Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D.

Rachel Anne Whitmer, Ph.D.


Public Health Sciences-Division of Epidemiology


  • Professor and Chief, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences
  • Associate Director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center


UC Davis Medical Center

2315 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:
800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284)





Research/Academic Interests

Professor Rachel Whitmer leads the Population Science of Brain Health Laboratory at UC Davis. She is Professor and Division Chief of Epidemiology , Department of Public Health Sciences.

Her research focuses on using epidemiological methods to reduce inequities in brain aging; especially through study of dementia incidence, cognitive aging, and brain pathology in racial and ethnic minority groups, those with type 1 diabetes, and individuals living beyond age 90.

Dr. Whitmer is Principal Investigator of four NIH-NIA funded cohort studies of brain aging.

Visit the Whitmer lab website




Ph.D., Human Development/Cognitive Aging, UC Davis, Davis CA 2000

B.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 1995


Cardiovascular Epidemiology, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 2000-2002

Select Recent Publications

Gilsanz P, Mayeda ER, Flatt J, Glymour MM, Quesenberry CP Jr, Whitmer RA. Early Midlife Pulmonary Function and Dementia Risk. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2018 Mar 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Kivipelto M, Mangialasche F, Ngandu T; World Wide Fingers Network. World Wide Fingers will advance dementia prevention. Lancet Neurol. 2018 Jan;17(1):27. Epub 2017 Dec 16.

Rodill LG, Exalto LG, Gilsanz P, Biessels GJ, Quesenberry CP Jr, Whitmer RA. Diabetic Retinopathy and Dementia in Type 1 Diabetes. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2018 Apr-Jun;32(2):125-130.

Gilsanz P, Mayeda ER, Glymour MM, Quesenberry CP, Mungas DM, DeCarli C, Dean A, Whitmer RA. Female sex, early-onset hypertension, and risk of dementia. Neurology. 2017 Oct 31;89(18):1886-1893. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Gilsanz P, Mayeda ER, Glymour MM, Quesenberry CP, Whitmer RA. Association Between Birth in a High Stroke Mortality State, Race, and Risk of Dementia. JAMA Neurol. 2017 Sep 1;74(9):1056-1062.

Flatt JD, Gilsanz P, Quesenberry CP Jr, Albers KB, Whitmer RA. Post-traumatic stress disorder and risk of dementia among members of a health care delivery system. Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Jan;14(1):28-34. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Mayeda ER, Glymour MM, Quesenberry CP Jr, Whitmer RA. Heterogeneity in 14-year Dementia Incidence Between Asian American Subgroups. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2017 Jul-Sep;31(3):181-186.

Mayeda ER, Glymour MM, Quesenberry CP, Johnson JK, Pérez-Stable EJ, Whitmer RA. Survival after dementia diagnosis in five racial/ethnic groups. Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Jul;13(7):761-769. Epub 2017 Feb 5.