Jennifer C. Watt, MS

  • Neuroimaging Director

Jennifer Watt joined the lab in 2011 as the Lab Manager while she was pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology with a concentration in Prevention and Healthy Aging. In 2015, she became the Project Coordinator for Dr. Erickson’s first RO1, titled Weight Loss Intervention on Neuronal Health (WIN), which was a research study in collaboration with the Health and Physical Activity Department that explored the effects of a one year aerobic and diet intervention on cognitive function. It was during this study that Jennifer was inspired to get her Master’s Degree in Health, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease. When not immersed in imaging data, Jennifer is an adventurer at heart and spends much of her free time outside with her husband and her dog, mountain biking and backpacking on the Appalachian Trail.

Education & Training

  • University of Pittsburgh, MS Health, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease
  • Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Prevention and Healthy Aging
  • University of Pittsburgh, BA History, Political Science and Sociology

Representative Publications

Stillman, CM, Alfini, AJ, Jakicic, J, Rogers, R, Smith, C, Kang, C, Watt, JC, & Erickson, K.I. (2020). Cerebral perfusion changes following a successful behavioral weight loss intervention. Psychophysiology 2020; 00:e13589.

Peven, JC, Jakicic, JM, Rogers, RJ, Lesnovskaya, A, Erickson, KI, Kang, C, Zhou, X, Porter, A, Donofry, SD, Watt, JC, Stillman, CM. (2020).  The effects of a 12-month weight loss intervention on cognitive outcomes in adults with overweight and obesity. Nutrients, 12:2988.

Aghjayan, S. L., Jakicic, J. M., Rogers, R. J., Esteban-Cornejo, I., Peven, J. C., Stillman, C. M., Watt, J. C., & Erickson, K. I. (2020). The fitness versus body fat hypothesis in relation to hippocampal structure. Psychophysiology, e13591.

Donofry, SD, Jakicic, JM, Rogers, RJ, Watt, JC, Roecklein, KA, Erickson, KI.  (2020). Comparison of Food-Cue Evoked and Resting State Connectivity in Obesity.  Psychosomatic Medicine. 82: 261-271.

Peven, JC, Litz, GA, Brown, B, Xie, X, Grove, GA, Watt, JC, Erickson, KI.  (2019).  Higher cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with reduced functional brain connectivity during performance of the Stroop task.  Brain Plasticity.  5(1): 57-67.

Erickson, KI, Grove, GA, Burns, JM, Hillman, CH, Kramer, AF, McAuley, E, Vidoni, E,  Becker, JT, Butters, MA, Gray, K, Haiqing, H, Jakicic, JM, Kamboh, MI, Kang, C, Klunk, WE, Lee, P, Marsland, AL, Mettenburg, J, Rogers, RJ, Stillman, CM, Sutton, BP, Szabo-Reed, A, Verstynen, TD, Watt, JC, Weinstein, AM, Wollam, ME. (2019). Investigating Gains in Neurocognition in an Intervention Trial of Exercise (IGNITE): Protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials.

Bento-Torres, J, Bento-Torres, NVO, Stillman, CM, Grove, GA, Huang, H, Uyar, F, Watt, JC, Wollam, ME, Erickson, KI. (2019).  Associations Between Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Physical Activity, Intraindividual Variability and Cingulate Cortex in Younger Adults.  Journal of Sport and Health Science.

Gentry, A, Grove, G, Crisafio, M, Donahue, P, Watt, J, Erickson, KI, Bender, C. (2018).  Protocol for exercise program in cancer and cognition (EPICC): a randomized controlled trial of the effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive function in postmenopausal women with breast cancer receiving aromatase inhibitor therapy. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 67: 109-115

Stillman, CM, Uyar, F, Huang, H, Grove, GA, Watt, JC, Wollam, ME, Erickson, KI. (2018). Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with enhanced hippocampal functional connectivity in healthy young adults. Hippocampus. 00:1–9.

Stillman, CM, Watt, JC, Grove, GA, Wollam, ME, Uyar, F, Mataro, M, Cohen, NJ, Howard, DV, Howard, JH, Erickson, KI. (2016).  Physical activity is associated with impaired implicit learning but enhanced relational memory and executive functioning in young adults. PlosOne, 11(9): e0162100.

Rofey, DL, Arslanian, SA, el Nokali, NE, Verstynen, TD, Watt, JC, Black, JJ, Sax, R, Krall, JS, Proulx, C, Dillon, M, Erickson, KI. (2015).  Brain volume and white matter in youth with Type 2 Diabetes compared to obese and normal weight peers: a pilot study.  International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 46: 88-91.