Olivia I. Okereke, MD, MS

Senior Mentor

Olivia I. Okereke, MD, MS, is a Board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Okereke is Director of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director (Research) of the Geriatric Psychiatry Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Okereke’s programmatic goals are: (1) to identify modifiable risk factors involved in adverse mental aging and (2) to translate and apply knowledge gained into strategies for large-scale prevention of late-life depression and cognitive decline. Her research portfolio has been supported by numerous National Institutes of Health, University and foundation awards. Currently, she is: evaluating the role of dietary factors, such as vitamin D and omega-3, along with novel biologic markers in relation to risk of late-life cognitive decline and depression; testing effects of nutritional interventions on late-life mood in large-scale randomized trial settings; and addressing relations of later-life depression and anxiety to molecular markers of biological aging, with attention to their potential contributions to disparities in health and aging. Dr. Okereke is active in efforts to promote knowledge and training in geriatric mental health. Over the past decade, she has served as a Faculty or Steering Committee leadership member for two NIMH-funded R25 training programs in geriatric mental health. She has served as Vice-Chair (2015-2017) and Chair (2017-2019) of the Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Research Committee. On the community level, she has provided education on healthy brain aging at community centers, Councils on Aging, and senior centers around Massachusetts. She has served on both the Board of Directors and the Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and has been a Past Chair of the Chapter’s Annual Meeting. On the national level, Dr. Okereke serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

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