Sigan Hartley, PhD

Position title: Professor, 100 Women Distinguished Chair in Human Ecology

Sigan Hartley, PhD

PhD, University of Wyoming
Associate Director, Training
Professor, Human Development & Family Studies

Contact Information

Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
Room 559
Madison, WI 53705
Lab Website: Hartley Lab

Research Statement

Broadly, my research takes a biopsychosocial approach to understand the mechanisms that shape development in people with neurodevelopmental conditions such as Down syndrome, autism, and fragile x syndrome. This work has used a variety of research methodologies (self/informant reports, biomarkers and physiological markers, observations, and neuropsychological assessments), and been part of multisite and interdisciplinary research teams.

One aspect of this research is focused on understanding Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease because they are born with three copies of chromosome 21, rather than two. One goal of my research is to understand the early time course of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome. Other goal is to identify modifiable aspects of the environment or of lifestyle that may interact with a genetic risk (trisomy 21) to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down syndrome. My work is focused on lifestyle factors such as sleep, physical activity, employment, and leisure activities.

The research done in my lab, and together with students, is also focused on investigating the presentation of co-occurring mental health conditions such in people with neurodevelopmental conditions. This work is also focused on identifying risk and resiliency factors that could be targeted in interventions.

Selected Publications