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Research Group

Ben Bensadon, PhD
Ben Bensadon, PhD

Dr. Benjamin A. Bensadon is Assistant Professor of Clinical Biomedical Science, Department of Integrated Medical Science, Geriatric Medicine section, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University. In this role he develops, implements, and evaluates training curricula, both in classroom and clinical settings, for medical students and residents, as well as other health sciences trainees. After completing doctoral psychology training at the University of Florida, Dr. Bensadon pursued a Postdoctoral Clinical Research Fellowship in the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatric Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Dr. Bensadon has worked clinically in multiple capacities including long term care/rehabilitation, outpatient primary care, and specialty settings (e.g., memory disorders clinic, university student counseling). He has conducted clinical research on the impact of beliefs (confidence & aging stereotypes) on older adult memory performance, as well as a randomized controlled trial of the efficacy of brief cognitive-behavioral therapy for older veterans living with chronic heart failure and/or lung disease (i.e., COPD).  He was recently invited to co-author a book chapter on management decisions in mild cognitive impairment (Clinics in Geriatric Medicine), and is Editor of a forthcoming book co-written by physicians and psychologists titled Psychology and Geriatrics: Integrated Care for an Aging Nation (Elsevier).

Dr. Bensadon has lectured and published about shaping perceptions of medical trainees, geriatric behavioral health, coping with chronic disease, cultural competence, caregiving, and the links between cognitive aging, beliefs, and attitudes.

Desmond O'Neill, MD
Desmond O'Neill, MD

As a medical undergraduate of Trinity College Dublin, Professor O'Neill spent a year in Marseilles as a volunteer with an NGO working with older people. He subsequently trained as a geriatrician in Dublin and the University of Bristol, UK. Currently he is the senior academic in Medical Gerontology at the TCD campus at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght. His focus of research is rooted in gerontology and the neurosciences, with a strong emphasis on the humanities.

Desmond's major field of research is that of transportation, aging and older drivers. Professor O'Neill is the TCD partner in the Healthy Aging Research Project, Ireland's first iteration of a longitudinal study on aging. He was a co-founder of the Irish Heart Foundation Council on Stroke in 1997 and remains its chairman. He has been the chair of both the Irish government working group on Elder Abuse and the subsequent National Implementation Group for Services for Elder Abuse. He is a founder board member and current secretary of the European Union Geriatric Medical Society.

His interest in the humanities and aging is based in a strong belief in their key role in understanding aging and in particular societal responses to aging. Activities include a major symposium and symphonic concert in 2004 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland on the theme of music and age-related neurological disease ("A Stroke of Genius"), as well as the production of a CD of music composed in later life.

Germaine L Odenheimer, MD
Germaine L Odenheimer, MD

Germaine L Odenheimer, MD, is board certified in neurology and fellowship trained in geriatric medicine. She was a MacArthur Foundation Scholar with the Research Network on Successful Aging, a founding member of the National Transportation Research Board's Committee for Safe Mobility of Older Persons, and co-founder and past chair of the Geriatric Neurology Section in the American Academy of Neurology. She has served on medical advisory boards to driver licensing agencies in three states.

Her academic interests relate to how aging and diseased brains impact our ability to function in our homes and communities. The primary area of her clinical research has been in the area of driving safety in the elderly and what roles the driver, family, doctor and state play in determining driving safety and privileges.

Jon Antin, PhD - Research Group
Jon Antin, PhD

Jon Antin, PhD, CHFP is Director of the Center for Vulnerable Road User Safety (CVRUS) at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).  CVRUS personnel conduct research and outreach activities focused on enhancing safety and mobility for all vulnerable road users including: senior and teen drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  Dr. Antin also serves as the Safe Mobility for Vulnerable Road Users subject matter expert for the National Center for Surface Transportation Safety Research.

Over the past five years, Dr. Antin has served in the role of Co-Principal Investigator (P.I.) and Project Manager for the oversight and integration aspects of the SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) – the largest full-scale NDS ever undertaken and the model for similar emerging efforts around the globe (including the Australian NDS, a collaboration with VTTI and for which he serves as VTTI’s P.I.).  Dr. Antin is also currently serving as P.I. on several senior driver safety projects emphasizing the effects of senior driver capability, behavior, and training on road safety.  He recently led VTTI’s successful efforts to establish a Graduate Certificate in the Human Factors of Transportation Safety, a unique multi-disciplinary curriculum for which he currently serves as Administrative Coordinator.

Dr. Antin is a Certified Human Factors Professional who earned his B.S. in Psychology at L.S.U. then performed his graduate work in the Vehicle Analysis and Simulation Laboratory at Virginia Tech where he earned the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (Human Factors Option).  In addition to being a member of the ITNAmerica Research Group, Dr. Antin is currently serving in the following capacities: as a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Surface Transportation Technical Group; member of the National Academies Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Safe Mobility of Older Persons; leading the inaugural VRU breakout session for the Automated Vehicles Symposium 2015; and as a faculty affiliate of the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech.

Loren Staplin, PhD
Loren Staplin, PhD

Loren Staplin, PhD, is the founder and principal partner of the consulting firm TransAnalytics, LLC. He has successfully led over 20 research grants, contracts and subcontracts, with a recent focus on the relationship between driver functional abilities and traffic safety and its implications for transportation policy and practice.

Significant products of Dr. Staplin's work in this area include the "Safe Mobility for Older People Notebook"; the Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians; the "Model Driver Screening and Evaluation Program: Guidelines for Motor Vehicle Administrators"; and two chapters in the 2004 Transportation Research Board publication Transportation in an Aging Society: A Decade of Experience.

Lisa J. Molnar, PhD - Research Group
Lisa J. Molnar, PhD

Dr. Lisa J. Molnar is an Associate Research Scientist in the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's Behavioral Sciences Group and the Associate Director of the Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center). Her primary areas of research interest are traffic safety and driver behavior. Dr. Molnar has worked on a variety of projects focusing: on older driver safety and mobility; the use of vehicle technology to improve driver safety; behavioral effects and safety outcomes associated with traffic laws, policies, and programs; adolescent driving behavior; prevention of alcohol-impaired driving; and use and misuse of safety belts and child safety seats.

In the area of older driver safety and mobility, she co-authored two self-screening tools intended to educate people about how changes in cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor abilities can affect driving, and what can be done to maintain safe driving. She was also the primary author of two guides that identify promising programs and practices in the areas of screening and assessment, education and training, vehicle modifications and advanced technology, roadway design, and alternative transportation.

Her recent work has focused on the self-regulation of driving among older adults. Dr. Molnar holds a Master of Health Services Administration in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Monash University in Melbourne Australia with an emphasis on road safety.

Marla Berg-Weger, PhD, LCSW
Marla Berg-Weger, PhD, LCSW

Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Professor and Director of Field Education at the Saint Louis University School of Social Work and a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America. Her scholarly work has focused on aging, family caregiving and social work practice.

She has authored four books and over thirty book chapters and journal articles in these areas. She is a member of an interprofessional team focused on research and education in the area of older adult mobility and driving. In addition to working as a social work scholar and educator, Dr. Berg-Weger has been a social worker for over thirty years and worked in the areas of aging services, medical social work, domestic violence treatment and mental health services.

She is a past president of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work and current Secretary of the AGE SW Board of Directors.

She serves on the National Advisory Panel for the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education, is Chair of the Executive Editorial Board of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, is a Co-Convener of the Gerontological Society of America Transportation Interest Group, and serves on the GSA Publications Committee. At the local level, she is Co-Chair of the Missouri Sub-Committee on Elder Mobility and Safety, Vice-Chair of ITNStCharles, and is a volunteer with the St. Louis Alzheimer's Association.

Moon Choi - ITNAmerica Research Group
Moon Choi, PhD

Moon Choi, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work and a Faculty Associate in the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky. She has received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare with concentration on Gerontology at Case Western Reserve University and completed her two-year postdoctoral training in epidemiology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Previously, she interned at the United Nations Secretariat in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Dr. Choi has focused on translational research on aging and mobility and published in the areas of transportation support, driving cessation, mobility limitations, and health disparities among older adults. Her recent study, published from the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, highlighted the importance of non-kin transportation support in the process of driving cessation. She is a Principal Investigator of Geriatric Training and Education Initiative aimed at building an Aging-Mobility Network of policy makers, researchers, non-profit organizations, and health care providers (project website: www.agingmobility.org). She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Joint Subcommittee on Transportation Options for Seniors on the Transportation Research Board.

Dr. Choi is increasingly interested in creative uses of digital media as a means to convey information to the general public, and won awards from Hartford Geriatric Social Work Initiative and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) for her YouTube videos on aging (YouTube Channel). Her short films about the meaning of driving and independence in later life were also selected to be screened at several film festivals.

She is a volunteer driver of ITNBluegrass, Lexington, KY. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing and painting.

Richard H. Fortinsky, PhD
Richard H. Fortinsky, PhD

Richard H. Fortinsky, PhD, is a Professor in the Center on Aging and Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC); where he also holds the Physicians Health Services Endowed Chair in Geriatrics and Gerontology.

Presently, his major areas of investigation are: physician and family care for persons with dementia living at home; health-related outcomes and resource use among older adults receiving home health care; evidence-based community interventions to help prevent falls in the older population; and health-related effects of transportation alternatives for older adults who have stopped or curtailed driving.

His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Alzheimer's Association, and The Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation. Recent publications have appeared in The Gerontologist, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and Medical Care.

He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, and serves as Co-Chair of the Task Force on Aging of the American Public Health Association. He received his doctoral degree in sociology in 1984 from Brown University.

Richard Marottoli, MD, MPH

Richard Marottoli is Associate Director of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, Director of the Adler Geriatric Assessment Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and staff physician in the Geriatrics and Extended Care section at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. He received his undergraduate, medical, and public health degrees from Yale University and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital and a fellowship in geriatrics at Yale. He is a current member and former chairperson of the Transportation Research Board's Committee on the Safe Mobility of Older Persons. His research interests include enhancing clinicians' ability to identify individuals at increased risk for driving difficulties, interventions to enhance these drivers' safety, and identifying ways to ease the transition to driving less or not at all when that is necessary.

Thomas M. Meuser, PhD
Thomas M. Meuser, PhD

Tom Meuser, PhD, is a Clinical Geropsychologist and directs the Gerontology Graduate Program at the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL). He is an Associate Professor with appointments in Gerontology, Social Work and Psychology. Narrative gerontology is one of his passions, and he also coordinates the UMSL Life Review Project which pairs graduate students with seniors from the community to video record their life stories. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a longtime volunteer of the Alzheimer's Association, St. Louis Chapter.

His research interests include loss and grief in aging and dementia, coping and communication issues in dementia caregiving, the impact of aging and dementia on functional capacity (e.g., driving ability., mobility), educational program development and evaluation, and psychotherapeutic intervention. Dr. Meuser has received grant funding from the Alzheimer's Association, the National Institute on Aging, the State of Missouri's Alzheimer's Disease & Related Disorders Research Program, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety, the National Center on Senior Transportation, Easter Seals, and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT).

He lives in an old drafty house just outside of St. Louis with his wife of 22 years, Christy, and their three boys. Outside of work, he enjoys playing board games, home repair projects, and other family-oriented activities.