Cultural Neuropsychology/Monolingual and Bilingual Latinos/as.
Dr. Díaz-Santos completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras, her clinical psychology/neuropsychology doctoral degree at Boston University, and post-doctoral fellowships in clinical neuropsychology and neurosciences at UCLA. At UCLA, she received a NIA diversity supplement with the Human Connectome Project - Aging, under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Bookheimer, to study bilingualism as a mechanism of brain and cognitive reserve against Alzheimer’s disease in Latinx healthy older adults in Southern California. During this study, Dr. Díaz-Santos developed and implemented a bilingual-bicultural educational outreach program offering community members and community partners culturally and linguistically congruent education about Alzheimer’s disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These efforts lead her research towards a pilot study with UCLA’s Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR-CHIME), where she is currently employing qualitative research methodology to understand Latinx family-centered decision-making processes leading to research participation acceptance or refusal in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials. Dr. Díaz-Santos is currently leading the Latinx Dementia Care Outreach Research Program in the Department of Neurology and is the Director of Minority Outreach Initiative of UCLA’s Staglin Center for Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, where she is partnering with researchers to reduced barriers impacting research participation of historically marginalized communities in neuroscience studies.