Amy Thierry, Ph.D., M.P.H., comes to the Duke Aging Center from Penn State where she earned a Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Demography. For her dissertation research, she used the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data to examine racial/ethnic and gender differences in the relationship between chronic stress and physical disability, while integrating telomere length as a predictor of disability development. Her primary mentor is Dr. Scott Lynch, Professor in the Department of Sociology. Dr. Thierry’s research will use the HRS to examine neighborhood stressors experienced by midlife and older adults to better understand how environmental context contributes to disability disparities. Her research will include measures of inflammation and telomere length to elucidate potential cellular processes linking stress and physical disability.