Avron S. Spiro, PhD

Research Professor, Epidemiology

Avron Spiro
150 S Huntington Avenue


Dr. Avron (Ron) Spiro received his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies in 1982 from The Pennsylvania State University, specializing in adult development and aging and in developmental methodology. In 1986, he joined the VA Normative Aging Study (NAS), then at the Boston VA Outpatient Clinic, as a research psychologist and methodologist. In that position, he has studied the influences of health and disease on cognitive aging, and conducted longitudinal studies of personality, well-being, and mental health. He also works with the VA Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS), an ongoing study of dental health among NAS men. In 1998, the VA funded the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), which incorporated the NAS/DLS, now located at VA Boston Healthcare System in Jamaica Plain. From 1993 – 2018, Dr. Spiro collaborated with researchers at the VA HSR&D Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR; formerly the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research [CHQOER]). His work there focused primarily on mental health, including PTSD and depression, and on patient-reported outcomes, including health-related quality of life. In 1987, Dr. Spiro was appointed Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Boston University School of Public Health, promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in 2004, and to Research Professor in 2011. In 2011, Dr. Spiro was appointed as Research Professor of Psychiatry at BU School of Medicine. Since 2001, he has been Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at BU’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine. In 2008, he received a Research Career Scientist award from the Clinical Science R&D Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and from 2013 to 2020 was funded as a Senior Research Career Scientist. Dr. Spiro has been funded by NIH and VA. His current work involves (a) examining the effects of health and disease on cognitive aging, (b) modeling longitudinal changes in personality in relation to health, (c) examining the long-term effects of military service on health and well-being in later life, and (d) studying mental disorders and their impact on health and functioning.

Other Positions

  • Associate Professor, Health Policy & Health Svcs Research, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • Research Professor, Psychiatry, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
  • VA Boston Healthcare System


  • Pennsylvania State University, PhD


  • Published on 7/15/2023

    Prince N, Stav M, Cote M, Chu SH, Vyas CM, Okereke OI, Palacios N, Litonjua AA, Vokonas P, Sparrow D, Spiro A, Lasky-Su JA, Kelly RS. Metabolomics and Self-Reported Depression, Anxiety, and Phobic Symptoms in the VA Normative Aging Study. Metabolites. 2023 Jul 15; 13(7). PMID: 37512558.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/24/2023

    Shen Y, Kioumourtzoglou MA, Wu H, Vokonas P, Spiro A, Navas-Acien A, Baccarelli AA, Gao F. Cohort Network: A Knowledge Graph toward Data Dissemination and Knowledge-Driven Discovery for Cohort Studies. Environ Sci Technol. 2023 Jun 06; 57(22):8236-8244. PMID: 37224396.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/10/2022

    Quach LT, Pedersen MM, Ogawa E, Ward RE, Gagnon DR, Spiro A, Burr JA, Driver JA, Gaziano M, Dhand A, Bean JF. Mild Neurocognitive Disorder, Social Engagement, and Falls Among Older Primary Care Patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 Apr; 104(4):541-546. PMID: 36513122.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/3/2022

    Wang C, DeMeo DL, Kim ES, Cardenas A, Fong KC, Lee LO, Spiro A, Whitsel EA, Horvath S, Hou L, Baccarelli AA, Li Y, Stewart JD, Manson JE, Grodstein F, Kubzansky LD, Schwartz JD. Epigenome-Wide Analysis of DNA Methylation and Optimism in Women and Men. Psychosom Med. 2023 01 01; 85(1):89-97. PMID: 36201768.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/21/2022

    Qiu X, Danesh-Yazdi M, Weisskopf M, Kosheleva A, Spiro AS, Wang C, Coull BA, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD. Associations between Air Pollution and Psychiatric Symptoms in The Normative Aging Study. Environ Res Lett. 2022 Mar; 17(3). PMID: 35273649.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/12/2022

    Zundel CG, Price K, Grasso CM, Spiro A, Heeren T, Sullivan K, Krengel MH. The impact of neurotoxicant exposures on posttraumatic stress disorder trajectories: The Ft. Devens Gulf War Veterans Cohort. J Trauma Stress. 2022 Jun; 35(3):955-966. PMID: 35150175.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/24/2022

    Lee LO, Grimm KJ, Spiro A, Kubzansky LD. Neuroticism, Worry, and Cardiometabolic Risk Trajectories: Findings From a 40-Year Study of Men. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 02; 11(3):e022006. PMID: 35072514.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/17/2022

    Stellman JM, Stellman SD, Spiro A, Pless Kaiser A, Smith BN. Impact of Military Service in Vietnam on Coping and Health Behaviors of Aging Veterans During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Front Public Health. 2021; 9:809357. PMID: 35111722.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/8/2022

    Krengel MH, Zundel CG, Heeren T, Yee M, Spiro A, Proctor SP, Grasso CM, Sullivan K. Health symptom trajectories and neurotoxicant exposures in Gulf War veterans: the Ft. Devens cohort. Environ Health. 2022 01 08; 21(1):7. PMID: 34998396.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/18/2021

    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. Nat Rev Neurol. 2022 Feb; 18(2):103-116. PMID: 34795448.

    Read at: PubMed

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