Wayne State University

American Psychological Association honors Wayne State University researcher for improving lives of older adults

Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D.

DETROIT – Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the Institute of Gerontology and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute at Wayne State University, received the John Santos Distinguished Program Development in Clinical Gerontology Award by the American Psychological Association’s Division 20.

Lichtenberg was nominated by Susan E. MacNeill, Ph.D., his longtime colleague at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and the Beaumont Geriatrics Center.

“As a clinician, researcher and administrator, Dr. Lichtenberg remains the most passionately dedicated administrator I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, striving constantly to improve the quality of life for all older adults,” MacNeill said.

In his 14 years of service as the director of the Institute of Gerontology, Lichtenberg helped develop the Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience Research Program and the Aging and Health Disparities Research Program at WSU. He developed a continuing education program that serves more than 3,000 professionals each year and an independent funding effort that has raised more than $3 million dollars for the Institute of Gerontology’s community programs. Lichtenberg also secured a grant from the National Institute on Aging for a pre-doctoral training program, whose graduates have continued gerontology research at universities nationwide, including the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The award recognizes program development that significantly contributes to the well-being of older adults. It is named after John Santos, Ph.D., a longtime board member of the Retirement Research Foundation, which promotes the health and economic care of older adults.

Lichtenberg received his bachelor’s in psychology from Washington University, his master’s in clinical psychology from Purdue University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the University of Virginia Medical School. He is the author of several books, including the “Handbook of Assessment in Clinical Gerontology” and the “Handbook of Dementia: Psychological, Neurological and Psychiatric Perspectives.”


Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.