aging

healthy, normal aging

Mariella Lauriola

Visiting Scholar

Mariella Lauriola is a PhD degree candidate in Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences at the University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). She got her bachelor degree in biological psychology at the University of Padova (Italy) and her Master of Science degree in Psychology (curriculum of Neuroscience) at the University of Trento (Italy). Her main research interests during the last years have been normal and pathological aging, sleep, neuroimaging and cognition. As a part of her PhD clinical and research training, she is now visiting at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she is actively involved in data collection and neuropsychological evaluation of research participants, working closely with both Dr. Gil Rabinovici and Dr. Joel Kramer. In addition to her work, Mariella loves sports, nature and animals.

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Elahi is a clinical fellow in behavioral neurology.

Joanne Taylor, MS, LCGC

Genetic Counselor

Joanne Taylor received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and her master’s degree in genetic counseling from UC Berkeley. She worked at Stanford University for more than 20 years in a prenatal clinic advising patients about inherited diseases and testing options.

Joanne joined the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF in 2016 as part of the genetic counseling team. She helps families understand the genetic component of neurodegenerative diseases.

Lena Driscoll, MSN

Nurse

Lena is a full-time nurse in the Memory and Aging Center Clinic. She completed her master’s degree in nursing at UCSF School of Nursing. Prior to being a nurse, Lena worked for biotechnology companies doing research in skeletal and neurological diseases. In her free time she can be found gardening or hiking around San Francisco.

Cathy Wang, ASW, MSW

Clinical Social Worker

Cathy earned a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University in New York. She has worked with adults and seniors in hospitals, patients’ homes, and clinics. She is also a consultant who trains and supports social workers in long-term care facilities to maintain state licensure and accreditation. Before joining UCSF, she was a social work discharge planner, ensuring that patients had services in place upon leaving the hospital. She is an advocate for patients, families and caregivers through supportive education and linking them to appropriate resources to meet their needs.

Jeff Choi

Clinical Research Coordinator

Jeff graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in human biology. During his time at UC Berkeley, Jeff was active in volunteering abroad in mobile clinics in the Dominican Republic and South Africa. He also worked as a Cantonese health interpreter for different hospitals and clinics.

During his college career, Jeff was involved in the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Clinic to conduct clinical trials for patients with insomnia and other sleep disturbances. In 2013, he started working as a research intern in the Seeley Lab, where he mainly assisted with brain banking and brain blocking procedures to generate histology information.

Jeff joined the Memory and Aging Center in September 2015 as a Clinical Research Coordinator 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 health care costs in the future.

In his spare time, Jeff enjoys traveling to interesting countries, camping, running and exploring new spots in the city.

Family Advisory Council

To promote ideal family and patient-centered care in dementia, the UCSF Memory and Aging Center has created a Family Advisory Council that provides family caregiver input regarding the delivery of clinical care services.

To promote ideal family and patient-centered care in dementia, the UCSF Memory and Aging Center has created a Family Advisory Council that provides family caregiver input regarding the delivery of clinical care services. Topics may include feedback regarding the existing services as well as ideas regarding new innovative programs under development or raising awareness regarding the priorities or unmet needs of families and patients at the MAC. The council is comprised of family caregivers who care, or have cared, for persons with dementia.

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.

Maryana Alegro, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Alegro joined the Grinberg Lab in 2015, aiming to research and develop advanced image processing techniques to improve the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. She received her master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of São Paulo Polytechnic School in 2009, where she focused on MRI brain tumor segmentation using machine learning. In 2014, she completed her doctorate degree at the University of São Paulo Polytechnic School, where her research focused on MRI and histology image registration. Dr. Alegro's research interests include color representation, for better segmentation and registration, and the use of advanced machine learning for image analysis.

Maria Mejia, HT (ASCP)

Staff Research Associate

Maria’s histology professional career illustrates a panorama of various neurology research experiences. Prior to joining UCSF, Maria obtained her bachelor's degree from Saint Mary's College (Kansas) and then worked for 18 years at a private institute performing a wide range of histology techniques on the visual system of the brain and the retina to increase the understanding of normal vision and eye disorders.

In 2006, Maria was recruited as the histology supervisor to work with Dr. Krystof Bankiewicz at UCSF to support the translational efforts of the laboratory. Maria’s part played an important role in performing the work necessary to initiate the clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease (PD). She came to the Grinberg Lab in 2013 where she manages the lab's histology protocols.

Syndicate content