When Martha Storandt, PhD, began studying the psychology of aging in the 1960s, the body of knowledge on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of geriatric cognitive impairment was miniscule. Since then, her research and scholarship have greatly contributed to the wealth of information available today.
She has studied the cognitive changes that occur over a lifetime and compared how these changes differ among healthy individuals and those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Her significant research accomplishments include early demonstration that dementia is a disease condition outside of the normal aging process.
Her research also has focused on finding ways healthy older people can improve their memory performance.
A pioneer in aging research, Dr. Storandt edited the first textbook on the subject, The Clinical Psychology of Aging, published in 1978. Since then, she has written or edited five books, 23 book chapters and 118 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
She has worked tirelessly for more than four decades to help establish and advance the scientific study of the psychology of aging, translate that knowledge into practical results, and educate other psychologists and the public on aging issues.
The Department of Psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis has been Dr. Storandt’s intellectual home base since she left Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1958 and began her years as a Washington University undergraduate and doctoral student.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in 1960 and a doctorate in 1966, both in psychology, and completing a postdoctoral position as a staff psychologist at the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center, she began a research position in the Department of Psychology in 1968.
She became a tenured associate professor of psychology in 1977, was promoted to full professor in 1983, and named professor emerita in 2012.
Recognizing the need for promoting productive aging, she helped establish the university’s Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at the School of Medicine.
She also is a founding faculty member of the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and served as its director of psychometrics.
From 1984 to 2008, Dr. Storandt was director of the Aging and Development Program in the psychology department and expanded the focus of the training program to include clinical psychology as well
as areas of basic research. She helped create what is widely recognized as one of the best graduate research programs in the field.
For her outstanding contributions to the study of aging, Dr. Storandt has received widespread recognition and awards from professional organizations.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has honored Dr. Storandt on numerous occasions. She received the 1988 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the APA Division on Adult Development and Aging; the 2000 Master Mentor Award from the APA’s Division on Adult Development and Aging and the Retirement Research Foundation; and the 2002 M. Powell Lawton Award for Distinguished Contributions to Clinical Geropsychology from the APA’s Division on Clinical Psychology.
In 2007, the APA Committee on Aging presented Dr. Storandt with its top award for the Advancement of Psychology and Aging in recognition of her contributions to the psychology of aging throughout her career, including leadership in early development of the field of clinical geropsychology.
Dr. Storandt is a former member of the National Advisory Council on Aging and a former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology. She helped establish the APA journal Psychology and Aging and served as chief editorial adviser for the APA’s journals and publications program.
She received Washington University’s Distinguished Faculty Award at the 2011 Founders Day.
She and her late husband, Duane, have three children and three grandchildren. Their son, Eric, earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in 1993.