Welcome to the Study of Healthy Aging and Applied Research Programs (SHAARP) Lab!

SHAARP Lab Group photo for Fall 2019


The SHAARP Lab examines factors that keep older adults independent and mobile. We focus primarily on cognitive and functional abilities that may be modifiable through targeted interventions. Members of this lab have diverse backgrounds and interests (such as gerontology, human factors, neuropsychological assessment, neuroscience), and this is reflected in the variety of approaches we take to study the aging process. Currently we examining the impact of various cognitive and exercise intervention programs on cognitive, physical, and health outcomes in older adults. We are also particularly interested in the real-world implications of our findings. For example, how does the intervention translate into improvements in older adults' ability to carry out the activities of their daily lives? We hope that you will visit our page often for updates and find the provided information and links useful.

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From left to right: Alana Peng, Briana Sprague, Joanne Tian, Sara Troutman, Sara Bickhart, Amber Hurlock, Dr. Lesley Ross, Michelle Huerbin, Sara Freed, Nathanael Jiya 


Welcome to the SHAARP Lab, Abby!

September, 2020

Meet our newest graduate research assistant, Abby. She is a Learning Sciences PhD candidate from Clemson. View her full bio under our 'people' tab. Welcome to the team, Abby! 

Congratulations, Nathanael!

August 1, 2020

Congrats to one of our May 2020 graduates, Nathanael, on his recent admission into graduate school at American University in Washington D.C. He will be studying Biotechnology with a concentration in Business. Best of luck, Nathanael!  

Dr. Ross new Endowed Chair in Aging and Cognition at Clemson University

July 1, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Ross who was appointed as the new SmartLife Endowed Chair in Aging and Cognition at Clemson University. Dr. Ross is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Associate Director of the Institute for Engaged Aging beginning the July. 

SHAARP Lab Awarded NHTSA Grant

June, 2020

Dr. Lesley Ross was awarded funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to conduct the project "State of Knowledge on Older Drivers" along with Dr. Loren Staplin of TransAnalytics. The goal of the project is to conduct a systematic literature review of research published on older driver safety since 2000. The SHAARP team, led by Sara Freed, is currently conducting the systematic literature search and extracting key information from eligible publications to assist in the final report.

SHAARP Lab undergraduate Sara Bickhart wins award!

April 27, 2020

Sara was recognized for her outstanding research during the 2020 Penn State Undergraduate Research Exhibition. Nearly 200 students competed in the exhibition. Sara's poster, titled "Women are Not More Likely to Receive Suggestion to Cease Driving" won third place in the Social and Behavioral Sciences category. Congratulations Sara!


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February 2019

Penn State Larson Transportation Institute

Study Suggests How Brain Exercise Gains Transfer to Daily Life

May 2018

Posit Science PR Team

LTI faculty affiliate Lesley Ross to chair TRB Committee on Safe Mobility of Older Persons

April 2018

By Danica Laub

Larson Transportation Institute

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