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Kirk Erickson

Kirk I. Erickson PhD

Director of Translational Neuroscience and Mardian J. Blair Endowed Chair of Neuroscience, AdventHealth Research Institute, Orlando, Florida

Dr. Erickson is Director of Translational Neuroscience and Mardian J. Blair Endowed Chair of Neuroscience at the AdventHealth Research Institute. Dr. Erickson received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a post-doctoral scholar at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He was also a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and the Principal Investigator of the Brain, Aging, and Cognitive Health Laboratory before starting at AdventHealth. Dr. Erickson’s vast research program focuses on the effects of physical activity on brain health across the lifespan. This research has resulted in > 300 published articles and 15 book chapters. With currently over 52000 citations for his work since 2003 he has been identified by the AD Scientific Index as one of the world’s top 1% most productive scientists.

In the last 10 years, Dr. Erickson’s research has received >$55 million dollars in support including numerous grants from the NIH, the Alzheimer’s Association, and other organizations. He is the Principal Investigator of a Phase III randomized clinical trial examining the impact of exercise on neurocognitive function in late adulthood and an $11 million follow-up study of this sample. His research resulted in the prestigious Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award from the University of Pittsburgh. He was named a Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research in 2016 and received a Distinguished Scientist Award by Murdoch University in Australia in 2018.  He has been a Visiting Professor at Murdoch University, the University of South Australia, the University of Granada, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

Dr. Erickson was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to be an expert on the 2018 U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee and chaired the Brain Health subcommittee. His research has been featured in a long list of print, radio, and electronic media including the New York Times, CNN, BBC News, NPR, Time, and the Wall Street Journal.


Dr. Erickson is currently a Scientific Advisor for MedRhythms, Inc., Neo Auvra, Inc, and Nestre, Inc.