serving as an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, noted that the field of neuropsychology is one that is attracting more attention as people begin to better understand that cognitive health is one of the key pillars of wellness.
“We have a better understanding of how the behaviors in which we engage—particularly those in mid-life—can have an impact on cognitive health later in life,” explained Weisenbach. “We are in an exciting time for neuropsychology because we are forging new paths both in its clinical application and in research. Through innovative approaches, we have the potential to influence individual outcomes and improve the lives of patients.”
About Dr. Weisenbach
A board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Weisenbach specializes in assessing older people with cognitive difficulties. Her research interests include studying the mechanisms and deficits underlying depression and cognitive decline during middle age and late life in a developmental and longitudinal context, and translating this knowledge into effective neuropsychological and neuroimaging tools for monitoring course of illness and conversion to dementia.
She is particularly interested in understanding how mechanisms associated with biological sex, together with sociocultural gender normative experiences, may confer various trajectories of cognitive and socioemotional functioning later in life.
Weisenbach completed a Career Development Award through the VA Rehabilitation, Research, & Development Program that investigated reward, memory, and executive functioning brain networks in older adults with depression, and how patterns in these networks predict cognitive decline.
She receives funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate how sex, depression severity, and executive functioning skills serve as moderators and/or mediators for emotion regulation skills in middle-aged and older adults using multimodal measurement strategies, including functional MRI.
Weisenbach earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University in 2005 and completed post-doctoral fellowships in Clinical and Research Neuropsychology and Advanced Geriatrics at University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, respectively.