Jason Flatt, PhD, MPH

2017 Hellman Fellow


Assistant Professor, Institute for Health & Aging, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, UC San Francisco

Dr. Flatt is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Health & Aging, Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. He is also affiliated with the UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities, UCSF Pepper Center, and UCSF Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care. Flatt is also core faculty and teaching for the UCSF Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership (MS-HAIL) program.

The focus of his research has been on aging health disparities and on dementia risk and prevention. Specifically, Flatt has shown that older minorities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to engage in adverse health behaviors (tobacco use and physical inactivity) and experience health disparities, such as higher rates of mental health problems, social isolation, cognitive impairment, and falls. Flatt has also studied the role of risk and protective factors in dementia, including PTSD, sleep disorders, and how participating in social activities and having larger social networks are associated with a decreased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

Dr. Flatt’s current research brings these two areas of research together to better understand risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) among older sexual and gender minorities (SGM). Currently, nothing is known about the epidemiology and risk of ADRD in SGM older adults without HIV/AIDS. By 2030, there will be nearly 6 million SGM older adults (aged 60 and older) in the U.S. who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Understanding the risk for ADRD in SGM older adults is critical to defining the burden and developing targeted preventive strategies. This work could also lead to improved screenings and treatments, as well as better targeting of culturally relevant interventions to prevent and reduce the burden of Alzheimer’s disease in SGM populations.