Research Coordinator

Julia Thackrey

Lab Assistant

Julia is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley (class of 2018) where she is double majoring in molecular and cellular biology (immunology and pathogenesis emphasis) and integrative biology (ecology, evolution, and organismal biology emphasis). In 2011, she worked with the Oncofertility Consortium at UC San Diego, researching methods of preserving fertility in cancer patients. From 2013 to 2014, she interned for Dr. Marjorie Patrick, of the University of San Diego, identifying, localizing, and quantifying ion transport mechanisms in the gills of tropical fish. There, Julia gained experience in microdissection, immunolocalization using confocal microscopy, and western blot techniques.

She joined the Grinberg Lab in Spring 2015 where she uses techniques from fluorescence microscopy, histology, and neuropathology to investigate the changes and mechanisms associated with early stage Alzheimer's disease. She intends to pursue a career in medical research in the field of neuroimmunology.

Cristina Armas

Lab Technician

Cristina came to the Grinberg Lab in the fall of 2014 from the City College of San Francisco Bridge to Biosciences Internship Program. She is an undergraduate with a minor background in psychology. She is currently pursuing a degree in neuroscience that accompanies a tremendous interest in neuropathology, genetics, and holistic research. In the Grinberg Lab she assists with carrying out the histology protocols.

Austin Nguy

Lab Assistant

Austin is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley (class of 2016) where he is double majoring in molecular and cellular biology (biochemistry emphasis) and music (piano performance emphasis). In the Grinberg Lab he is responsible for image processing of stained brain tissue to include the photography and optimization of these images. He is also working to create and develop 3D reconstructions of brains sections in an effort to contribute to a holistic understanding of the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He intends to pursue a medical career as a geriatrician or pediatrician.

Ana Sias

Research Assistant

Ana graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant in Dr. Richard Ivry's Cognition and Action Lab studying motor inhibition during response preparation. Ana joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2014 and assists Dr. Suzee Lee in neuroimaging analyses of patients with atypical dementias.

Alexander Ehrenberg

Lab Assistant

Alex is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley (class of 2017) where he is double majoring in integrative biology (evolution, ecology, and organismal biology division) and molecular and cellular biology (developmental genetics division). He started at UCSF in Spring 2012 working under Dr. Pierre-Antoine Gourraud in the Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Research Lab. There, he developed skills in computational biology, informatics, and statistics.

In Fall 2013, he moved to the Grinberg Lab at the Memory and Aging Center where he now studies the early pathology of Alzheimer's disease using techniques within unbiased stereology, neuropathology, computer modeling, and statistics. He also works to develop technologies such as wide-field microscopy and polarized light imaging. Alex also conducts research under Dr. Alan Shabel at UC Berkeley where he is studying brain evolution in the taxa carnivora within the Natural History Museums. He plans on pursuing a career in academia researching brain evolution, development, and disease.

June Jung, PhD

Clinical Research Coordinator

June is a clinical research coordinator on Dr. Adam Boxer’s clinical trials team and manages progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) drug trials. She graduated from the University of Florida with a doctorate degree in neuroscience, where she studied steroid based gamma-secretase modulators (GSMs) as prophylactic approaches for AD in preclinical and translational research settings.

Esther Rah

Care Team Navigator

Esther graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Sociology in 2013. During her undergraduate career, Esther volunteered as a research assistant for the Ron Dahl Youth Development lab studying adolescent risk taking behavior and as a crisis hotline counselor for Bay Area Women Against Rape. Before joining the MAC, Esther worked at the San Francisco VA Medical Center as the IRB coordinator for the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases. She was also a study coordinator for the Department of Defense Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative under Dr. Michael Weiner.

At the Memory and Aging Center, Esther is a Care Team Navigator for the Care Ecosystem study. The study aims to learn more about the needs of both patients with dementia and their families, while improving patient care and reducing care costs.

Outside of work, Esther enjoys biking, reading and finding the best coffee and baked goods in the Bay Area.

Reilly Walker

Care Team Navigator

Reilly graduated from Tufts University in Spring 2015, where he majored in biology and minored in entrepreneurial leadership. As an undergraduate, Reilly volunteered in the Trimmer Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Devices Laboratory, studying locomotion in soft-bodied insects and assisting in the development and creation of biomimetic soft robots. Prior to attending Tufts, Reilly founded a successful summer sports camp in Portland, Oregon.

At the Memory and Aging Center, Reilly is a Care Team Navigator for the Care Ecosystem study. The study aims to learn more about the needs of both patients with dementia and their families, while improving patient care and reducing care costs.

Reilly spends most of his free time outdoors skiing, surfing or playing soccer with friends.

Marite Carrasco

Recruitment Coordinator

Marite graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in psychology and ethnic studies. While studying at San Jose State, Marite was involved with the Mental Health Ambassador program, where she worked alongside the Counseling and Psychological Center to help increase mental health literacy, provide multiculturally responsive services and reduce mental health stigma. Marite completed her honors thesis under Dr. Wei-Chien Lee investigating the alarmingly low college retention rates of first generation minority students.

Continuing to follow her passion to help underserved populations, Marite worked as a Health Educator at Stanford University in an effort to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy behaviors for low-income Latino families with overweight children. Marite joined the Memory and Aging Center in May 2015 as a recruitment coordinator where she is leading enrollment efforts for the Care Ecosystem study. The study aims to learn more about the needs of both patients with dementia and their family, while improving the care of these patients and reducing costs in the future.

In her free time, Marite enjoys cooking, riding her bike and exploring what the Bay Area has to offer.

Faye McKenna

Imaging Core Manager

Faye graduated from Connecticut College in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in behavioral neuroscience. She earned a master's degree in bioimaging from Boston University School of Medicine in 2014. Her master’s thesis, which she completed at the BUSM Center for Bioimaging under the guidance of Dr. Ronald Killiany, focused on resting-state fMRI connectivity changes in EMCI and aging populations. Faye has been a research assistant at the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab at Brown University and a research fellow at the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute. At the Memory and Aging Center (MAC), Faye is the imaging core manager, working with Howard Rosen, MD, to manage the MAC’s neuroimaging data and support the staff with their imaging research.

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