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Research spotlight: Graciela Muniz-Terrera, Ph.D.

October 6, 2022

Graciela Muniz-Terrera, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Social Medicine and an Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Ralph S. Licklider, D.O. Endowed Professor in Health and Aging. Her research focuses on aging and brain health, with expertise in epidemiology and biostatistics. Muniz-Terrera is also a member of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute. 

Importance of her research: 

Muniz-Terrera says that long-term care of aging adults is not only hard on the person who is growing older, it is also very demanding and costly for families, caregivers, and taxpayers. The number of people who are living longer is growing, however, they are not necessarily healthier. Muniz-Terrera would like to better understand the role of modifiable risk factors for cognitive and physical decline in older adults to help individuals be healthier in their golden years, and by doing so, reduce the costs and hardships associated with aging for individuals, their families and caregivers. 

Why research is rewarding:  

Muniz-Terrera's work allows her to contribute to the improvement of society. She says it is very satisfying to see something that you produce translated into public health policies. Muniz-Terrera also is passionate about mentoring young and early career researchers and students. This passion stems from the belief that we all have a responsibility to help prepare future generations of committed researchers and to prepare them for success in whatever way they have defined it. 

Overview of cluster hire: 

Muniz-Terrera is one of three faculty members hired by the Heritage College as part of a cluster hire focused on researching social determinants of health. She says the researchers all complement one another by pulling their expertise together to support communities within Ohio. Read more about the cluster hire.