Dr. Eleanna Varangis is an assistant professor of Movement Science in the Michigan Concussion Center and the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Economics from Barnard College of Columbia University. She completed her master’s degree and PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her dissertation research focused on the long-term effects of football-related concussions on cognitive performance, white matter integrity, and functional connectivity during an episodic memory task in middle-adulthood. Her postdoctoral research with Dr. Yaakov Stern at Columbia University’s Taub Institute explored similar relationships among cognitive performance and functional connectivity during both rest and task periods in healthy adults across the adult lifespan.
Now, her research utilizes cognitive assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) both at rest as well as during a cognitive task in order to probe ways in which mTBI affects neurocognitive function across both short- and long-term timescales. Her training in the analysis of functional and structural MRI in both former athletes and healthy adults informs much of her approach to exploring the effects of mTBI on neurocognitive health in the context of aging. The overall goal of her research is to characterize the ways in which mTBI affects brain health and cognitive function across the lifespan, and to identify individual factors that may protect against or exacerbate deviations from a healthy brain aging trajectory.