John R. Best

University Research Associate | Term Lecturer

Room: HC 2800


PhD (Georgia); MSc (Georgia); BA (Emory)

Research Interests

Behavioral science; cognition; statistics; executive function; rehabilitation medicine; cognitive neuroscience; lifespan development


John R. Best completed his PhD at the University of Georgia, and has since completed postdoctoral fellowships at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of British Columbia. Most recently, Dr. Best was a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia in the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. Dr. Best’s research interests fall within the emerging, interdisciplinary field of health neuroscience, which aims to understand how the brain both affects and is affected by physical health.

The aim of this work is to:

  1. Gain a better understanding the modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementia. 
  2. Identify the role of neurocognition, both independently and in interaction with environmental and social factors and incentives, in determining adherence to positive health behaviours.
  3. Design lifestyle interventions that reduce dementia risk and manage its progression.

This work has been supported by fellowships from the US National Institutes of Health, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Selected Grants


Contract/Grant: Grant   Awarded: 2020    Period: 2020 - 2023

Project Title: Cognitive Aging in Canadian Women and Men: An Exploration of Environmental Contributors and Interactions with Individual Factors
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research  Type: Operating Grant    Total: $74,240
Involvement: Principal Investigator

Contract/Grant: Grant   Awarded: 2020    Period: 2020 - 2022

Project Title: Impact of Social Determinants of Mental Health on Child and Parent Risk, Resilience and Support Access in the COVID-19 Era: A Nested Mixed-Methods Study of Short and Long-Term Outcomes
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Michael Smith Health Research BC   Type: Operating Grant   Total: $148,010                                                                   Involvement: Co-Investigator

Contract/Grant: Grant   Awarded: 2020    Period: 2020 - 2021

Project Title: Quantitative Isotype Profiling and Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Infections: Next Generation Serology
Funding: Michael Smith Health Research BC   Type: Michael Smith Health Research BC COVID-19 Research Response   Total: $124,000                                       Involvement: Co-Investigator

Selected Publications


  • Best, J. R., Wang, M., Lee, T., Russell, J. A. & DeMarco, M. ., on behalf of the ARBs CORONA I investigators (2022). Early increases in anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody isotypes associated with organ dysfunction and mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Intensive Care Medicine, 48, 616-618. 
  • Best, J. R., Gan, D. R. Y., Wister, A. V., & Cosco, T. D. (2021). Age and sex trends in depressive symptoms across middle and adulthood: Comparison of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging to American and European cohorts. Journal of Affective Disorders, 295, 1169-1176.
  • Best, J. R., Falck, R. S., Landry, G. J., & Liu‐Ambrose, T. (2019). Analysis of dynamic, bidirectional associations in older adult physical activity and sleep quality. Journal of sleep research, 28(4), e12769.
  • Best, J. R., Liu-Ambrose, T., Metti, A. L., Rosso, A. L., Satterfield, S., Studenski, S., ... & Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. (2018). Longitudinal associations between walking speed and amount of self-reported time spent walking over a 9-year period in older women and men. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 73(9), 1265-1271.
  • Best, J. R., Davis, J. C., & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2015). Longitudinal Analysis of Physical Performance, Functional Status, Physical Activity, and Mood in Relation to Executive Function in Older Adults Who Fall. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63, 1112-1120.
  • Best, J. R., Liu-Ambrose, T., Boudreau, R. M., Ayonayon, H. N., Satterfield, S., Simonsick, E. M., Studenski, S., Yaffe, K., Newman, A. B., & Rosano, C., for the Health Aging, and Body Composition Study. (2016). An evaluation of the longitudinal, bidirectional associations between gait speed and cognition in older women and men. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 71, 1616-1623.
  • Best, J. R., Rosano, C., Aizenstein, H. J., Tian, Q., Boudreau, R. M., Ayonayon, H. N., Satterfield, S., Simonsick, E. M., Studenski, S., Yaffe, K., & Liu-Ambrose, T., for the Health Aging, and Body Composition Study. (2017). Long-term changes in physical activity and subsequent structural brain changes in older adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 57, 153-161.