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Rowena G Gomez, PhD



Contact Information:

Other Positions:

Assistant Provost of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness (APAIE)


Gronowski Clinic


Dr. Rowena Gomez's research and clinical background is in aging and neuropsychology. She has also applied these areas to the study of affective disorders, in particular psychotic major depression. She is also interested in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, and older adults' ability to cope with age-related changes.

Dr. Gomez completed her undergraduate work at University of California at Berkeley, majoring in psychology and social welfare. Her research there focused on PET studies of depression and dementia. Her graduate training was at Washington University at St. Louis in the tracks of Aging and Neuropsychology. She then went to Palo Alto Veteran's Health Care System for her clinical neuropsychology internship. In 2002, she became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. There she applied her background of aging and neurospychology to depressive disorders. In 2004, she received a Young Investigator Award Grant by the National Alliance of Research for Schizophrenia and Depression to examine the cognitive, hormonal, and (brain) structural differences in Psychotic Major Depression versus Nonpsychotic Major Depression.

In 2003, she began teaching at PAU as an instructor for the statistics courses and later research methods. In April 2005, she was hired full-time as an assistant professor at PGSP.

Areas of Interest:

Aging, Neuropsychology, and Depression

Selected Publications:

Sudheimer, K., Keller, J., Gomez, R., Tennakoon, L., Reiss, A., Garrett, A., Kenna, H., O'Hara, R., & Schatzberg A. (2015). Decreased Hypothalamic Functional Connectivity with Subgenual Cortex in Psychotic Major Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. Early view, article published on-line November 12. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.259.

Lim, M.*, Gomez, R., & Koopman, C. (2014). A review of amnestic MCI screening in east/southeast Asian older adults with low education: implications for early informant-clinician collaboration. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Early view, article published on-line November 10.
*PAU student

Nunan-Saah, J.*, Paulraj, Selvi*, Waubant, E. Gomez, R., (2015). Neuropsychological and Neuroanatomical Correlates of Multiple Sclerosis across the Lifespan. Multiple Sclerosis Journal. 21(11):1355-64. doi: 10.1177/1352458515586088. Epub 2015 Jul 10.
*PAU student

Kountz-Edwards, S.,* Packman, P., Aoki, C., * Gannon, C.,* Gomez, R., Cordova, M. (2016). Family Impact of Juvenile Dermatomyositis. Research in Nursing & Health.
*PAU student

Sudheimer, K., Keller, J., Tennakoon, L., Gomez, R., Garrett, R., Schatzberg, A. (2017). Increased Intra-Limbic Functional Connectivity to Insula, Thalamus, Caudate, Putamen, and Cingulate Cortex in Patients with Major Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology, 43: S172-173.

Habarth, J.M., Bussolari, C., Gomez, R., Carmack, B.J., Ronen, R., Field, N.P., & Packman, W. (2017). Continuing Bonds and Psychosocial Functioning in a Recently Bereaved Pet Loss Sample. Anthrozoos. A Multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People & Animals. 30(4):651-670
DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2017.1370242.

Escher, C.,* Gomez, R., Paulraj, S.,* Ma, F.,* Spies-Upton, S.,* Cummings,* C., Brown, L.M., Tormala, T.T., and Goldblum, P. (2018). Relations of Religion with Depression and Loneliness in Older Sexual Minority Adults. Journal of Clinical Gerontologist. 42: 1545-2301. DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2018.1514341
*PAU student

Schmidt, M.*, Naylor, P.E., Cohen, D.*, Gomez, R., & Packman, W. (2018). Pet loss and continuing bonds in children and adolescents. Death Studies. 44(5):278-284. DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2018.1541942
*PAU student


Harris, D.A., Gomez, R., Bedolla, G., Lee, E., Ochoa, I., Ren, B., Vasquez, S., & Harris, J. (1997). Neuropsychological and positron emission tomographic comparisons of Alzheimer’s, multi-infarct, and Parkinson’s disease dementias. In Progress in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Fisher, A. (Ed.) Plenum Press, New York.

Simone, P. Haas, A., & Gomez, R. (2015). Life Satisfaction in Older Adults: Psychosocial and Subjective Socioeconomic Considerations. In “Subjective Well-Being: Psychological Predictors, Social Influences and Economic Aspects.” Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Gomez, R., & Coopersmith, L.* (2016). Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders in Older Adults. In “Encyclopedia of Gerontology.” Pachana, N.A. (Ed). Springer.
*PAU student

Gomez, R., & Jhingon.,G.* (2017). Depression and Cognition in Older Adults. In “Encyclopedia of Gerontology.” Pachana, N.A. (Ed). Springer.
*PAU student

Gomez, R. & Brown, L. (2017). Aging: Ethical Issues in Working with Diverse Populations. Cambridge Handbook of Applied Psychological Ethics. Leach, M. and Welfel, L. (Eds.) Cambridge Press.


Gomez, R. (November, 2020). Teaching Tips: "Engaging Students in Aging Courses Using Zoom”. American Psychological Association Division 20 Newsletter.

Thompson, R.C.* & Gomez, R. (May, 2018). 3 Simple Psychological Strategies You Can Use to Help Prevent Against Stroke [Web blog post]. Retrieved from:
*PAU student

Catalan, M.G.* & Gomez, R. (November, 2016). Why Balanced Grandparenting is Great for Both Kids and Their Grandparents [Web blog post]. Retrieved from:
*PAU student

Ma, F.* & Gomez, R. (May, 2016). Breathe and Focus: How Practicing Mindfulness Improves Mental Health as We Age[Web blog post]. Retrieved from:
*PAU student

Escher, C.,* and Gomez, R. (2016, April) Can a Healthy Diet Prevent Dementia? What the Science Says [Web blog post]. Retrieved from 04/01/can-a-healthy-diet-prevent-dementia-what-the-science-says
*PAU student

Websites and Other Relevant Links:

President Elect for APA Division 40 Adult Development and Aging