Odmara Barreto Chang, NIH Diversity Supplement Awardee

Odmara Barreto Chang is an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at UCSF. As an anesthesiologist with a background in Neurosciences, she aims to understand brain function in elderly patients undergoing surgery.

To pursue this, she has been awarded an NIH Diversity Supplement from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke under the mentorship of Dr. Katherine Possin from the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. She will be using the Brain Health Assessment in the Perioperative setting, a neuropsychological battery of testing developed by her primary mentor Dr. Possin.

Dr. Barreto Chang explains how there is currently a lack of preoperative screening for cognitive impairment in the elderly, one of the most vulnerable patient populations. Her aim is to characterize cognitive care gaps among elderly patients and provide turn-key recommendations in the preoperative anesthesia clinic. Ultimately, she plans to identify those patients that are most vulnerable to cognitive decline after surgery with the goal of developing approaches to prevent cognitive decline by avoiding modifiable risk factors or insults.