Francesca V. Lopez, M.S.

Biography

Francesca graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Psychology. During this time, she was involved in research projects examining learning and memory performance in healthy and pathological aging populations under the mentorship of Dr. Paul E. Gilbert. Her honors thesis used a well-validated clinical measure to examine nuanced differences in verbal learning and memory performance across stages of Huntington’s disease. Following graduation, Francesca was a summer research assistant as part of the NIH-funded Gerontechnology-Focused Summer Research for Undergraduates (GSUR) program. Under the guidance of Dr. Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, she was involved in projects using novel, innovative ‘smart’ technologies in the assessment and treatment of those with progressive neurological conditions. To gain additional experience, Francesca worked as a research assistant at the VA San Diego Healthcare System for Drs. Vince Filoteo and Dawn Schiehser, using neuropsychological assessment and magnetic resonance imaging to examine cognitive and emotional sequelae of Parkinson’s disease. In Fall 2017, she entered the Clinical and Health Psychology program at the University of Florida under the mentorship of Dr. Dawn Bowers. She is a predoctoral NINDS T32 fellow in the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Francesca is working toward completing her dissertation research project, which involves the examination of phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy markers of brain energy metabolism and its relationship with cognition in older adults at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Research Focus

Francesca’s research interests include early detection of cognitive decline, biopsychosocial mechanisms impacting late-life cognition, and the utility of alternative approaches to promote or sustain brain health across the developmental and neurodegenerative spectrum.

 

Publications

Kenney, L., Rohl, B., Lopez, F.V., Lafo, J., Price, C.E., Foote, K.D., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. The UF Deep Brain Stimulation Cognitive Rating Scale (DBS-CRS): Clinical Decision Making, Validity and Outcomes. (2020). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. PMID: 33132886.

Deford, N.C., DeJesus, S.Y., Holden, H.M., Graves, L.V., Lopez, F.V., & Gilbert, P.E. (2020). Young and older adults may utilize different cognitive abilities when performing a spatial recognition memory test with varying levels of similarity. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 90(1), 65-83. PMID: 30813739.

Lopez, F. V., Rohl, B. Y., Shukla, A. W., & Bowers, D. (2019). Sniffing out cognitive decline in patients with and without evidence of dopaminergic deficit. Clinical Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 1, 77-81.

Van Etten, E.J., Graves, L.V., Taylor, B.P., Holden, H.M., Lopez, F.V., Williams, M.E., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Corey-Bloom, J., Filoteo, J.V., Delis, D.C., & Gilbert, P.E. (2019). Recall and recognition discriminability in Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Journal of Huntington’s Disease, 8(4), 459-465. PMID: 31476164.

Lopez, F.V., Eglit, G.M.L., Schiehser, D.M., Turk, E., Lessig, S., Litvan, I., & Filoteo, J.V. (2019). Factor analysis of the Apathy Scale in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, 6(5), 379-386. PMID: 31286007.

Lopez, F.V., Ferencz, B. Rohl, B.Y., Trifilio, E., Scott, B.M., Okun, M.S., Marsiske, M. & Bowers, D. (2019). Everyday functioning in Parkinson’s disease: Evidence from the Revised Observed Tasks of Daily Living (OTDL-R). Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 60, 167-170. PMID: 30190102.

Sumida C.A., Van Etten, E.J., Lopez, F.V., Sheppard, D. P., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Corey-Bloom, J., Filoteo, J.V., Woods, S.P., Gilbert P.E., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (2019). Medication management capacity and its neurocognitive correlates in Huntington’s disease. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 34(7), 1121-1126. PMID: 30517595.

Lopez, F.V., Split, M., Filoteo, J.V., Litvan, I., Moore, R.C., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Lessig, S., & Schiehser, D.M. (2018). Does the Geriatric Depression Scale measure depression in Parkinson’s disease? International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 33(12), 1662–1670. PMID: 30251374.

Manuscripts In Revision/Under Review

Eglit, G.M.L., Lopez, F.V., Schiehser, D.M., Turk, E., Lessig, S., Litvan, I., & Filoteo, J.V. (Under Revised Review). Delineation of apathy subgroups in Parkinson’s disease:  Differences in clinical presentation, functional ability, quality of life, and caregiver burden. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice.

Sumida, C.A., Lopez, F.V., Van Etten, E.J., Whiteley, N., Litvan, I., Lessig, S., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Gilbert, P.E., Filoteo, J.V., & Schiehser, D.M. (In Revision). Medication management performance in Parkinson’s disease: Examination of process errors. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology.

Ratajska, A., Lopez, F.V., Kenney, L., Jacobson, C., Foote, K.D., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. (In Revision).   Data-driven approach for identifying cognitive subtypes in individual with Essential tremor seeking Deep Brain Stimulation. The Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Ratajska, A., Nisenzon, A.N., Lopez, F.V., Clark, A.L., Gokcay, D., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. Digitizing the face: Laterality of motor symptom onset and facial expressivity in Parkinson disease. (In Revision). Laterality: Asymmetries of Brain, Behaviour, and Cognition.

Van Etten, E.J., Sumida, C.A., Graves, L.V., Holden, H.M., Lopez, F.V., & Gilbert, P.E. (In Revision). Age-related differences on a new memory test for “who, when, and where” begin in middle age. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition.

 

Selected Presentations

Lopez, F.V., Trifilio, E., Ratajska, A., Kenney, L., & Bowers, D. (To be presented, September 2020). Clinician Ratings of Cognition Predict Trajectory of Cognitive Decline in Newly Diagnosed Individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Poster Presentation. Movement Disorder Congress Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Ratajska, A., Lopez, F.V., Kenney, L., Jacobson, C., Foote, K.D., Okun, M.S., & Bowers, D. (To be presented, August 2020). Data-Driven Approach for Identifying Cognitive Subtypes in Individual with Essential Tremor Seeking Deep Brain Stimulation. Poster Presentation. American Psychological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Kenney, L., Lopez, F.V., Ratajska, A., Lemonda, B., Price, C.E., Jacobson, C., Okun M.S., & Bowers, D. (To be presented, August 2020). Cognitive Subtypes in 591 Non-Demented Individuals with Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease Patients: Data-driven Classification and Clinical Correlates. Poster Presentation. American Psychological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C. Virtual due to COVID-19.

Trifilio, E., Scott, B.M., Lopez, F.V., & Bowers, D. (February 2020). Pedal to the Metal: Development of the Gainesville Apathy Scale (GAS). Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. Denver, CO.

Lopez, F.V., Lafo, J., Mangal, P., Trifilio, E., Thomas, K.R., Marsiske, M., Bauer, R.M., & Bowers, D. (February 2020). Neuropsychological correlates of a virtual spatial navigation task in older adults. Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. Denver, CO.

Lopez, F.V., Rohl, B.Y., Wagle-Shukla, A., & Bowers, D. (November 2019). Sniffing Out Cognitive Decline in Patients with or without Evidence of Dopaminergic Deficit. Poster Presentation. National Academy of Neuropsychology Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA.

Amofa, P., Arias, F., Trifilio, E., Belser-Ehrlich, J., Rohl, B., Lopez, F.V., & Levy, S.A. (February 2019). Free Neurocognitive Screening Initiative: An Opportunity to Address Health Disparities and Promote Cultural Competence in Northcentral Florida. Poster Presentation. Hispanic Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. New York City, NY.

Lopez, F.V., Trifilio, E., Rohl, B.Y., Pandya, S., Belser-Ehrlich, J., Fernando, H., Scott, B.M., McFarland, N.R., & Bowers, D. (February 2019). Subjective Cognitive Impairment Not Attributed to Mood in Parkinson’s disease: Evidence from the University of Florida-Cognitive Function Questionnaire. Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. New York City, NY.

Rohl, B., Lafo, J., Lopez, F.V., Mangal, P., Scott, B., Trifilio, E., Foote, K.D., Okun, M.S., Bowers, D. (August 2018). The UF-DBS Cognitive Rating Scale: Construct Validity in 270 Patients. Poster Presentation. American Psychological Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

Van Etten, E.J., Sumida, C.A., Graves, L.V., Holden, H.M., Lopez, F.V., & Gilbert, P.E. (February 2018). Age-Related Differences on a New Memory Test for “Who, When, and Where” Begin in Middle Age. Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.

Lopez, F.V., Sumida, C.A., Van Etten, E.J., Split, M., Pluim, C.F., Schiehser D.M., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Moore, R.C., Litvan I., Lessig, S., Schmitter-Edgecombe, M., Gilbert, P.E., & Filoteo, J.V. (February 2018). Medication Management in Parkinson’s disease: Novel Error Analysis Reveals Those with MCI Indicated Taking Fewer Pills than Instructed on a Performance-Based Task. Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. Washington, D.C.

Van Etten, E.J., Graves, L.V., Taylor, B.P., Holden, H.M., Lopez, F.V., Nguyen, L., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Corey-Bloom, J., Filoteo, J.V., & Gilbert, P.E. (February 2017). Recall and Recognition in Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.

Taylor, B.P., Van Etten, E.J., Holden, H.M., Graves, L.V., Lopez, F.V., Nguyen, L., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Corey-Bloom, J., Filoteo, J.V., & Gilbert, P.E. (February 2017). CVLT-II Performance in Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.

Lopez, F.V., Split, M., Filoteo, J.V., Litvan, I., Moore, R.C., Pirogovsky-Turk, E., Lessig, S., Song, D.D., & Schiehser, D.M. (February 2017). Does the Geriatric Depression Scale Measure Depression in Parkinson’s disease? Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.

Lopez, F.V., Split, M., Schiehser, D.M., Turk, E., Lessig, S., Song, D.D., Litvan, I., & Filoteo, J.V. (October 2016). Characterizing Apathy in Patients with Parkinson’s disease. Poster Presentation. National Academy of Neuropsychology Annual Meeting. Seattle, WA.

DeFord, N.E., DeJesus, S.Y., Holden, H.M., Lopez, F.V., Hartley, C.N., Scroggins, K., & Gilbert, P.E. (February 2016). Does Less Efficient Pattern Separation Contribute to Age-Related Deficits in Spatial Memory? Poster Presentation. International Neuropsychological Society Annual Meeting. Boston, MA.

Lopez, F.V., Robertson, K., Simon, C., & Schmitter-Edgecombe, M. (April 2016). Cognition and Healthy Lifestyle Factors in Healthy Older Adults. Poster Presentation. Western Psychological Association Annual Meeting. Long Beach, CA.

 

Professional Memberships

2019-                Student Affiliate: American Psychological Association, Division 20

2018                 Student Affiliate: National Academy of Neuropsychology

2017-                Student Affiliate: American Psychological Association, Division 40

 

Honors and Awards

Conference Travel Awards

2019-20             Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives, University of Florida

2019                   Graduate Student Council, University of Florida

2017-19             Association of Neuropsychology Students in Training, University of Florida Chapter.

 

Graduate Honors and Awards

2019-                 NINDS T32 Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration (NIH T32-NS82168)

2017-20             Grinter Fellowship, University of Florida

 

Undergraduate Honors and Awards

2015                  NIA R25, Undergraduate Training Program in Gerontechnology

2015                  Phi Beta Kappa, San Diego State University

2011-15             Dean’s List, San Diego State University

 

Graduate Teaching Experience

Invited Lecture. CLP 7934: Professional Issues and Ethics. Diversity and Intersectionality in Clinical Psychology. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2019.

Teaching Assistant. CLP 6528: Measurement, Design and Statistics II. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Spring 2019.

Invited Lecture. CLP 7934: Professional Issues and Ethics. Diversity and Intersectionality in Clinical Psychology. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2018.

Teaching Assistant. CLP 6527: Measurement, Design and Statistics I. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2018.

 

University and Community Service

Elected Cohort Representative. Association of Neuropsychology Students in Training. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2020 – Present

Elected Student Representative. Curriculum Committee. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Summer 2019 – Present.

Student Member. Education and Advocacy Committee. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2018 – Present.

Volunteer. Neurocognitive Screening Initiative. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2018 – Fall 2019.

Founding Member. Student Diversity Committee. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Fall 2017 – Present.