Our Research

World Aging and Brain Health Institute: International Researchers in Optimal Aging

The World Aging and Brain Health Institute fosters international collaborations to synergize research in optimal aging. The World Aging and Brain Health Institute (WABHI)* is dedicated to research and education promoting healthy aging with a particular focus on positive beliefs on aging & health behaviour change. The evidence-base of the Fountain of Health™ includes research on: healthy aging, brain health and neuroplasticity, resilience in aging, psychosocial health in aging, beliefs on aging, cognitive behavioural therapy & health behaviour change. 

WABHI was founded in 2016 in affiliation with the Positive Psychiatry section of the World Psychiatric Association, the UCSD Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Baycrest Centre, the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry, the Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging.  In June 2016, WABHI hosted the first International Think Tank on Optimal Aging in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  For more information see participants below:

Members of the World Aging and Brain Health Institute are prominent international leaders and researchers, whose research contributions provided the inspiration and academic substance behind the Fountain of Health™ Initiative for Optimal Aging.  The core members of the WABHI are:

Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, MD
Founder, WABHI, Past President American Psychiatric Association, USA

Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, M.D. is the Past President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and director of two institutes focused on of aging (Stein Institute for Research on Aging and Hartford Center for Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry) and the newly launched UCSD Center for Healthy Aging (2014). He has published over 600 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 12 books, including Successful Cognitive ad Emotional Aging (2009), Prevention in Mental Health (2011), and Positive Psychiatry (2015), and was listed in “The Best Doctors in America” and in the Institute for Scientific Information’s list of the “world's most cited authors.” 

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD
Founder, WABHI, Canada

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD FRCPC is the Founder of the Fountain of Health™ Initiative for Optimal Aging and the World Aging and Brain Health Institute. She is the Positive Psychiatry Section Editor of the World Psychiatric Association. She is an Associate Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry at Dalhousie University, a national expert in late life mood disorders and psychotherapy, and the author of Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for older adults. Dr. Cassidy’s research explores the links among beliefs on aging, health behaviours and outcomes.

Dr. Christine A. Padesky, PhD
Co-Founder of Center for Cognitive Therapy, USA

Christine A. Padesky, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Center for Cognitive Therapy in Huntington Beach, California is a Distinguished Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and a leading CBT innovator. Along with Kathleen Mooney, PhD she created Strengths-Based CBT which helps clients construct new beliefs and behavioral strategies in order to improve overall functioning and relationships. Included in this approach is a 4-step protocol which helps people build a personal model of resilience. She provides workshops and consultation to therapists worldwide and develops audio CD & DVD therapist training materials. She is co-author of five books, including the new Mind Over Mood, 2nd Edition. With over a million copies sold world-wide in 23 languages, the first edition was named the most influential CBT book of all time by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (BABCP). Dr. Padesky is recipient of BABCP's Most Influential International CBT Therapist award and the California Psychological Association's Distinguished Contribution to Psychology award. In 2007 the Academy of Cognitive Therapy bestowed on her its Aaron T. Beck Award for her enduring contributions to the field.

Dr. Michael Vallis, PhD
Founder, Behavioural Change Institute, Canada

Dr. Vallis, PhD is a registered health psychologist practicing at the Capital Health, Halifax, and cross-appointed to Dalhousie University as Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Health and Human Performance. His expertise in adult health psychology, withg an emphasis on diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. He developed the Behaviour Change Institute, a training program for lifestyle counselling skills for physicians, nurses, dietitians and other healthcare providers, and he supervises research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease. He was recently awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal by tghe Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Diabetes

*Note: The acronym WABHI is inspired by a Japanese term “wabi-sabi", meaning the intrinsic resilience, value and character of things that are old & time-worn, a concept celebrated in Japanese culture.The research of WABHI focuses on promoting life’s value and meaning, and improving quality of life over time.