Alzheimer's Communicator & Advocate
Alicia graduated Cum Laude from Union College with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and subsequently earned a Master of Philosophy in Translational Biomedical Research from the University of Cambridge. She then went on to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College. Her thesis research focuses on sex differences in Alzheimer’s pathogenesis with the goal of advancing precision medicine applications in dementia care.
Outside of the lab, Alicia has immersed herself in the Alzheimer’s community, with a focus on scientific communication, education, and patient advocacy. Alicia served as a contributing writer for Being Patient, an Alzheimer’s-focused media platform, publishing numerous articles on a range of dementia-related topics including interviews with early-stage patients and caregivers, summaries of new research and clinical trials, and the impact of the pandemic on memory care facilities. Alicia’s communication skills also earned her multiple invitations to live broadcasts on the UK channel TalkTV, to interpret the results of Alzheimer’s research studies on Dr. David Bull’s Sunday Surgery segment.
Alicia is a dedicated volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association, serving as a local community educator delivering statewide programs focused on understanding and living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alicia developed and taught a multi-lesson course for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth, an adult continuing education center. The course provided a scientific introduction to Alzheimer’s, covered symptom management, legal and financial matters, reviewed best practices for maintaining brain health, and discussed novel therapeutic approaches and emerging technologies in the field.
Additionally, Alicia is a staunch advocate for the dementia community, using her scientific background and communication skills to promote policy reform. Alicia has met and spoken with the New Hampshire governor, senators, and representatives to discuss the importance of Alzheimer’s research, public awareness, and treatment access. During the pandemic, Alicia published an Op-Ed in the New York Daily News advocating for changes to nursing home visitation restrictions, discussing the evidence for social isolation contributing to advanced cognitive decline and disease progression. She has appeared on multiple media outlets and delivered a speech at a rally in New York State, urging the governor to sign an Essential Caregiver Bill into law so that vulnerable individuals are guaranteed support, protection, and connection during future global health events.
To fuse her pursuits in research, communication, and advocacy, Alicia founded Brain Health Media. Her work reaches a network of over 40,000 followers on social media and recently earned her the Pembroke College Emerging Alumni Leader Award at the University of Cambridge. Everything Alicia does is in honor of her grandmother Lauren Barber, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2017.