Barbara Ganzel Photo July 2018

Barbara Ganzel

Director, Gerontology

Phone:(607) 274-1965
Office:219 Job Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850

I direct the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, which integrates the nationally-recognized Ithaca College Department of Gerontology (Chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Bergman) with a center for aging-related programming and student experiential learning. 

In addition, I oversee the Ithaca College/Longview Partnership, providing intergenerational learning opportunities for nearly 700 Ithaca College students in 2016-2017 (see our Highlights Report!).

I also direct the Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center (FLGEC) activities at Ithaca College. The FLGEC is a federally-funded center for geriatrics education with outreach to Ithaca College and 17 neighboring counties, which in turn provides novel experiential learning opportunities for Ithaca College students.

And with Dr. Elizabeth Bergman, I co-direct the Ithaca College Center for Palliative CareClick here to check out our student/community intergenerational book group, films, and our Spring 2018 Death Over Dinner event.

About me: I am a lifespan neuroscientist and hospice-trained clinical social worker with 20+ years of experience in the study of psychological trauma and its impact on brain, body, and behavior.  My prior academic home was Cornell University, where I was the director of a neuroimaging (fMRI) laboratory and taught a wide range of courses in neuroscience and human development. Today, my research and policy work focuses on trauma-informed end-of-life care.


  • LMSW  New York State Clinical Licensure 2016
  • MSW  Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 2015
  • Postdoc, Weill Cornell Medical College, 2004-2007
  • PhD  Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 2004
  • EdM  Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 1996
  • BA, BA  Rice University, Houston, TX 1981

Related Websites:

Brain's gray cells appear to be changed by trauma of major events like 9/11 attack, a study suggests  Cornell Chronicle feature

Trauma may alter the stress response, even in healthy people, Cornell study shows  Cornell Chronicle feature

Selected Publications:

Ganzel, B. L. (2018). Trauma-Informed hospice and palliative care. The Gerontologist, 58, 3, 409-419.  doi:10.1093/geront/gnw146

Ganzel, B. & Morris, P.A. (2016). Typical and atypical brain development across the lifespan in a neural network model of psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti (Ed.), Handbook of developmental psychopathology (3rd ed.), Volume 2: Developmental neuroscience (pp. 557-631). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.   ISBN: 978-1-118-12179-5

Ganzel, B. L., Rarick, J.R.D. & Morris, P.A. (2016).  Stress and emotion: Embodied, in context, and across the lifespan.  In M. Lewis, J.M. Haviland-Jones, & L.F. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (4th ed.)(pp.707-735). New York: Guilford Press.

Du, X., Kim, P., Ganzel, B.L., Zhang, Q., & Qiu, J. (2016). Subliminal trauma reminders impact neural processing of cognitive control in adults with developmental earthquake trauma: A preliminary report. Experimental Brain Research, 234, 3, 905–916.

Ganzel, B.L. & Morris, P.A. (2011). Allostasis and the developing human brain: Explicit consideration of implicit models. Development & Psychopathology, Special Issue on Allostasis, 23, 953-974. [lead article]  doi: 10.1017/S0954579411000447

Ganzel, B.L., Morris, P., & Wethington, E.  (2010). Allostasis and the human brain: Integrating models of stress from the social and life sciences. Psychological Review, 117, 134-174. doi: 10.1037/a0017773

Ganzel, B., Kim, P., Glover, G., & Temple, E. (2008).  Resilience after 9/11: Multimodal neuroimaging evidence for stress-related change in the healthy adult brain.  NeuroImage, 40, 788-795.  doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.12.010