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Rebeca Wong, PhDDirector ad interim of the Sealy Center on Aging

Sheridan Lorenz Distinguished Professor in Aging and Health, Professor, Department of Population Health and Health Disparities, School of Public and Population Health; Director, WHO/ PAHO Collaborating Center on Aging and Health; Co-Director, Claude Pepper Older American Independence Center, Director ad interim, Sealy Center on Aging


301 University Boulevard Galveston, TX 77555-0117 Phone: (409) 266-9661 Fax: (409) 772-8931

Education & Research

Dr. Wong is a Mexican scholar who received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 1987. She served in the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Georgetown University Department of Demography, and as Associate Director of the University of Maryland Population Research Center. She joined UTMB in 2008 to serve as Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Aging and Health. She is also Vice Chair of Research at SPPH and Associate Director of the UTMB Pepper Center and Sealy Center on Aging.

Dr. Wong's research agenda focuses on the economic consequences of population aging, in particular in Mexico and among immigrant Hispanics in the U.S. She has pioneered the use of cross-national approaches to study health outcomes among international migrants, and has completed recent work on disability and unhealthy lifestyles among elderly in the U.S. and Mexico, socioeconomic gradients of health, poverty and utilization of health services, co-existence of infectious and chronic diseases, and the impact of the social security and health care reform among elderly in Mexico. She serves as Principal Investigator of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), financed by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. The study seeks to locate research on Mexico's unique health dynamics in broad socioeconomic context, and it includes a national longitudinal survey of multiple purposes among the population of middle and old age. A description of the study and a list of publications related to the MHAS is available at

Dr. Wong has edited volumes and published in numerous professional journals and makes presentations regularly at national and international conferences. She has served in the editorial boards of the journals Demography, J. of Aging and Health, J. of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and Papeles de Poblacion. She has served the profession including in various national and global committees including the International Outreach Committee of the Population Association of America, a member of review study sections of the National Institutes of Health, and a member of the Board of Directors of both the Population Association of America and the Mexican Society of Demography.