Who We Are

Sophie Okolo, MPH

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Ms. Sophie Okolo has a background in public health and policy, bioinformatics, and aging. She researches and writes about the intersection of technology and healthcare, including how innovation transforms the management of chronic diseases for diverse populations. Her bylines and insights have appeared on Salon, PBS Next Avenue, Philips, and Thrive Global, among other outlets. She is also a Forbes contributor focusing on the scientific, health, and social aspects of technology. An advocate for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), she supports causes that improve women and minority representation. Ms. Okolo is a TEDMED 2020 Research Scholar and serves as an advisor to humanKINDER, an award-winning company that shines a light on untold stories, ideas, and solutions for systems change. Early in her career, she performed biomedical research in both academia and healthcare organizations. She has been elected to the New York Academy of Medicine and the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. Connect with Ms. Okolo on Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and her portfolio website.

“My journey in this exciting field of aging began when I took a course titled Psychology of Aging as an undergraduate student in bioinformatics.

My quest for creating an age-friendly culture now continues at Global Health Aging as we work to change the perception of aging through partnerships, discovery, education, and outreach.”

Sophie Okolo, Founder


Monica Javidnia, PhD

Dr. Monica Javidnia is a pharmacologist with a strong background in pre-clinical, translational, and clinical neurodegenerative disease research. Dr. Javidnia is also an experienced yoga instructor for people with Parkinson’s disease. She believes yoga has the potential to improve symptoms, help prevent falls, and may be beneficial for their care partner. She was previously a neuropharmacologist and Experimental Therapeutics in Neurological Disease Fellow at the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York. Her work focused on pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, disease progression modeling, and patient outcomes. She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Georgetown University, USA. Connect with Dr. Javidnia on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Diana Patel, PhD

Dr. Diana Patel is the director of research and analytics at Summit Education Initiative. She was previously a postdoctoral research associate in the College of Public Health at Kent State University, focusing on child and maternal health and technology. She worked on projects that investigate both the positive and negative impact of technology on health (including screen time, virtual reality, and clinical health outcomes, and using machine learning to study social media posts about maternal and child health). Dr. Patel has also studied health and well-being across the lifespan, with an emphasis on social support and social networks and the role they play in impacting health. Connect with Dr. Patel on Linkedin, Instagram, and Twitter.


Emma Barrett Palmer, LLB, MSc

Ms. Emma Barrett Palmer is the founder of humanKINDER Ltd, a company whose mission is to amplify silenced voices for whole systems change using social innovation, creative research, and humanitarian design. She was a founding member and lead at the first Social Innovation Lab in the UK government, where she curated the award-winning project called The Dementia Diaries. In 2019, the humanKINDER team was awarded a global design research prize by the European Academy of Design (EAD) and South African Design Indaba for Recipes of HOPE using food as a catalyst to build community. She is currently writing a book that documents the food cooked and shared with displaced communities during a 16,000-mile journey across Europe in The Welcome Tent, a 1952 army catering tent re-purposed for peace. Connect with Ms. Barrett Palmer on LinkedinTwitter, and Instagram.