Researcher biography

Dr Nancy A. Pachana is a clinical geropsychologist, neuropsychologist and professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Queensland. She is Director, Healthy Ageing Initiative in the Health & Behavioural Sciences Faculty, and Program Lead of the Age Friendly University Initiative, at UQ. She is also co-director of the UQ Ageing Mind Initiative, providing a focal point for clinical, translational ageing-related research at UQ. She has an international reputation in the area of geriatric mental health, particularly with her research on late-life anxiety disorders. She is co-developer of the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory, a published brief self-report inventory in wide clinical and research use globally, translated into over two dozen languages. She has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books on various topics in the field of ageing, and has been awarded more than $25 million in competitive research funding, primarily in the areas of dementia and mental health in later life. Her research is well-cited cited and she maintains a clear international focus in her collaborations and research interests, which include anxiety in later life, psychological interventions for those with Parkinson's Disease, nursing home interventions, use of assistance animals in later life, older adults and environmental sustainability, strategies for healthy ageing, driving safety and dementia, teaching and learning in psychogeriatrics and mental health policy and ageing.

Her edited book, Casebook of Clinical Geropsychology (Oxford University Press, 2010), has proven a popular text for clinical geropsychology training in North America. Her edited book, the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology (Oxford University Press, 2014), brings together an international perspective on a wide range of current and emerging topics in the field. Her Encyclopedia of Geropsychology (Springer, 2016) contains nearly 350 entries by international experts. Her text Ageing, A Very Short Introduction (2016), part of the popular Oxford University Press VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION series; this work has recently been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese. Most recently, she has edited Anxiety in older people: Clinical and research perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2021) with longstanding colleague Professor Gerard Byrne (UQ Psychiatry).

Nancy was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2014. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, and is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including an Australian Davos Connection Future Summit Leadership Award, for leadership on ageing issues in Australia. In 2020 she was named the recipient of the M. Powell Lawton Lifetime Acievement Award, from the American Psychological Association's Society of Clinical Geropsychology, acknowledging considerable and sustained efforts, in scholarship, publishing, and service, to promote geropsychology in general and the well-being of persons living with dementia in particular.

She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Psychology and Aging (Q1). Originally from the United States, Nancy was awarded her AB from Princeton University in 1987, her PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1992, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA, Los Angeles, and the Palo Alto Veterans Medical Center, Palo Alto, California. She is an avid bird watcher and photographer and an intrepid traveller.