Professor, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurology
Boston University Schools of Medicine
Rhoda Au is Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurology and Epidemiology at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public. She also currently serves as Director of Neuropsychology at the Framingham Heart Study, where she has been involved in research related to cognitive aging and preclinical/clinical dementia since 1990. The limits of standard neuropsychological testing led her to apply the Boston Process Approach to increase the sensitivity of these tests. The BPA includes tracking error and extraneous responses and FHS is the first to apply this method to epidemiologic research. Most recently, she has integrated digital technology into the cognitive assessment process while preserving the traditional paper-pencil test experience. Using digital voice and digital pen to capture cognitive performance underlies her current work of determining the potential of digital cognitive biomarkers as surrogate indices to more expensive and invasive fluid and imaging biomarkers. She is also interested in how “big data” analytics can better inform our understanding of disease pathways and treatment. In addition to her work at Framingham, Dr. Au is also currently involved in the School of Public Health led Aging Well Institute that focuses on building multi-sector ecosystems to enable solutions for chronic disease prevention generally and optimizing brain health specifically and to move the primary focus of health technologies from precision medicine to a broader emphasis on precision health.