Shelytia Cocroft, PhD

Qualitative Research Analyst


A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect.”

                                                                        Vann Newkirk


I am an applied medical sociologist and mixed-methodologist. I received my PhD from Wayne State University’s Department of Sociology and was also awarded postdoctoral fellowships at The Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University, and the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Harvard Medical School.  I joined the Qualitative Core at CHOP in 2020 and am dedicated to engaging in systematic scientific inquiry for positive social change. My areas of interest include the science of equity and inclusion; recruitmentology; and intersectionality as a conceptual framework and methodology. My research portfolio includes NIH/NIA funded projects – one examining the role of institution-based infrastructures in increasing the representation of historically disenfranchised groups into clinical research; and the other examining the impact of socioeconomic status on knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with cognitive health maintenance among older African American women. I have also conducted research exploring the characteristics associated with willingness to participate in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarker research among diverse populations and the effectiveness of local AD prevention registries in increasing diversity in AD clinical trials; and contributed to a clinical trial designed to investigate the impact of disclosing amyloid brain imaging results to cognitively healthy individuals at risk of AD based on their family history. I utilize the sociological perspective coupled with qualitative research designs (interviews, focus groups, observation, case studies) to translate and apply new knowledge, raise public consciousness, and tell the stories that are not being told.