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Meet Snorri Rafnsson Associate Professor of Ageing and Dementia in the Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory

Dr. Snorri Bjorn Rafnsson BSc (Hons.), MSc (Edin), PhD (Edin), PGCHE, FHEA, FRSPH (UK) currently serves as Associate Professor of Ageing and Dementia in the Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory, School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of West London.

His research, which combines an interest in epidemiology and social gerontology, focuses on three broad aims:

  1. To enhance our understanding of the role of diverse biopsychosocial determinants of health and well-being in older age, including factors and conditions that influence cognitive decline and dementia risk, and their interaction with relevant environmental characteristics
  2. To advance our understanding of the psychosocial impact of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, in later life, and how older adults may be supported to live and age well with chronic conditions
  3. To better understand the facilitators of, and barriers to, high-quality, evidence-based, person-centred care of older adults.

Career Pathway

Dr. Rafnsson has particular interest and expertise in undertaking literature-based evidence reviews and in using existing data from population-based ageing studies, such as the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), to investigate how psychosocial conditions shape health and well-being experiences of older adults. This research has generated a number of projects, including on loneliness, social connections and the development of dementia, the importance of social networks for quality of life of older adults, and the impact of family caregiving in later life on people’s psychological well-being.

Qualifications and Professional Development

He has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications in international journals and book chapters, as well as expert reports on different aspects of health and well-being of older adults in collaboration with organisations such as the International Longevity Centre-UK and Public Health England. He also regularly undertakes peer-reviewing of research submitted to major UK and international journals on gerontology and dementia, including Age Ageing and Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr. Rafnsson is a Member of the British Society of Gerontology, Member of INTERDEM’s (Early detection and timely INTERvention in DEMentia) Taskforce on Social Health, Member [UK representative] of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Disease’s expert group for the ‘EU-wide Atlas on Dementia and Migration project’, Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (UK), and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.