Physician

Raquel Gardner, MD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Gardner completed her BA degree in Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia University in New York. She received her medical degree from Harvard University. She completed her inernship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at UCSF. She then joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2012 where she is a Clinical Instructor and a Behavioral Neurology Fellow. As a neurologist, Dr. Gardner evaluates and treats patients with various neurodegenerative disorders and provides them with follow-up care. Her current research focuses on understanding network degeneration in progressive supranuclear palsy using functional connectivity MRI.

Dena Dubal, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Dubal received her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Her graduate research with Dr. Phyllis Wise focused on effects of hormones on stroke injury. Dr. Dubal completed a medical internship and neurology residency at UCSF, where she also served as chief resident. She then trained with Drs. Lennart Mucke and Bruce Miller, who shared the 2011 Potamkin Prize in Neurodegeneration. Dr. Dubal is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCSF and directs the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Aging research. Her laboratory's research focus is on how to slow or block aging to prevent diseases of the aging brain, such as Alzheimer's. She is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Career Development Award through the NIA and American Federation for Aging Research.

Information on Dr. Dubal's Laboratory for Neuroscience and Aging Research can be accessed at www.duballab.org.

Georges Naasan, MD

Neurologist, Clinical Instructor

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.

As a neurologist, Dr. Naasan evaluates patients and research participants with various neurodegenerative disorders through a multidisciplinary approach and provides follow-up care. He is particularly interested in the psychotic manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases such as hallucinations and delusions. During his residency, he used functional MRI imaging techniques to study the anatomy of misidentification delusions such as the Capgras syndrome.

David Perry, MD

Neurology Fellow

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 a clinical instructor and fellow in behavioral 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.

Winston Chiong, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Chiong received his medical degree from UC San Francisco and his doctorate in philosophy from NYU, where his work focused on ethical issues in clinical research and medical education, personal identity, and brain death. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Stanford University and then returned to UCSF for his residency training in neurology. He then received an American Brain Foundation/Alzheimer's Association Clinical Research Training Fellowship to pursue training in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging in the laboratory of Dr. Mark D'Esposito at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Chiong's current research is focused on decision-making and how it is affected by aging and neurodegenerative disease; as well as the ethical and policy implications of these changes. This work is supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (administered through the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute K Scholars program), and the Hellman Family Foundation.

Zachary A. Miller, MD

Neurology Fellow

Dr. Zachary Miller grew up in the Washington DC metro area. He obtained an undergraduate degree double majoring in Molecular Biology and Fine Arts from Haverford College. Following this he spent two years as a research assistant at MIT’s Whitehead Institutes for Biomedical Research in Dr. Harvey Lodish’s lab. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and pursued medical internship as well as neurology residency training at the University of Washington.

Dr. Miller came to the UCSF Memory and Aging Center as a behavioral and cognitive neurology fellow with particular interests in enhanced creativity and visual function that can occur in the setting select neurodegenerative diseases of the language network. He completed his fellowship and is now a neurologist in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center who specializes in the care of patients suffering from cognitive decline or dementia such as Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. His current research interests have grown to encompass the study of novel risk factors for the development of neurodegenerative disorders including neurodevelopment and chronic inflammation.

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.

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