Claire Sexton, DPhil

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
UCSF Memory and Aging Center
Professional Profile
Home Country: United Kingdom
Field of Employment: Neuroscience
Key Areas: physical activity, sleep, mobility, brain, imaging

Interventions that promote healthy lifestyles can play a huge role in reducing rates of dementia worldwide.

Claire Sexton is a neuroscientist with a long-standing interest in studying brain aging and factors proposed to promote healthy brain aging. Building upon her doctoral research, which used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to examine late-life depression and Alzheimer's disease, Sexton’s current work investigates non-pharmacological factors proposed to promote healthy aging, including physical activity and sleep. In 2014, she published the first study to show that poor sleep quality is associated with increased rates of decline in brain volumes across the lifespan.

Throughout her career, Sexton has combined her research with voluntary work in community-based initiatives aimed at promoting healthy aging and supporting people living with dementia. As an Atlantic Fellow at GBHI, Sexton is interested in developing multi-disciplinary, scalable interventions and working to bridge the gap between scientists and policymakers.

Bio: Claire Sexton received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Manchester, following which she worked as a research assistant at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University. She completed her doctoral and postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford; she has also worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Oslo.