Physician

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.

Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD

Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center

Dr. Adam Gazzaley obtained an MD and a PhD in Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, completed clinical residency in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at UC Berkeley. He is the founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UC San Francisco, an Associate Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, and Principal Investigator of a cognitive neuroscience laboratory. His laboratory studies neural mechanisms of perception, attention and memory, with an emphasis on the impact of distraction and multitasking on these abilities. His unique research approach utilizes a powerful combination of human neurophysiological tools, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation (TMS & TES). A major accomplishment of his research has been to expand our understanding of alterations in the aging brain that lead to cognitive decline. His most recent studies explore how we can enhance our cognitive abilities via engagement with custom-designed video games, and how this can be bolstered by closed loop systems using neurofeedback and TES. Dr. Gazzaley has authored over 80 scientific articles, delivered over 300 invited presentations around the world, and his research and perspectives have been consistently profiled in high-impact media, such as The New York Times, New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Discover, Wired, PBS, NPR, CNN and NBC Nightly News. Recently, he wrote and hosted the nationally televised, PBS-sponsored special “The Distracted Mind with Dr. Adam Gazzaley”. Awards and honors for his research include the Pfizer/AFAR Innovations in Aging Award, the Ellison Foundation New Scholar Award in Aging, and the Harold Brenner Pepinsky Early Career Award in Neurobehavioral Science.

Mary De May, MD

Hellman Master Clinician

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.

As an attending physician at the Memory and Aging Center Clinic, Dr. De May participates in the multidisciplinary comprehensive evaluation of new patients and research participants, as well as providing ongoing care. She teaches neurology residents and fellows, psychiatry interns, geriatric medicine fellows and other rotating clinicians. She also performs psychiatric evaluations for patients referred from within the Memory and Aging Center and helps them find appropriate psychiatric care within the community as needed.

Adam Boxer, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology

Dr. Boxer received his MD and PhD degrees as part of the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program at New York University Medical Center. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at California Pacific Medical Center and a residency in Neurology at Stanford University Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in behavioral neurology at UCSF.

Dr. Boxer is an Associate Professor of Neurology and the Vera and John Graziadio Scholar in Alzheimer’s Disease Research. He directs the Alzheimer’s Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia Clinical Trials Program at the Memory and Aging Center. He participates in the evaluation and management of patients in the Memory and Aging Clinic and attends on the Moffitt Inpatient Neurology Service.

Dr. Boxer’s research uses quantitative eye movement (watch a video on this study) and neuroimaging (MRI and PET) measurements to study the pathophysiology of cognitive and motor impairments in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration. He is the lead principal investigator of the first US multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of a therapeutic agent for frontotemporal dementia (memantine/Namenda®) and an international, phase 2/3, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the microtubule stabilizing agent, davunetide (NAP, Al-108), for PSP. Dr. Boxer is the recipient of the 2002 Edwin Boldrey Award from the San Francisco Neurological Society, the 2005 John Douglas French Foundation Alzheimer’s Award and a 2009 Hellman Foundation Scientist Award. He also leads the FTD Treatment Study Group (FTSG), a group looking to speed the development of new therapies for FTD.

Michael Geschwind, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology

Dr. Geschwind received his MD and PhD (neuroscience) degrees through the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, his neurology residency at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and his fellowship in behavioral neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC). He has been at the Memory and Aging Center since 2003.

Dr. Geschwind evaluates patients in the MAC new patient clinic and participates in the management and care for these patients in the MAC continuity clinic. He is active in the training of medical students and residents at UCSF. Dr. Geschwind teaches a national course and lectures, both nationally and internationally, on the assessment of rapidly progressive dementias, including human prion diseases.

Dr. Geschwind's primary research interest is the assessment and treatment of rapidly progressive dementias, including prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Dr. Geschwind helped establish an inpatient hospital program for the assessment of rapidly progressive dementias at UCSF, one of the first of its kind in the country. He ran the first ever US treatment study for CJD. He also has an active research interest in cognitive dysfunction in movement disorders, such as Huntington's disease, corticobasal degeneration (CBD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and other Parkinsonian dementias.

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