Karen was born and raised in Nicaragua, where her interest in neuropsychology and community health began. Her passion for travel took her to Uruguay, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While working on her honors thesis, she trained in clinical neuropsychology with mentors Sergio Dansilio, MD; Luis Fontan, MD; and Jorge Lorenzo, MD. During that time, she developed a strong interest toward healthy aging.
Since moving to the US, she served as a volunteer research assistant in the Life-Span Development Lab and the Psychophysiology Lab at Stanford University. Karen also worked as Program Coordinator at There With Care, a non-profit that supports families with critically ill children, as well as a Caregiver Resource Specialist at Family Caregiver Alliance. Karen is interested in working with underserved populations and joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2016 to coordinate and assess Latino participants who join MAC studies. In order to increase diversity in the MAC research programs, she also does community outreach.
Her research interests include healthy aging and underrepresented populations, particularly how culture and coping strategies influence the way we embrace changes as we become older adults. She also has a passion for clinical neuropsychology and in the next few years, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in neuroscience or clinical psychology.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys cooking, trying new culinary spots, and reading. She also loves volunteering and supports her local library and businesses.