April Thames, PhD

April D. Thames, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, USC

Dr. Thames is the Principal Investigator of several National Institute of Health (NIH) grant-supported projects, which has allowed her to develop an interdisciplinary research program focused on the role of social adversity in cognitive and mental health outcomes that drive major health disparities. Her lab uses state-of-the-art tools of cognitive and psychiatric assessment, neuroimaging, and biomarkers to answer questions about the sequelae of health and mental health disparities. Her recent work has also examined psychosocial factors that obscure the validity of cognitive test performance among underrepresented ethnic/racial minority and under-resourced groups.

She is actively involved in national professional organizations in various leadership roles including her role as Member-at-Large for the American Psychological Association’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology, and former role as past Chair of SCN’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee (EMA).

She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University/CSPP and completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at UCLA. She is also the recipient of an NIH/NIMH career development award (K23).




“Accelerated cognitive aging as a function of HIV and lifetime stress/adversity.” This project is focused on how changes in cognitive functioning (comparing baseline to 2-year follow-up) are influenced by HIV status race/ethnicity, and lifetime stress/adversity. The main hypothesis is that older HIV+ African Americans at greatest risk for accelerated cognitive aging as a function of lifetime stress/adversity.