Dr. Patricia Heyn

Founding Director,
Marymount University

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Marymount University
Arlington, VA

Dr. Patricia Heyn

Founding Director,
Marymount University


Patricia C. Heyn, PhD, FGSA, FACRM is a distinguished leader in gerontological research and rehabilitation medicine, currently serving as the founding director of the Center for Optimal Aging and holding a professorship at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. Her academic tenure extends to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus as the former deputy director of the Colorado Cochrane Affiliated Center. 

Dr. Heyn's expertise shines in the realm of synthesis methodologies, where her pioneering meta-analysis of exercise training effects in individuals with dementia stands as a seminal and extensively referenced work. Her research acumen is equally matched by her commitment to diversity and inclusivity, demonstrated through her design of research projects and scientific training programs that are both culturally attuned, inclusive, and equitable. In her role as co-director of the R13 GSA Diversity and Mentoring Workshop, Dr. Heyn has been instrumental in shaping the careers of early-stage scholars from a breadth of backgrounds, particularly those who are underrepresented in the scientific community. Dr. Heyn's research explores the intricate interplay between cognitive function, physical activity, lifestyle choices, and functional interventions in aging populations, with or without cognitive impairments. Her insights into metabolic syndrome and its correlates are frequently spotlighted across various media platforms.  Her academic proficiency is underpinned by a Ph.D. in Applied Exercise Physiology and Gerontology, complemented by two federally funded Post-Doctoral Fellowships. 

As a Latina scientist breaking through cultural and educational barriers, Dr. Heyn not only stands as the first in her family to achieve graduate-level education but also continues to pave the way for future generations in the field of aging and cognitive health research.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Ageism
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Anti-Aging
  • Assessment: Cognitive Assessment
  • Assessment: Functional Assessment
  • Behavior
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems
  • Caregiving
  • Centenarians


  • Gerontology