I am a Professor of Psychology, Latino/a/x/e Studies, and African & African American Studies at Fordham University with a joint appointment as a Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a board-certified neuropsychologist.
The overarching aim of my work is to characterize and understand brain health inequities in cognitive aging to inform culturally responsive, evidence-based interventions and policies geared towards improving brain health outcomes among minoritized, underrepresented populations (URPs; e.g., Latinx, Black/African-American, Asian, American Indian; low resource and rural settings). My research primarily centers on three lines of inquiry, including: 1) genetic, cerebrovascular, behavioral, and sociocultural risk and modifiable resilience factors for cognitive and functional impairment and dementia in middle-aged and older adults from URPs (e.g. R01AG065110; 2U19AG024904-16; K23MH079718); 2) advanced approaches for early detection of cognitive impairment in middle-aged and older adults from URPs (R56AG075744; R01AG066471); and 3) ways to increase the inclusion and engagement of URPs in cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) research and the AD/ADRD workforce (2U19AG024904-16; R13AG071313; Genentech G- 89294; U19AG078109-01; SC3GM141996). I theoretically contextualize my work within a Biopsychosociocultural Framework, which I first published in 2008 (Rivera Mindt et al., 2008; PMC2696232), with an emphasis on sociocultural determinants of brain health.
My current funding as a PI/MPI totals ~$200 million, and is supported by the NIH/NIA, the Alzheimer’s Association, and Genentech. I have built and sustained a culturally-informed, productive, and novel independent program of research through a team science approach and by successfully competing for extramural funding for 20+ years. Since 2019, I have also developed new, highly fruitful collaborations with leading scientists from all over the country. Moving forward, I am excited to further build my research program and portfolio within the field to advance healthy and equitable cognitive aging for all people; accelerate the representation of diverse populations in aging and AD/ADRD research; train the next generation of scientists (particularly from URPs); and inform public health policy.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: My life’s work is to understand and promote healthy brain- and cognitive aging for all people across the adult lifespan, including minoritized, underrepresented populations. Thus, DEI spans all aspects of my work:
- Research: Community-engaged research (CER) is an evidence-based approach to increase the inclusion/engagement of underrepresented population in dementia research. I am the only neuroscientist that I am aware of in the county who is also a formally-trained in CER. I gratefully received this training through Mount Sinai's Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs' (CMCA) Faculty Scholar Program (2007-2009) under the incredible Mentorship of Ann-Gel Palermo, DPH (now Senior Assoc. Dean for DEI). For the past 15+ years, I have utilized CER methods to sustain equitable, trustworthy research partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) in Harlem. My studies typically enroll ~50+% participants from underrepresented populations (e.g., Black, Latinx), and virtually all of my grants focus on brain health inequities and utilize CER methods, e.g., SALUD (R01AG065110), BEYONDD (R56AG075744), ADNI4 Engagement Core (2U19AG024904-16).
- Education: At Fordham University, I teach an undergraduate Multicultural Psychology course and a DEI-integrated Neuropsychology graduate course. At Mount Sinai, I have provided guest lectures for one graduate course: Culture, Illness and Community Health Outcomes (CLR207; 2008 & 2011-2017) and numerous seminars, didactics and lectures across ISMMS on topics of brain health equity, cultural neuropsychology, and cultural competence (see Intramural Presentations section). Also, across the span of my 20+ year career, my trainees (N=50+) include 50% persons from ethnoculturally/linguistically diverse populations and 50% women and non-gender conforming persons.
- 2000-2002 Founding Member of the Women in Neuropsychology Steering Committee, American Psychological Association (APA) Division 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology)
- 2003 – 2006 Co-Chair, Ethnic Minority Affairs Steering Committee, APA Division 40
- 2016 – 2017 APA Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology Fellow
- 2016 – 2017 Co-Chair, HNS Conference Program Committee
- 2016 – 2017 Co-Chair, Education and Training Subcommittee of the Cultural Neuropsychology National Summit Meeting
- 2016 – 2017 Co-Chair, Cultural Neuropsychology National Summit 2017 Meeting
- 2016 – 2020 President-Elect * President * Past-President (Elected Position), Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS)
- 2018 – Co-Founder & Co-Chair, Wisdom Workgroup for Indigenous Neuropsychology: A Global Strategy (Wisdom WINGS)
- 2022 – 2023 Content Expert, Minnesota 2022 Conference to Update Education and Training Guidelines in Clinical Neuropsychology, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Workgroup
MENTORING: I am deeply dedicated to Mentoring and training the next generation of scientists to promote healthy, equitable cognitive aging. I have formally Mentored 50+ trainees over the course of my career, and have provided emergent, supportive Mentoring to dozens more trainees from diverse backgrounds from across the country in need of culturally-informed Mentorship and support. I have Mentored 11 NIH-funded training awards, 1 Alzheimer’s Association training award, 1 American Academy of Neurology Transcends Award, 27 dissertations, 15 Masters theses, and 15 honors theses. Moreover, 64 of my 101 peer-reviewed publications have been with students/trainees, as well as numerous scientific presentations at international and national conferences. The majority of my trainees have been women and persons from diverse backgrounds. Virtually all of our work together is focused on research and care for minorized, underrepresented populations. My stellar record of teaching, Mentorship, and training has been recognized with the 2005 Professor of the Year Award from Fordham University and the 2020 Martha Bernal Award for the Advancement of Diversity Training and Education in Clinical Psychology from the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology.
CLINICAL PROFILE: I have developed a unique clinical profile, which complements my research interest in brain health equity. As a bilingual/bicultural neuropsychologist, I believe that I am the first Afro-Latinx/Indigenous woman to earn board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). My unique clinical expertise includes cultural neuropsychology and Spanish language neuropsychological evaluation. Over the last 20 years, I have provided numerous pro bono neuropsychological screenings and evaluations through my close affiliations with community-based organizations in East Harlem (a.k.a., Spanish Harlem or El Barrio). Moreover, although I am no longer practicing clinically due to my intensive research commitments, I have continued to provide clinical supervision to dozens of clinical neuropsychology and psychology students within Fordham University’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program over the last 20 years.
- 1992 BA in Psychology, California Polytechnic University, Pomona
- 1994 MA in Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University
- 2000 PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Nebraska
- 2002 Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
I am nationally and internationally recognized for my research accomplishments and expertise in brain health equity, cultural neuropsychology, and community-engaged research (CER) methods. My research and leadership have led to fundamental changes in my field of neuropsychology through the evidence base that I have helped to create and my leadership in helping to translate this evidence into a broader understanding of the critical roles of sociocultural and structural factors in brain-behavior relationships in neuropsychological training, research, and practice with underrepresented populations. For instance, the CER methods that I have refined over the past ~15 years to improve the internal and external validity of cognitive aging/dementia research are now transforming the field AD/ADRD research through large, multi-site studies, such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, ADNI (2U19AG024904; a ~60 site study across the US and Canada), which sets the field’s standard for AD biomarker validation and AD clinical trials, and has enabled dramatic changes to trial design, including early intervention strategies.
Regarding my scholarly impact, I have established a strong and consistent record of scholarly activity. I have 110+ peer-reviewed articles (39 articles as first or senior author and 64 with trainee co-authors), as well as 11 book chapters and related publications. My work has consistently appeared in high caliber journals within my field (e.g., The Clinical Neuropsychologist, Psychological Assessment, Neuropsychology). I have also given 100+ invited, extramural presentations, including 11 Keynote addresses and the 2022 Commencement Address for Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Regarding leadership/service, I approach every leadership opportunity with authenticity, cultural humility, and a big vision for what is possible when we come together with common purpose to create meaningful, systemic, and lasting change. For instance, during my tenure as President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (2016-2020), not only did I advance health policy, research, and training opportunities for Latinx populations, but I also helped to start/support new, health-equity focused neuropsychology organizations that are now flourishing, including the Asian Neuropsychological Association and the Society for Black Neuropsychology. I am also a founding member (2000–2002) of APA’s Division 40 Women in Neuropsychology (WIN) group (N= 1,000+), which actively supports and Mentors women and gender non-binary individuals in neuropsychology and has been a transformational force for helping women ascend into leadership positions in neuropsychology. Lastly, I was honored to serve as Chair for the NIH/NIA AGCD-4 Study Section (2021-2022). Overall, I have served in 13 national leadership positions and believe that this work has been highly impactful to advance brain health equity and inclusion across the field.
In sum, I have brought a unique perspective and great energy to all aspects of my work. I have advanced our understanding and promotion of healthy brain/cognitive aging for all people and I am helping to diversify a workforce that must be more culturally competent and better prepared to study and care for our rapidly aging and diversifying US population.
I am the recipient of several awards for my research, teaching, and contributions to the field, including the: 2002 NIH Faculty Loan Repayment Award; 2004 NIH National Center on Minority Health & Health Disparities Scholar Award; 2005 Fordham University Teacher of the Year Award; 2007 Northeast Consortium for Minority Faculty Development Award; 2008 Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumna Award for Psychology; 2010 National Academy of Neuropsychology’s (NAN) Early Career Service Award; 2011 American Psychological Association (Society Clinical Neuropsychology, Division 40) Early Career Award; 2011 SMART University Lifetime Achievement Award (CBO for HIV+ women); 2019 Hispanic Health Leadership Award from the National Hispanic Medical Association; 2020 Martha Bernal Award for the Advancement of Diversity Training and Education in Clinical Psychology from the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology; 2021 Society for Black Neuropsychology Black Luminaries in Neuropsychology Award; and 2022 Commencement Speaker for the Fordham University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. I am also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 40, Society for Clinical Neuropsychology), National Academy of Neuropsychology, and Hispanic Neuropsychological Society.
*+Fuentes, A., Coulehan, K., Byrd, D., Arentoft, A., Miranda, C., Arce Rentería, M., Monzones, J., Rosario, A., & Rivera Mindt, M. Neurocognitive, Sociocultural, and Psychological Factors Impacting Medication Beliefs among HIV-seropositive Latinx Adults. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. [In Press]
Federman, A.D., Becker, J.H., Mindt, M.R. et al. Rates of Undiagnosed Cognitive Impairment and Performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Among Older Adults in Primary Care. J GEN INTERN MED 38, 2511–2518 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-023-08102-w
*+Cao Z, Cham H, Stiver J, Rivera Mindt M. Effect size measure for mediation analysis with a multicategorical predictor. Front Psychol. 2023;14:1101440. Published 2023 Mar 10. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1101440
*Karr JE, Scott TM, Aghvinian M, +Rivera Mindt M. Harmonization of the English and Spanish versions of the NIH toolbox cognition battery crystallized and fluid composite scores. Neuropsychology [Internet]. 2022 Jun 2 [cited 2023 Jan 13]; Available from: http://doi.apa.org/getdoi.cfm?doi=10.1037/neu0000822
Raman R, Aisen P, Carillo MC, Detke M, Grill JD, Okonkwo OC, Rivera Mindt M et al. Tackling a major deficiency of diversity in Alzheimer’s disease therapeutic trials: an CTAD task force report. J Prev Alz Dis [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 13]; Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.14283/jpad.2022.50
Weiner MW, Veitch DP, Miller MJ,...Rivera Mindt, M. et al. Increasing participant diversity in AD research: Plans for digital screening, blood testing, and a community-engaged approach in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 4. Alzheimers Dement. 2023;19(1):307-317. doi:10.1002/alz.12797
*Windon C, Iaccarino L, Mundada N, Allen I, Boxer AL, Byrd D, Rivera Mindt M et al. Comparison of plasma and CSF biomarkers across ethnoracial groups in the ADNI. Alzheimer’s Dement (Amst). 2022;14(1): e12315. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35510092/*xRivera Mindt M, xMarquine MJ, Aghvinian M, Paredes AM, Kamalyan L, Suárez P, et al. The neuropsychological norms for the U.S.-Mexico border region in Spanish (NP-NUMBRS) Project: Overview and considerations for life span research and evidence-based practice. Clin Neuropsychol. 2021 Feb;35(2):466–80.
x*Mindt, M.R., Ashford, M.T., Zhu, D. et al. The Community Engaged Digital Alzheimer’s Research (CEDAR) Study: A Digital Intervention to Increase Research Participation of Black American Participants in the Brain Health Registry. J Prev Alzheimers Dis (2023). https://doi.org/10.14283/jpad.2023.32
*Mindt MR, *Okonkwo O, Weiner MW, Veitch DP, Aisen P, Ashford M, et al. Improving generalizability and study design of Alzheimer’s disease cohort studies in the United States by including under‐represented populations. Alzheimer’s & Dementia [Internet]. 2022 Nov 13 [cited 2023 Jan 13]; alz.12823. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/alz.12823
xByrd DA, xRivera-Mindt MG. Neuropsychology’s race problem does not begin or end with demographically adjusted norms. Nat Rev Neurol [Internet]. 2022 Mar [cited 2023 Jan 13];18(3):125–6. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41582-021-00607-4
*Student/Mentee Co-Authors; +Senior Author of paper; xJoint first authors
Arentoft, A., & Rivera Mindt, M. (2016, April 26). Health and Healthcare Injustice: Why We Really Should Care About HIVDisparities [Web blog post]. Retrieved from https://psychologybenefits.org/2016/04/26/health-and-healthcare-injustice-why-we-really-should-care-about-hiv-disparities/
Chartier, M. & Rivera Mindt, M. (2014, December). 9 Things You Should Know About HIV andAging. https://psychologybenefits.org/2014/12/01/9-things-you-should-know-about-hiv-and-aging/
2021 Fordham News, Professor Earns Grants to Engage Black Adults in Alzheimer’s Research, March 11, 2021: https://news.fordham.edu/university-news/professor-uses-community-based-approach- to-study-impact-of-alzheimers-and-dementia/
2012 Latina Style, Latinas at the Forefront of Medical Research, Vol. 18 (No. 5). http://latinastyle.com/magazine/issues/features/536/latinas-at-the-forefront-of-medical-research/
2010 Fordham Notes, Bronx, NY, Fordham Science: Adapting Research Methods in HIV Study, October 1, 2010: http://fordhamnotes.blogspot.com/2010/10/science-friday-adapting-research.html
2009 Albert Einstein College of Medicine News, NIH Funds Einstein Center to Target HIV-Related Brain Disease, June 11, 2009: http://www.einstein.yu.edu/news/releases/364/nih-funds-einstein-center-to-target-hiv-related-brain-disease/#sthash.874sHUOR.dpuf
-Radio Interview/Podcast/Social Media-
Rivera Mindt, M. (2021, Feb. 23). Black Luminaries in Neuropsychology Series – Interview:
Rivera Mindt, M. (2020, July). Science Speed Dating: Science Provocateur. National Academy of
Rivera Mindt, M. & Talavera, S. (2020, June). Manteniendo las Conexiones Sociales (Spanish
language presentation). Facebook Live, The Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley & New York
City Chapters: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=745239372895218 .
Rivera Mindt, M. (2020). The Opioid Crisis and Neuropsychology. NavNeuro Podcast.
Rivera Mindt, M. (2019). Brain Health and Cultural Neuropsychology. NavNeuro Podcast.