Derek M. Isaacowitz is the Professor of Psychology and Director of the Lifespan Emotional Development Lab at Northeastern University. He was an undergraduate student at Stanford University and received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. His research on emotion regulation and social perception in the context of adult development and aging is funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and Velux Stiftung. This research has appeared in journals such as Psychological Science, Social and Psychological and Personality Science, Emotion, and Psychology and Aging. He is currently editor-in-chief of the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and he served as chair of the Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes study section at NIH. He has been the recipient of the Springer Early Career Achievement Award from Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association, the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology, for Outstanding Early Career Contributions, from the Gerontological Society of America, as well as teaching and mentoring awards.
Derek Isaacowitz grew up all around the New York City area (first Westchester, then Brooklyn, then Queens), and attended college at Stanford because they gave him the most financial aid and it was as far away as he could get from home. He was certain he would a History major but hated his first History course; other people in his dorm said Psychology was more interesting so he signed up for Intro Psych with Phil Zimbardo. They were right; it was interesting! At a dorm dinner with faculty, he met Laura Carstensen and started working in her lab soon thereafter. He knew he wanted to go to grad school to study aging but couldn’t decide how best to approach it, so he ended up in a clinical psych Ph.D. program at Penn. Being ambivalent about clinical work, he withdrew from the internship match to take his first faculty position at Brandeis. He bought an eye tracker with start-up funds without ever having used or seen one before. Since then, he moved to Northeastern and has tried to take more calculated risks in his research.
Derek Isaacowitz (Northeastern University)