Expert on Effects of Trauma Over the Lifespan Named Ithaca College Gerontology Institute Director

By David Maley, May 6, 2016

Expert on Effects of Trauma Over the Lifespan Named Ithaca College Gerontology Institute Director

ITHACA, NY—The Ithaca College Gerontology Institute has named Barbara Ganzel as its new director. Ganzel comes to the institute from the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research and the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, where she directed a neuroimaging research laboratory, advised both undergraduate and graduate research students, and taught courses in neuroscience and human development.

She succeeds Rhoda Meador, who served as director from 2011–15 and remains with the institute as Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center Program Coordinator.

Ganzel holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in developmental psychology, and she recently respecialized in clinical social work (LMSW) with a focus on end-of-life care.

Her current research focuses on identifying and relieving stress and trauma at the end of life.  At Cornell, her Lifespan Affective Neuroscience Lab used the tools of neuroimaging, genetics and behavioral assessment to better understand how stress interacts with lifespan development to impact brain structure, brain function and mental health.

Ganzel’s work has been published in the Gerontologist, Psychological Review, NeuroImage, Development & Psychopathology and the Journal of Traumatic Stress, among other journals. She has earned fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, the Mind & Life Institute and the American Psychological Association, and her professional memberships include the Gerontological Society of America, Society for Neuroscience and National Association of Social Workers.

Housed in the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Gerontology Institute was established in 1992 to serve as a campus and community resource that promotes and supports research, curriculum development, community education and community service activities in gerontology. The institute offers a major and a minor in aging studies for undergraduates, as well as training for professionals in health and aging services through a number of initiatives.

For more information, visit