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Kristine Yaffe, MD

Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology

Dr. Yaffe received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed residency training in both neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She then completed a fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology and Geriatric Psychiatry also at UCSF.

Dr. Yaffe is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology at UCSF. She is also Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. In both her research and in her clinical work, she has directed her efforts towards improving the care of patients with cognitive disorders and other geriatric neuropsychiatric conditions.

Dr. Yaffe’s research has focused on the predictors of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. She is particularly interested in identifying novel strategies to prevent cognitive decline. One of her research focuses is examining how estrogen and other hormones influence cognitive function. Dr. Yaffe is also focusing on multi-ethnic populations of elders in order to determine if identified predictors of cognitive decline vary amongst different ethnic groups.

Her work has been published in numerous prestigious journals including the Lancet, JAMA, and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Keith Vossel, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Keith Vossel received his MSc degree in biomedical engineering and medical degree at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He completed medical internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital and neurology residency at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals, Harvard Medical School, where he served his final year as chief resident. Dr. Vossel completed behavioral neurology fellowship with Dr. Bruce Miller at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and postdoctoral training in neurodegenerative disease with Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.

In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Vossel is working at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, where he investigates mechanisms and novel treatment approaches for neural network dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease, with focus on the tau protein and axonal transport. Dr. Vossel is leading a clinical trial at UCSF to investigate seizures and epileptic activity in neurodegenerative disease. He is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Career Development Award in Aging Research, through the National Institute on Aging and American Federation for Aging Research, and the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation Distinguished Research Scholar Award.

Victor Valcour, MD

Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Neurology

Dr. Valcour is an internist and geriatrician at the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF where he is an Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Neurology. He has completed fellowships in both geriatric medicine and neurobehavior. He completed his medical training at the University of Vermont where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. He completed internal medicine residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado, geriatric medicine fellowship at the University of Hawaii, and a neurobehavioral fellowship at UCSF. He worked as Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Hawaii - Manoa before joining the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF.

Dr. Valcour’s main research interest is neurocognition in aging HIV patients. He also completes neuroAIDS research in Bangkok, Thailand. He directed the Hawaii Aging with HIV Cohort of HIV-infected individuals over 50 years of age prior to joining the MAC. This leading HIV-aging neuroAIDS study began to unravel the neuro-epidemiology of aging with HIV. His current work at UCSF focuses on HIV patients over 60 years of age where he is recruiting individuals for a longitudinal cohort study. Nearly half of his research occurs in Bangkok, Thailand in association with the Southeast Asia Research Collaboration with Hawaii (SEARCH). Here his primary work relates to HIV DNA as a marker for dementia.

Valcour Lab website

William Seeley, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Dr. Seeley attended medical school at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where he first encountered patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in 1999, during a research elective with Dr. Bruce Miller. He then completed a neurology residency at Harvard Medical School, training at the Massachusetts General and Brigham & Women's Hospitals. Returning to UCSF for a behavioral neurology fellowship, with Dr. Miller, Dr. Seeley developed expertise in the differential diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disease. He is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where he participates in patient evaluation and management.

Dr. Seeley’s research in his Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory concerns regional vulnerability in dementia, that is, why particular dementias target specific neuronal populations. Dr. Seeley addresses this question through behavioral, functional imaging and neuropathology studies. The goal of his research is to determine what makes brain tissues susceptible or resistant to degeneration, with an eye toward ultimately translating these findings into novel treatment approaches.

Howard Rosen, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Dr. Rosen is a behavioral neurologist. He received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, trained in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and subsequently completed a neurology residency at UCSF. After residency, Dr. Rosen pursued fellowship training in brain imaging at the Washington University School of Medicine, and then returned to UCSF to join the team at the Memory and Aging Center (MAC) in 1999.

Dr. Rosen’s primary research interest is in the effects that atypical neurodegenerative diseases, in particular frontotemporal dementia, have on the brain, especially the emotional systems. His current projects use psychophysiology and imaging to examine how these diseases affect self-awareness, and to determine how imaging and other biological markers can be used to track and to anticipate how these disease affect the brain over time. He is also director of education and outreach for the education core in UCSF’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

As part of the MAC and the UCSF Department of Neurology, he participates in the training of medical students, residents and fellows, and participates in the evaluation of new patients in the MAC clinic as well as the continued management of care for some of these individuals in the continuity clinic.

Photo by Elisabeth Fall

Gil Rabinovici, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Dr. Rabinovici received his BS degree from Stanford University and MD from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Stanford University, neurology residency (and chief residency) at UCSF and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the Memory and Aging Centert.

Dr. Rabinovici participates in patient evaluations and management. On the research front, he leads the MAC PET imaging program and is principle investigator of a cohort study of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. His work investigates how structural, functional and molecular brain imaging techniques can be used to improve diagnostic accuracy in dementia and to study the biology of neurodegenerative diseases, with the goal of accelerating treatment development. Dr. Rabinovici’s work is supported by the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation and the Tau Consortium. He is the recipient of the 2012 American Academy of Neurology Research Award in Geriatric Neurology and the 2010 Best Paper in Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging: New Investigator Award from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Suzee Lee, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Lee received a BA degree in English from Harvard and an MD degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She then completed an internal medicine internship at Brown University and neurology residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, serving as Chief Resident in her final year. Dr. Lee completed a behavioral neurology fellowship at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. She is a neurologist who evaluates and treats patients at the Memory and Aging Center.

Dr. Lee's research focuses on neuroimaging in atypical dementias, such as corticobasal degeneration and frontotemporal dementia. Her interests also include understanding genetic susceptibility in atypical dementias.

Aimee Kao, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Aimee Kao is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Iowa School of Medicine where she received her medical degree and a doctorate degree in physiology and biophysics studying the molecular mechanisms of insulin signaling. She completed an internship in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital in Boston and a residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was Chief Resident. Dr. Kao participates in patient evaluation and management at the Memory and Aging Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Genetics Society of America.

After completing a clinical fellowship in behavioral neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, Dr. Kao received a Hillblom Fellowship to join the laboratory of Dr. Cynthia Kenyon to study the role of aging in development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, with a particular interest in Parkinson’s-related dementias including multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy and dementia with Lewy bodies. Her research interests have expanded to now include studying the role of progranulin and tau in regulating neuronal health and integrity. Her current research is supported by an NIH K08 award as well as foundation grants from the Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research, the Tau Consortium, the Hellman Family Foundation and a UCSF ADRC grant.

Her laboratory information can be accessed at www.kaolab.org.

Lea T. Grinberg, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Grinberg is a neuropathologist specializing in brain aging and associated disorders. She received her MD and PhD degrees in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2003, Dr. Grinberg, along with colleagues from several disciplines founded a brain bank in São Paulo, Brazil, which has developed into an extremely prolific and highly regarded institution. Her PhD work was focused in the neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Grinberg acquired expertise in neuroanatomy and in the use of state-of-the-art methods for tridimensional brain reconstruction at the University of Würzburg, Germany. This knowledge is being utilized in several projects, including a R01 funded study in which the overarching goal is to provide an integrated picture of brainstem vulnerability in AD and FTLD-TDP and to incorporate this understanding into their etiopathogenesis, testing the hypothesis that selected brainstem nuclei are interdependently and consistently involved in very early stages of AD and FTLD-TDP. Currently, Dr. Grinberg is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. In 2009, she was the recipient of the UNESCO-L'Oréal Award "For Women in Science" and in 2010 of the John Douglas French Alzheimer Foundation "Distinguished Research Scholar Award." She is also the chairwoman of the HUPO Brain Proteome Project since 2013.

Please click here to visit the Grinberg Lab website.

Marilu Gorno-Tempini, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology

Dr. Gorno-Tempini is a behavioral neurologist with a PhD degree in imaging neuroscience and currently directs the Language & Neurobiology Laboratory at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC). She obtained her medical degree and clinical specialty training in neurology in Italy. Dr. Gorno-Tempini’s main focus was in behavioral neurology, particularly the neural basis of higher cognitive functions such as language and memory. To pursue this research she worked for three years at the Function Imaging Laboratory, University College London, where she obtained her PhD degree in imaging neuroscience. She was part of the language group, and her thesis work consisted of several positron emission tomography (PET) and functional MRI studies investigating the neural basis of face and proper name processing. In 2001, Dr. Gorno-Tempini began her work at the MAC as a fellow and has since become a full professor. For the last 12 years she has applied her expertise in cognitive neurology and neuroimaging to the study of neurodegenerative disease, in particular primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). She has extensive experience in neurology and neuroscience and in the use of behavioral and neuroimaging paradigms to study language symptoms and their neural mechanisms.

Dr. Gorno-Tempini also has experience in mentoring residents, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows, and faculty-level individuals from all over the world. She is faculty in the MAC T32 program and numerous K23 applications in the neurology department, and she has taught research methodology, manuscript preparation and grant writing skills to mentees from diverse backgrounds, including speech and language pathology, clinical neurology and basic neuroscience.

Soon, the language group will have the opportunity to study the largest PPA cohort ever collected, and the multifaceted dataset will provide a unique opportunity to make groundbreaking discoveries.

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