Angela L. Jefferson, PhD

Vice Chair
Scientific Innovation & Strategy
Vanderbilt Memory & Alzheimers Center
Herbert O. and Vineta Christopher Director
Alzheimer's Disease
Vanderbilt Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Principal Investigator
Vanderbilt Memory and Aging Project
Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Training Program in Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Angela L. Jefferson is a licensed clinical psychologist, Professor of Neurology, and Founding Director of the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is principal investigator of the Vanderbilt Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal cohort study examining the complex intersection of vascular health and Alzheimer’s disease, and she is Director of the NIA-funded P20 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center where she leads the Tennessee Alzheimer’s Project. Dr. Jefferson has extensive leadership and research experiences in the fields of cerebrovascular aging and Alzheimer’s disease. She serves as a member of the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment Advisory Council.

Dr. Jefferson has a long-standing commitment to professional education and training. She has held an NIA-funded K24 mentorship award since 2013, providing protected time to support the professional development of early career clinician scientists. She is the Director of the NIA-funded Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Training Program in Alzheimer’s Disease (T32), and she is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the prestigious Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Program. 

Research Information

Dr. Jefferson’s research program focuses on understanding complex relations between vascular hemodynamics and the pathogenesis and clinical manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral small vessel disease, and related dementias. She has published more than 100 manuscripts and book chapters, underscoring the implications of compromised vascular health on brain integrity in aging adults. Her work emphasizes the intersection of systemic vascular disease, cerebral small vessel disease, and Alzheimer’s disease on brain aging outcomes. She was the first investigator to show that suboptimal reductions in cardiac output relate to lower cerebral blood flow [PubMed] and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia [PubMed]. For more information on Dr. Jefferson’s research portfolio, please visit the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center’s website.