cjd

CreutztFeldt-Jakob Disease Silo

Peter A. Ljubenkov, MD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Ljubenkov received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. During his training he took part in the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program at University of California, Los Angeles, where he investigated midbrain and basal ganglia pathology in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. He went on to complete his internship in internal medicine at University of California, Irvine, and his residency in neurology at University of California, San Diego. In 2015 he became a clinical fellow in behavioral neurology at the Memory and Aging Center at University of California, San Francisco. He currently evaluates and manages patients with a variety of adult-onset neurodegenerative cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia spectrum disease, Lewy body disease and Huntington’s disease, within clinical, observational research, therapeutic clinical trial settings. Dr. Ljubenkov’s current research focus involves validation of novel markers of frontotemporal dementia disease progression, particularly in the context of clinical trials.

Stacy Metcalf

Research Coordinator

Stacy joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2015. She is the research coordinator for Dr. Michael Geschwind’s clinical research on prion diseases.

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.

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.

Elissaios Karageorgiou, MD, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Karageorgiou was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and raised in Athens, Greece, where he graduated from Athens College and subsequently obtained a medical degree and a PhD degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Upon completion of his medical studies, he worked as a post-doctoral associate at the Brain Sciences Center of the University of Minnesota under the mentorship of Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, MD, PhD, studying the encephalographic brain patterns in health and diseases such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. He subsequently completed residency training in neurology at the University of Minnesota, where he also served as the Associate Chief Resident for Research and Education. After his residency, he joined the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California San Francisco where he trained as a behavioral neurologist. He subsequently joined the faculty at the Memory and Aging Center providing care and conducting research in the field of dementia, with a special interest in elucidating distinct patterns of brain rhythm disruption in dementia across the sleep wake cycle

Dr. Karageorgiou’s primary goal is the provision of optimal care to his patients and their families, a goal which also guides his translational research. He has been awarded the Robert Katzman, MD, Clinical Research Training Fellowship by the American Brain Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association to pursue research on magnetoencephalographic neural interactions in frontotemporal dementia. He is also the recipient of the Young Investigator Award by the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research for his work on the early diagnosis of schizophrenia and related psychoses. During his residency at the University of Minnesota, he received the John R. Gates Award for his clinical qualities and patient advocacy and the Benjamin Shapiro Award for his research on the early and noninvasive diagnosis of brain disorders.

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