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Nancy Lee Pedersen

Adjunct Professor (Research) of Psychology

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-2203
Office: SGM 501



Ph.D. (Honorary) , University of Jönköping, 2004
Ph.D. Behavior Genetics, University of Colorado, 4/1980

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

My current research efforts are focused on the etiology of chronic diseases of the elderly including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, late onset depression as well as other diseases with neuropsychiatric components in midlife such as chronic fatigue. I am also interested in genetic influences on cognitive aging and the phenomenon known as terminal decline. Key to my research is the study of comorbidity and the extent to which there are pleiotropic and epistatic effects explaining these cormorbidities and associations.


Journal Article

Andel, R., Crowe, M., Pedersen, N. L., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Gatz, M. (2008). Physical exercise at midlife and risk of dementia three decades later: A population-based study of Swedish twins. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Vol. 63A (1), pp. 62-66.
Turk-Charles, S., Gatz, M., Kato, K., Pedersen, N. L. (2008). Physical health 25 years later: The predictive ability of neuroticism. Health Psychology. Vol. 27 (3), pp. 369-378.
Walum, H., Westberg, L., Henningsson, S., Neiderhiser, J. M., Reiss, D., Igl, W., Ganiban, J., Spotts, E., Pedersen, N. L., Eriksson, E., Lichtenstein, P. (2008). Genetic variation in the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (AVPR1A) associates with pair-bonding behavior in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Vol. 105 (37), pp. 14153-14156.
Gatz, M. J., Reynolds, C. A., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Mortimer, J. A., Berg, S., Fiske, A. E., Pedersen, N. L. (2006). The role of genes and environments for explaining Alzheimer’s disease. Archives of General Psychiatry/American Medical Association. Vol. 63, pp. 168-174.
Gatz, M. J., Mortimer, J. A., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., Berg, S., Reynolds, C. A., Pedersen, N. L. (2006). Potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia in identical twins. Alzheimer's & Dementia/Elsevier. Vol. 2, pp. 110-117..
Kato, K., Sullivan, P. F., Evengard, B., Pedersen, N. L. (2006). Premorbid predictors of Chronic Fatigue. Archives of General Psychiatry. Vol. 63, pp. 1267-1272.

Honors and Awards

Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology; BSS Section of Gerontological Society of America, Fall 2007   
James Shields Award for Outstanding Twin Research, Spring 2007   
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