Lauren Massimo, PhD, CRNP
Neurodegenerative disease refers to progressive neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Frontotemporal degeneration, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis that change the way people think, behave, remember, and much more. My program of research utilizes state of the art neuroscience methods to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms that contribute to symptoms in neurodegenerative disease.
“My theoretical foundation in nursing science and neuroscience has positioned me to build a translational research program that integrates behavioral and biological markers to improve our understanding and treatment of individuals with neurodegenerative disease.”
- PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 2014
- Post-Master’s, University of Pennsylvania, Teacher Education Program, 2012
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 2005
- BSN, Pennsylvania State University, 2002
Dr. Massimo has extensive experience teaching in undergraduate and graduate courses at Penn Nursing and often serves as a guest lecturer on the topic of geriatric mental health and cognitive disorders.
Dr. Massimo’s research program focuses on identifying the cognitive and neural basis for symptoms of neurodegenerative disease. Her rich clinical experience and background in neuroscience enable her to translate these findings to design interventions based on an understanding of underlying neurobiological mechanisms.
Over her decade-long career as a Nurse Practitioner in Cognitive Neurology, Dr. Massimo has enjoyed the opportunity to work with and support many patients with neurodegenerative disease and their families.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Dr. Massimo is an active investigator in the University of Pennsylvania Frontotemporal Degeneration Center. Dr. Massimo works closely with other Center members including neurologists, neuropathologists, neuroscientists, geneticists, genetic counselors, neuropsychologists and social workers. She has supervised and mentored research assistants, undergraduate students and doctoral students on projects related to neurodegenerative disease and feels strongly about the mission to train the next generation of scientists to engage in research to improve the lives of individuals living with neurodegenerative disease and their family.
Selected Career Highlights
- 2020 “Emerging Leader in Gerontological Nursing,” (Geriatric Nursing, 41:7-13)
- 2018 Abstract of Distinction, State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
- 2011-2013 John A. Hartford Foundation, Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Scholar
- 2014, Marion R. Gregory Award for a distinguished completed doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
- Member, Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative (GPNC)
- Ambassador, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Award Program
Caswell, C., McMillan, C.T., Xie, S.X., Van Deerlin, V., Suh, E., Lee, E.B., Trojanowski, J.T., Lee, V.M., Irwin, D.J., Grossman, M. & Massimo, L. (2019). Genetic predictors of survival in behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration. (Epub ahead of print). Neurology.
Massimo, L., Kales, H. & Kolanowski, A. (2018). State of the science: Apathy as a model for investigating behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. PMID:29542053
Massimo, L., Xie. S., Rennert, L., Fick, D., Halpin, A., Placek, K., Williams, A., Rascovsky, K., Irwin, D.J., Grossman, M. & McMillan, C.T. (2019). Occupational attainment influences longitudinal decline in behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 13(1), 293-301. PMCID: PMC6521965
Massimo, L., Munoz, E., Hill, N., Mogle, J., Mulhall, P., McMillan, C., Clare, L., Vandenburg, D., Fick, D. & Kolanowski, A. (2017). Genetic and environmental factors associated with delirium severity in older adults with dementia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 32(5), 574-581. PMCID: PMC5083230
Placek, K., Massimo, L., Olm, C., Ternes, K., Van Deerlin, V., Lee, E., Trojanowski, J., Irwin, D., Grossman, M & McMillan, C. (2016). Neuroanatomic and neuropsychological evidence of cognitive reserve in frontotemporal degeneration. Neurology, 87(17), 1813-1819. PMCID: PMC5089523
Massimo, L., Zee, J., Xie, S.X., McMillan, C.T., Rascovsky, K., Irwin, D. I., Kolanowski, A. & Grossman, M. (2015). Occupational attainment influences survival in autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal degeneration. Neurology, 84(20), 2070-2075. PMCID: PMC4442102
Massimo, L., Powers J., Evans, L., McMillan, C.T., Rascovsky, K., Eslinger, P., Ersek, M., Irwin, D.J. & Grossman, M. Apathy in frontotemporal degeneration: Neuroanatomical evidence of impaired goal-directed behavior. (2015). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 9:611. PMCID: PMC4639601
Massimo, L., Evans, L. & Grossman, M. (2014). Differentiating subtypes of apathy to improve person-centered care in Frontotemporal Degeneration. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 40(10), 58-65. PMCID: PMC4281275
Massimo, L., Libon, D.J., Chandrasekaran, K., Dreyfuss, M., McMillan, C.T., Rascovsky, K., Boller, A., & Grossman, M. (2013). Self-appraisal in behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 84(2), 148-53. PMCID: PMC3556171
Massimo, L., Evans, L. & Benner, P. (2013). Caring for loved ones with frontotemporal degeneration: The lived experiences of spouses. Geriatric Nursing, 34(4), 302-306. PMCID: PMC3867267