Olga Herren Ph.D


Olga Herren received her master’s and doctoral degrees in neuropsychology from Howard University. While at Howard, Dr. Herren conducted research that investigated the impact of biopsychosocial risk factors on cognitive functioning and other health outcomes in African Americans in adulthood and elder years.

Both her master’s and doctoral research examined the impact of lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, spiritual practices, and diet, on immunodynamics and cognitive functioning in minority populations, specifically in the area of executive functions (i.e., attentional control). She is currently involved in a research project that investigates the influence of health behaviors on genetic and biological mechanisms that impact obesity and cancer risk.

Her emphasis pertains to the role of genes and proinflammatory biomarkers and how differences in expression may help to identify pathways of susceptibility and resilience that explain the association between biopsychosocial phenomena and cancer in at-risk populations. Dr. Herren grew up in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the capital of El Salvador, San Salvador. She has also been involved in community-based workshops that teach evidence-based methods of reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression through a better understanding of the mind-body connection.

Dr. Herren intends to incorporate her diverse cultural background into her program of research and teaching, exploring practical implications of the mind-body connection to improve health outcomes for underserved populations.