Sean Clouston, Ph.D.

Sean Clouston


Sean Clouston, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Professor, Department of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine

Program in Public Health



Connect with Dr. Clouston on ORCID

Dr. Clouston is a longitudinal life course epidemiologist who is interested in using algorithms to examine the role of long-term and chronic exposures in relation to aging-related outcomes in old age. He has a number of ongoing research projects: First, Dr. Clouston helps to monitor the role of long-duration exposures at the World Trade Center on neurological health of responders to the events following the 9/11/2001 attacks. A second line of research seeks to examine social determinants of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias using a novel methods to algorithmically-diagnose Alzheimer's disease. His work, however, is incorporated into a number of other research programs at Stony Brook University in the fields of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Computer Science.


Ph.D., Sociology, McGill University (2011)

MA, Social Statistics, McGill University (2006)

BA, Sociology and Mathematics, University of Victoria (2005)

Academic Interests:

Social inequalities in health; Social epidemiology; Life course epidemiology; Quantitative methodologies.

Active Grants:

1U01OH012258-01(Clouston PI; Hall PI)                                                                 7/1/2021-6/30/2026
Cognition and neuropathology in World Trade Center-exposed FDNY, NYPD, and construction worker responders

1U01OH012257-01 (Kuan PI; Clouston PI)                                                             7/1/2021-6/308/2024
Changes in monocyte transcriptome as a predictor of cognitive decline in WTC responders: a longitudinal study

5R01AG049953-07 (Clouston, PI)                                                                        05/15/15-4/30/2025
A life course approach to integrating trauma and cognitive aging: A cohort of 9/11 responders

1R01AG067590-01A1 (Clouston, PI; Kuan, PI; Vaska, PI)                                  3/15/2021-2/28/2026
Burden and change in Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology in aging World Trade Center responders

1R21AG074706-01 (Mujica-Parodi, PI; Clouston, PI)                                          9/1/2021-5/31/2023
Using Artificial Intelligence to Identify Accelerated Brain Aging in World Trade Center Responders

1RF1AG058595-01A1 (Clouston, PI)                                                         02/01/19-01/31/24
Social inequalities and the onset of Alzheimer's pathology: The role of Race/Ethnicity, cognitive reserve, and occupational complexity.

P30 AG012836, (Kohler, PI; Kohler & Clouston, Pilot Co-PI)                     07/01/20-06/30/22
Pilot Study: Comparative Cognitive Health Changes in Low-Income Settings
Understand the comparability of cognitive testing and results in the Malawi Lifelong Family and Health Study (MLSFH).

R01 MH125702 (Schwartz, PI; Clouston, Co-I)                                                   01/01/21-11/30/24
SCH: Advancing Language-based Analyses of Social Media to Reliably Monitor Variation in Population Mental Health.
The central goal of this study is methodological in that it hopes to improve the use of online social media to help with estimation of trends in poorer mental health across place and over time.

R01 AG067621 (Hofer, PI; Clouston SBU Subcontract PI)                02/15/19-11/30/24
Evaluation of multivariate causal factors linking the Flynn effect to declining dementia trends and cognitive aging.
Understand the importance of birth cohort to expectations of cognitive decay in old age.

R01 AG060933, (Scott SB, PI; Clouston, Co-I)                                            09/01/18-08/31/23
The Role of Personality in Cognitive Aging and Dementia
Understand the longitudinal association between changes in personality and changes in cognition utilizing data Ecological Monitoring information derived from a novel data collection using longitudinal burst designs as part of the Einstein Aging Study.

Select Publications:

Chen APF, Clouston SAP, Kritikos M, Richmond L, Meliker J, Mann F, Santiago-Michels S, Pellecchia AC, Carr MA, Kuan P-F, Bromet EJ, Luft BJ. A deep learning approach for monitoring parietal-dominant Alzheimer’s disease in World Trade Center responders at midlife. Brain Communications. 2021;3(3). doi: 10.1093/braincomms/fcab145.

Clouston S, Morozova O, Meliker J. Outdoor transmission of COVID-19: Analysis of windspeed. medRxiv. 2021.

Clouston SA, Terrera GM, Rodgers JL, O'Keefe P, Mann FD, Lewis NA, Wänström L, Kaye J, Hofer SM. Cohort and Period Effects as Explanations for Declining Dementia Trends and Cognitive Aging. Population and Development Review. 2021.

Clouston SAP, Hall CB, Kritikos M, Bennett DA, DeKosky S, Edwards J, Finch C, Kreisl WC, Mielke M, Peskind ER, Raskind M, Richards M, Sloan RP, Spiro A, Vasdev N, Brackbill R, Farfel M, Horton M, Lowe S, Lucchini RG, Prezant D, Reibman J, Rosen R, Seil K, Zeig-Owens R, Deri Y, Diminich ED, Fausto BA, Gandy S, Sano M, Bromet EJ, Luft BJ. Cognitive impairment and World Trade Centre-related exposures. Nature Reviews Neurology. 2021. doi: 10.1038/s41582-021-00576-8.

Clouston SAP, Kritikos M, Deri Y, Horton M, Pellecchia AC, Santiago-Michels S, Carr MA, Gandy S, Sano M, Bromet EJ, Lucchini RG, Luft BJ. A cortical thinning signature to identify World Trade Center responders with possible dementia. Intelligence-Based Medicine. 2021:100032. doi:

Clouston SAP, Link BG. A Retrospective on Fundamental Cause Theory: State of the Literature and Goals for the Future. Annual Review of Sociology. 2021;47(1):null. doi: 10.1146/annurev-soc-090320-094912.

Daniels RD, Clouston SAP, Hall CB, Anderson KR, Bennett DA, Bromet EJ, Calvert GM, Carreón T, DeKosky ST, Diminich ED, Finch CE, Gandy S, Kreisl WC, Kritikos M, Kubale TL, Mielke MM, Peskind ER, Raskind MA, Richards M, Sano M, Santiago-Colón A, Sloan RP, Spiro A, 3rd, Vasdev N, Luft BJ, Reissman DB. A Workshop on Cognitive Aging and Impairment in the 9/11-Exposed Population. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(2). Epub 2021/01/21. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020681. PubMed PMID: 33466931.

Deri Y, Clouston S, DeLorenzo C, Gardus III JD, Horton M, Tang C, Pellecchia AC, Santiago-Michels S, Carr MA, Gandy S, Sano M, Bromet EJ, Lucchini RG, Luft BJ. Selective hippocampal subfield volume reductions in World Trade Center responders with cognitive impairment. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. 2021;13(1):e12165. doi:

Deri Y, Clouston SA, DeLorenzo C, Gardus III JD, Bartlett EA, Santiago-Michels S, Bangiyev L, Kreisl WC, Kotov R, Huang C. Neuroinflammation and Mild Cognitive Impairment in World Trade Center responders at midlife: A pilot study using [18F]-FEPPA PET imaging. Brain, Behavior, & Immunity-Health. 2021:100287.

Franceschi AM, Naser-Tavakolian K, Clifton M, Ahmed O, Stoffers K, Bangiyev L, Cruciata G, Clouston S, Franceschi D. Hybrid imaging in dementia: A semi-quantitative (18F)-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging approach in clinical practice. World Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 2021;20(1):23.

Gandy S, Bender HA, Luccini R, Ashleigh T, Ciardullo J, Clouston SA, Bromet EJ, Luft B, Sano M. Case Report: A World Trade Center (WTC) responder presenting with moderate stage dementia by age 57, suggesting an extended severity of WTC-associated illness. 2021.

Graham, E.K., Willroth, E.C., Piccinin, A., Weston, S.J., Muniz, G., Clouston, S.A.P., Hofer, S.M., Mroczek, D.K. (2021). Coordinated data analysis: An approach to knowledge accumulation in the lifespan developmental psychological sciences. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication.

Huang C, Kritikos M, Clouston SAP, Deri Y, Serrano-Sosa M, Bangiyev L, Santiago-Michels S, Gandy S, Sano M, Bromet EJ, Luft BJ. White Matter Connectivity in Incident Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Diffusion Spectrum Imaging Study of World Trade Center Responders at Midlife. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2021;80:1209-19. doi: 10.3233/JAD-201237.

Koraishy FM, Coca SG, Cohen BE, Scherrer JF, Mann F, Kuan P-F, Luft BJ, Clouston S. The Association of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with longitudinal change in Glomerular Filtration Rate in World Trade Center responders. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2021.

Kuan P-F, Ren X, Clouston S, Yang X, Jonas K, Kotov R, Bromet E, Luft BJ. PTSD is associated with accelerated transcriptional aging in World Trade Center responders. Translational Psychiatry. 2021;11(1):311. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01437-0.

Kuan P-F, Yang X, Ren X, Che C, Waszczuk M, Kotov R, Clouston S, Singh PK, Glenn ST, Gomez EC, Wang J, Bromet E, Luft BJ. Mapping the transcriptomics landscape of post-traumatic stress disorder symptom dimensions in World Trade Center responders. Translational Psychiatry. 2021;11(1):310. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01431-6.

Kuan PF, Clouston S, Yang X, Che C, Gandy S, Kotov R, Bromet E, Luft BJ. Singlecell transcriptomics analysis of mild cognitive impairment in World Trade Center disaster responders. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. 2021;13(1):e12154.

Morozova O, Clouston SA, Valentine J, Newman A, Carr M, Luft BJ. COVID-19 cumulative incidence, asymptomatic infections, and fatality in Long Island, NY, January–August 2020: A cohort of World Trade Center responders. Plos one. 2021;16(7):e0254713.

Oltmanns JR, Schwartz HA, Ruggero C, Son Y, Miao J, Waszczuk M, Clouston S, Bromet E, Luft B, Kotov R. Artificial Intelligence Language Predictors of Two-Year Trauma-Related Outcomes. 2021.

Zhang Y, Natale G, Clouston S. Incidence of Mild Cognitive Impairment, Conversion to Probable Dementia, and Mortality. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2021;36:15333175211012235. Epub 2021/05/26. doi: 10.1177/15333175211012235. PubMed PMID: 34032119.

Clouston, Sean, Marcus Richards, Dorina Cadar & Scott Hofer. In Press. "Educational Inequalities in Health Behaviors at Midlife: Is There a Role for Early-Life Cognition?". Journal of Health and Social Behavior

Rubin, Marcie S, Sean Clouston, Mohammad M Ahmed, Kristen M Lowe, Pradip R Shetye, Hillary L Broder, Stephen M Warren & Barry H Grayson. 2015. "Assessment of Presurgical Clefts and Predicted Surgical Outcome in Patients Treated with and without Nasoalveolar Molding." Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. 26(1): 1-5.

Clouston, Sean, Marcie S. Rubin, Cynthia Colen & Bruce G. Link. 2014. "Social Inequalities in Suicide: The Role of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors." American Journal of Epidemiology 180(7):696-704.

Rubin, Marcie S., Sean Clouston & Bruce G. Link. 2014. "A Fundamental Cause Approach to the Study of Disparities in Lung Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer Mortality in the United States ". Social Science and Medicine 100(2014):54-61 

Clouston, Sean, Rachel Kidman and Tia Palermo. 2014. "Social Inequalities in Vaccination Uptake among Children Aged 0-59 Months Living in Madagascar: An Analysis of Demographic and Health Survey Data from 2008-09.". Vaccine 32(28):3533-39

Hofer, Scott M & Sean Clouston. 2014. "On the Importance of Early-Life Cognitive Abilities in Shaping Later-Life Outcomes." Research in Human Development 11(3):241-46

Clouston, Sean, Andrea Lawlor & Ashton Verdery. 2014. "The Role of Social Networks and Partnership Status to Late-Life Capability." Canadian Journal on Aging/La Revue canadienne du vieillissement 33(4):413-25

Clouston, S, P Brewster, D Kuh, M Richards, R Cooper, R Hardy, M Rubin, & S Hofer. 2013. "The dynamic relationship between physical function and cognition in longitudinal aging cohorts." Epidemiologic Reviews.

Saldana-Ruiz, N, S Clouston, M Rubin, C Colen, and B Link. 2013. “Fundamental Causes of Age Adjusted Colorectal Cancer Mortality: Understanding the Importance of Socioeconomic Status and Race in Creating Inequality in Mortality.” American Journal of Public Health. 103(1): 99-104.

Clouston, Sean, Diana Kuh, Marcus Richards, Pamela Herd, and Scott M Hofer. 2012. "Benefits of educational attainment on adult intelligence: International evidence from three birth cohorts." International Journal of Epidemiology.

Clouston, Sean, Amélie Quesnel-Vallée. 2012. "The role of defamilialization in the relationship between partnership and self-rated health: A cross-national comparison of Canada and the United States." Social Science & Medicine. 75(2012): 1342-1350.

Wang, Andrew, Sean Clouston, Marcie Rubin, Cynthia Colen, and Bruce Link. 2012. “Fundamental Causes of Colorectal Cancer Mortality: The Implications of Informational Diffusion.” The Milbank Quarterly. 3(90): 592-618.

Piccinnin, Andrea, Graciela Muniz, Sean Clouston, Ian J. Deary, Dorly Deeg, Boo Johansson, Andrew Mackinnon, Chandra A. Reynolds, Avron Spiro, John M. Starr, Valgeir Thorvaldsson & Scott M. Hofer. 2012. "Coordinated Analysis of Age, Sex, and Education Effects on Change in MMSE Scores." Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological & Social Sciences.

Clouston, Sean. 2011. "Social and Economic Patterning in the Interphone Study." International Journal of Epidemiology.

Wang, Andrew, Sean Clouston, Marcie Rubin, Cynthia Colen, and Bruce Link. Abstract. 2010. “Fundamental Causes of Colorectal Cancer Mortality.” Cancer Research. 70(8 Supp.): 990. 

Clouston, Sean, Sara Amin, Ashton Verdery, and G. Robin Gauthier. 2009. "The Structure of Undergraduate Association Networks: A Quantitative Ethnography." Connections 29(2).

Clouston, Sean, Margaret Penning. Abstract. 2009. "Poverty and Disability Transitions in Middle and Later Life: Impact on Social Isolation." Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging. 13(S1).

Clouston, Sean. "Who Killed the Queen? The Story of a Community Hospital and How to Fix Public Health Care." (Book Review). 2009. The McGill Sociological Review. 1: 65-67.

Book Chapters:

Clouston, Sean. 2014. "Counterfactual models for inferring causality in longitudinal lifecourse research." In Healthy Ageing across the Life Course. Kuh, D et al. (Eds.) Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK