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Appointment Details

  • Priority Area: Health Equity
  • Disciplines: Exercise Physiology, Gerontology, Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia
  • Mentor’s Name: Ryon Cobb
  • Mentor’s Discipline: Health Disparities and Social Injustice
  • School: School of Social Work - New Brunswick

About Joshua L. Gills

Dr. Joshua Gills comes from a thorough educational and research background that includes exercise and cognitive research protocols, biostatistics and experimental design, and physiology/kinesiology. He is the co-coordinator over an NIA-funded randomized controlled trial examining the effects of aerobic exercise on brain health in older African Americans, where he oversees the study’s day-to-day operations, as well as writes manuscripts and concurrent administrative grant proposals. This trial aims to address the health disparity gap by providing exercise classes and bi-yearly brain health check-ups for African Americans in Newark and surrounding communities, with hopes of improving health outcomes and reducing the risk for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias which disproportionally affect African Americans.

Dr. Gills obtained his Ph.D. in Health, Sport, and Exercise Science from the University of Arkansas. He has experience as a graduate research assistant on an NIH-SBIR grant within the Exercise Science Research Center, where he conducted high-quality data collection and analyses for a study focusing on lifestyle interventions to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. During his Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship, he will analyze novel diagnostic biomarkers in older African Americans pre- and post-intervention, obtain proficiency in administering novel cognitive assessments, and participate in community engagement to help recruit Black men as research participants to improve representation, diversity, equity, and inclusion in research.