Neurology

Jennifer Merrilees, RN, PhD

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Neurology

Jennifer Merrilees received her doctorate degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Geriatrics at the Memory and Aging Center and Associate Clinical Professor (volunteer series) for the UCSF School of Nursing. Jennifer is part of a multidisciplinary team focused on the evaluation and management of people with cognitive and behavioral symptoms. She is the nurse coordinator of our clinical services, responsible for reviewing all new patient referrals, patient triage and dealing with patient care issues.

Georges Naasan, MD

Neurologist
Neurology

Dr. Georges Naasan received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed an internship in medicine and a residency in neurology at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2011 where he is a Clinical Instructor and a Behavioral Neurology Fellow.

Katherine Rankin, PhD

Professor & Neuropsychologist
Neurology

Dr. Kate Rankin is a professor in the UCSF Department of Neurology who specializes in the neuropsychological, neuroanatomic, and genetic underpinnings of human socioemotional behavior in healthy aging and neurodegenerative disease. She studied psychology at Yale for her undergraduate work and received graduate degrees from Fuller School of Psychology in Pasadena, including her PhD degree in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in theology. 

Christine Walsh, PhD

Assistant Professor
Neurology

Christine M. Walsh, PhD, received her BA degree in physiology from Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin in Ireland. Dr. Walsh did her doctoral work at the University of Michigan studying the effects of REM sleep modulation on learning and memory. She also studied the neural correlates of cognitive aging. In 2011 Dr. Walsh joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center where she has been studying sleep in both healthy older adults and in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Walsh is particularly interested in the contribution of sleep disturbance to cognitive decline.

Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD

Assistant Professor
Neurology

Jennifer Yokoyama obtained her doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics from UCSF in December 2010 with Dr. Steven Hamilton (Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Human Genetics). Her dissertation comprised work within the Canine Behavioral Genetics Project, utilizing purebred dogs as genetic models for studying neuropsychiatric disease. Utilizing community-based canine DNA samples, Dr.

Mary De May, MD

Hellman Master Clinician
Neurology

Dr. Mary De May received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She completed an internship in medicine and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and subsequently did her psychiatry residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. She joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2000, where she is the center’s Hellman Master Clinician and the Hellman Family Distinguished Professor of Neurology.

Lea Grinberg, MD, PhD

Associate Professor
Neurology

Dr. Lea Grinberg is a neuropathologist specializing in brain aging and associated disorders. She received her medical and doctorate degrees in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2003, Dr. Grinberg, along with colleagues from several disciplines founded a brain bank in São Paulo, which has developed into an extremely prolific and highly regarded institution. Her doctorate work was focused in the neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. From 2007 to 2009, Dr.

Kamalini Ranasinghe, MBBS, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Neurology

Dr. Kamalini Ranasinghe received her medical degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and completed her internship training in general medicine and general surgery. She earned her doctorate degree in Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas, under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Kilgard.

David Perry, MD

Assistant Professor
Neurology

Dr. Perry graduated from medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he also researched obsessive-compulsive features in dementia. He is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Memory and Aging Center and participates in the evaluation and treatment of patients in the MAC clinic.

His current area of research interest is the impact of neurodegenerative illness on reward processing.

Alice La

Clinical Research Coordinator
Neurology

Alice graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology with emphasis in neurobiology. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research technician in the Barton Lab, managing their mouse colony to study innate immunity and pathogen recognition. She also volunteered as a research assistant in the Lammel Lab, investigating midbrain dopaminergic networks of reward and addiction by performing in vivo mouse surgery and optogenetics behavioral assays.

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