Breton Asken, PhD, ATC
About Breton Asken
Breton Asken, PhD, ATC, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. He is also a Fixel Scholar in the Normal Fixel Institute for Neurological Disorders. Dr. Asken completed bachelors degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Exercise & Sport Science – Athletic Training, Psychology) where he also worked as a research assistant in the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center and completed his Athletic Training Certification (ATC). He then earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology track) from the University of Florida and completed his clinical internship in neuropsychology at Brown University. Prior to joining faculty at UF, Dr. Asken completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.
Dr. Asken’s research broadly focuses on how lifetime head trauma exposure relates to clinical and neuropathological variability among patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related causes of dementia. He is also an active clinical neuropsychologist and specializes in evaluation of older adult patients with suspected neurodegenerative disease.
Dr. Asken’s research broadly focuses on how lifetime head trauma exposure relates to clinical and neuropathological variability among patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related causes of dementia, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This work involves using a combination of neuropsychological testing, fluid-based biomarkers (blood, CSF), neuroimaging, and neuropathology to address the links between head trauma and dementia. Dr. Asken is especially interested in how biomarkers and cognitive testing can help improve diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of mixed etiology dementia, or progressive cognitive/behavioral decline in later life due to multiple co-existing neurodegenerative diseases. Prior work focused on fluid biomarkers and recovery outcomes associated with sport-related concussion, and this experience relates directly to his current interests in the later-life neurological effects of head trauma exposure, especially among former athletes. Dr. Asken has active collaborations with investigators across UF as well as multiple institutions around the country.
Individuals interested in Dr. Asken’s research lab may have diverse goals and experiences. While an ideal “fit” is someone pursuing a clinical-research career in neuropsychology and hoping to study how head trauma exposure relates to later-life neurological conditions like dementia, Dr. Asken welcomes a broad range of interests within the field of aging/Alzheimer’s disease and related causes of dementia. At a bare minimum, Dr. Asken’s expectation as a research mentor is that trainees will leave their experience excited to apply the knowledge gained about neurodegenerative syndromes and the brain changes that can cause them to their own research, clinical work, or both.
Dr. Asken will review graduate student applications for the 2022 Fall/Winter cycle for students planning to enroll in Fall 2023. He anticipates extending offers to 1 or 2 students. Do not hesitate to reach out directly if you have questions about mentorship fit or if you are interested in working with Dr. Asken’s lab in any capacity.
Dr. Asken is not currently recruiting postdoctoral fellows but plans to in the future. Prospective fellows should reach out to Dr. Asken to check recruitment status regularly.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Brain Injury
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
- Clinico-Pathology of Neurodegenerative Disease
- Memory and cognitive disorders
- Neurodegenerative diseases of aging
- TDP-43 proteinopathies
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