Hwamee Oh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and is also affiliated with the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences and Carney Institute for Brain Science at Brown University. Dr. Oh received her BA in English and MA in Psychology at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, followed by a PhD in Biopsychology (with a concentration in Human Cognitive Neuroscience) from SUNY-Stony Brook in 2009. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship on the neuroscience of aging and Alzheimer’s disease at UC Berkeley, working with Dr. William Jagust, where she pioneered in many studies using multimodal neuroimaging approaches to elucidate the mechanisms of disease causation in Alzheimer’s disease and to extend our understanding of it to the preclinical state. Her work resulted in publications in prestigious journals and many awards including the 2014 de Leon Prize in Neuroimaging: New Investigator Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. Prior to Brown, she was an Assistant Professor at Columbia University from 2014-2017, in the Department of Neurology and Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, and then Research Assistant Professor at Stony Brook from 2017-2019. At Brown, Dr. Oh extends her research on cognitive and neural changes due to normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease pathology and individual difference factors contributing to the brain aging and cognition relationship using multimodality neuroimaging methods including PET and structural and functional MRI.
Hwamee was an English Education major in college and became a tenured English teacher in a middle school in Seoul, which, back then, was considered as one of the most desired jobs for women in Korea. That was her parents’ dream job for her. After deciding to follow her genuine interest in brain science from her senior year in college, she quit the position and enrolled in a master’s program in psychology in Seoul, where she worked as part of an epidemiological study of senile dementia in South Korea. She came to the U.S. with her husband who was studying Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she joined the newly formed cognitive neuroscience laboratory of Dr. Brad Postle as the lab’s first research assistant. At the SUNY-Stony Brook Psychology graduate program, Hwamee enjoyed applying fMRI to study human working memory and visual processing, despite scanning participants only at night and weekends throughout her graduate study. Following her long-term interest in brain and cognitive aging, she completed her postdoc training in Dr. William Jagust’s laboratory at UC-Berkeley, while spending time with her two kids on the weekends. After spending some time at Columbia as a tenure-track assistant professor, Hwamee now runs her lab for Cognitive and Translational Neuroscience in Brown Psychiatry and Human Behavior and also serves Director of Imaging Research in the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital.