Em Arpawong portrait

T. Em Arpawong, PhD, MPH

Research Assistant Professor of Gerontology

Director of the Gerontology Bioinformatics Core

Expertise: Social-determinants and disparities, Genetics, Resilience


  • Postdoctoral Scholarship Training in Genetic Epidemiology and Aging, USC
  • PhD in Health Behavior Research / Preventive Medicine, USC
  • MPH in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, USC
  • Predoctoral Training in Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute
  • BA in Biology, Oberlin College


  • Emotional and Cognitive Health in Aging
  • Understanding the effects of stress and adversity, related to socioeconomic disparity, on resiliency outcomes across the lifespan
  • Understanding genetic and environmental interactions that influence emotional and cognitive outcomes, applying statistical and behavioral genetic approaches


Em Arpawong, PhD, MPH, is a Research Assistant Professor of Gerontology and director of the Gerontology Bioinformatics Core. Her research focuses on elucidating pathways through which genetic and environmental components interact to improve emotional and cognitive health into older ages. The environmental components she is interested in includes factors that create socioeconomic disparities, such as gender, race and ethnicity, and earlier life adversity. As a post-doc, she was a recipient of an individual National Research Service Award (NRSA) funded by the National Institute on Aging. With funding through the NRSA, she expanded her prior research, which was focused on psychological and behavioral adaptation to adverse life events at different developmental stages, by integrating statistical genetics and bioinformatics, cognitive aging, and longitudinal modeling approaches. Her current work integrates the use of both genomewide data and twin and family data to evaluate the interactive effects between genetic and environmental factors on later life health. Much of Arpawong’s work utilizes longitudinal data from the Project Talent Twin and Sibling Study (PTTS), U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS), English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and Cognition and Aging in the USA (CogUSA).

Email: arpawong@usc.edu

Office Location: GER 225b

Office Phone: (213) 821-8897

Publications and links:


Google Scholar

Curriculum Vitae