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Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS, joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in July 2014 as a behavioral neurology fellow. She provides care to patients with various neurodegenerative disorders and collaborates in the evaluation of patients for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) and frontotemporal dementia program project grant.

Julio C. Rojas, MD, PhD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Julio Rojas received his medical degree from the Tecnológico de Monterrey School of Medicine in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. He completed his doctoral studies in neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation on Strategies of neuroprotection in an in vivo model of retinal degeneration induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. He completed neurology residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. In 2014, he joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center where he is a behavioral neurology fellow. Dr. Rojas is part of the Clinical Trials team led by Dr. Adam Boxer in which he participates in patient evaluation and monitoring. He provides care to patients with various neurodegenerative disorders and collaborates in the evaluation of patients for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), frontotemporal dementia program project grant and Rapidly Progressive Dementia Program. Dr. Rojas is interested in experimental neurotherapeutics, and his research focuses on biomarker development and cognitive enhancing interventions.

Noelle Ohanesian

Asst. Clinical Research Coordinator

Originally from upstate New York, Noelle graduated from Duke University in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and a history minor. While attending school, she worked as a research assistant in Duke's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, running a study examining the effects of acute stress on memory retention. She also spent a summer working for the Behavioral Lab in the Duke University Fuqua School of Business studying social mimicry in anorexic subjects. Outside of her academic interests, she worked as the Program Director of Duke’s backpacking organization, Project WILD, in which she directed one- and two-week backpacking programs for the freshmen class. Noelle joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in June 2014 as a member of the clinical trials team under Dr. Adam Boxer. She is a research coordinator for the asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease trial.

Caitlin Glennon

Analyst

Caitlin joined the Memory and Aging Center in March 2014. She is currently an analyst working on Dr. Boxer’s clinical trials and research studies. She previously worked in the Department of Neurology at UCSF with the Stroke Sciences Group on both industry and NIH-funded clinical trials.

Dan Luong

Research Coordinator

Dan Luong graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in biology. At Stanford, Dan performed honors research in the Department of Neurology investigating the characteristics of a novel neuronal protein. He also spearheaded a public health program at the Stanford Emergency Department evaluating clinical tools that identify alcohol misuse and abuse in adolescents. On weekends, Dan serves as a Vietnamese interpreter and the supplies coordinator at Pacific Free Clinic, which serves uninsured populations in San Jose, California.

Dan joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2014, where he coordinates the 4-Repeat Tauopathy Neuroimaging Initiative (4RTNI). This longitudinal study aims to develop robust biomarkers to improve reliability for new treatment studies in neurodegenerative diseases and to better understand disease progression.

Panos Theofilas, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Panos Theofilas joined the Grinberg lab at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2012. His research focuses on the neuropathological changes and susceptibility of subcortical brain regions in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Theofilas’ methodology includes analyses of human brain circuitries as a whole by combining unbiased stereology, immunohistochemistry/biochemical assays, and 3D computer graphics for histological brain volume reconstructions. His academic background includes a BSc degree in zoology and an MSc degree in neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh, UK. He completed his PhD degree at Bonn University in Germany on programmed cell death signaling pathways in animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Serggio Lanata, MD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Serggio Lanata was raised in Peru, where he began his undergraduate studies in general science. He later earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida. He obtained his medical degree from the University of South Florida, and then completed his medicine internship and neurology residency at Brown University. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in July 2013 as a Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow. He evaluates and treats patients referred to the MAC clinic.

Currently, he is mostly interested in the phenotypic overlap that exists between behavioral variant FTD and different psychiatric disorders, and how our understanding of bvFTD can inform our knowledge of the pathophysiology that underlies specific psychiatric disorders.

Salvatore Spina, MD, PhD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Spina received his medical degree from the University of Catania, Italy. He completed a neurology residency at the University of Siena, Italy from which he also obtained his doctorate degree on mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He was trained in neuropathology of dementia syndromes at the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, Indianapolis in the laboratory of Dr. Bernardino Ghetti. Later, he completed an internship in internal medicine and a neurology residency at Indiana University. Dr. Spina’s research focuses on the clinicopathologic and genetic correlations in neurodegenerative dementia syndromes, with a special interest on frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Richard Tsai, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Richard Tsai received his undergraduate degree in molecular and cell biology at University of California, Berkeley and a joint MD/MBA degree at Drexel University. He completed a neurology residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, serving as chief resident in his last year. He then completed a fellowship in behavioral neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Dr. Tsai is part of the Clinical Trials team and is active in leading and managing many neurodegenerative clinical trials. His interests are dementia therapeutics, clinical trials methodology and neurodegenerative biomarkers. In addition, Dr. Tsai is a member of the outreach team of the UCSF Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and has an interest in health disparities among elderly Chinese Americans.

Dr. Tsai is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese. In addition to evaluating patients at the Memory and Aging Center, he sees patients at the Chinese Hospital and SFDPH Chinatown Public Health Center in Chinatown.

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