Dr. Caterina Rosano, MD, MPH

Tenured Professor, Epidemiology


130 DeSoto Street, 5139 Public Health 15261
R-znvy: ebfnabp@rqp.cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-838-6749
Web site:

Personal Statement

I am a physician-scientist specializing in
Population Neuroscience of aging.  My research group eBRAIN has made
significant discoveries into the neurobiological drivers of successful aging. Although
older age is typically associated with a seemingly inevitable performance
decline, we have evidence that some older adults appear resistant and resilient
to the effect of aging.  Based on our
discoveries, we believe that there are distinct neurobiological characteristics
that can explain why some people age better than others and why some people respond
to treatment better than others. We also believe that enhancing these
neurobiological drivers of resilience can enhance function.    My work leverages the most recent
methodologies of CNS assessment to   “virtually” dissect the brain in vivo   using
very powerful and novel magnet resonance imaging. My research inquiries are
conducted in the context of carefully designed epidemiological studies. The combination
of neuroscience and population science is critical to capture the complex
relationships between the heterogeneity of the individuals on the
manifestations of the disease. We find that the “neurobiological drivers of
resilience” appear related to   microstructural integrity of brain connections,
small vessle and dopaminergic signaling. 
These findings are very important, because such resilience factors are modifiable.
For example, we have shown that   lower and stable levels of inflammatory
markers and blood pressure are critically important for preservation of brain integrity
in older age. Information on our work and that of our trainees can be found at https://www.facebook.com/e.brain.pitt/







Scientific Lycee, B. Croce, Palermo, Italy




University of Palermo Medical School, Palermo, Italy










University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Foreign Exchange Program

The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Lois Pope Foundation; Neuroregenerative potential of white matter


Policlinico, University of Palermo Medical School, Palermo, Italy


Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine

2001- 2003

Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Anne B. Newman, M.D., M.P.H

Epidemiology of Aging



Alzheimer Disease Research Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Mini residency

Steven T. DeKosky, M.D

Department of Neurology


Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA

Trainee for the Aging Training Program

Epidemiology of Aging

Design and analysis of structural and functional brain imaging studies in large epidemiologic populations. PI: A B. Newman


Institute for Clinical Research and Education,University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA


Mentor Training Program

PI: B. Rollman and W.




EPI 2012 - Principles of Population Neuroscience

Research Description

I have a long standing interest in understanding how the brain adapts to the “normal” processes of aging and disease. This is based on the peculiar observation that some individuals age well, while others decline very rapidly. I am specifically interested in understanding the causes, biomarkers and consequences of brain aging. My goal is to identify the modifiers of brain function and structure and their implications to promote survival free of physical disability and dementia. My research approach is grounded on the application of cutting-edge methods of neuroimaging and clinical measures to epidemiological cohorts’ and randomized clinical trials studies. The application of the most advanced neuroimaging technology to large epidemiological studies of aging makes my research most innovative and of great potential impact. Collectively, my studies constitute a unique and novel resource comprising large datasets of detailed brain and functional markers from several hundreds of individuals. I expect that these data will augment our understanding of brain aging and that they will contribute to the discovery of new approaches to the promotion of survival free from disabilities.

Research Support

Principle Investigator: 

·   NIDDK: Retinal Imaging Markers of Cognition in Adults with T1D

·    NIA: Pittsburgh Older American Independence Center (PI of Integrated Systems Core)

·    NIA: Ultra-high-field neuroimaging in elderly after a two-year exercise intervention


 ·      NIDDK: Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications (EDC) Phase II (PI: Trevor J. Orchard, Epidemiology)

·      NHLBI:  Neurovascular Determinants of Cognitive Function in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease (PI: Enrico Novelli)

·       NIMH: High Performance Imaging for Assessment of Small Vessel Disease in Older Adults with Depression (PI: Howard Aizenstein)

·       NIA: Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Prospective Community Study (PI: Mary Ganguli)

·      NIA: Cognitive Decline, Brain Aging, Physical Environment, and Mobility (PI: Andrea Rosso)

·       DiaComp Coor. And Bioinformatics Unit (CBU) at the Georgia Regents University: Retinal imaging biomarkers of worsening microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes (PI: Karen Nunley)

Research Interests






Selected Publications


Caterina  Rosano