ppa

primary progressive aphasia

Delia Zhou

Administrative Manager, Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank

A San Francisco native, Delia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, where she majored in environmental studies and minored in creative writing. Prior to joining the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, she worked as a clinical research assistant with the Hospitalist Study at the Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital and as an operations analyst with the UCSF Department of Medicine central administration team at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. At the Memory and Aging Center, she works with Dr. William Seeley to manage the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank, facilitating both the participant donation process and requests for tissue from investigators researching neurological disease.

Jessica Deleon, MD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Jessica Deleon is a behavioral neurology fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC). She focuses on care of patients with cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer's dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Prior to joining the MAC, she completed her medical degree, medicine internship and neurology residency at UCSF. Her research interests include neuroimaging and the neural basis of speech and language, using primary progressive aphasia (PPA) as a disease model. She also has an interest in the socioeconomic factors that influence dementia care.

Kirsten Rogers

Program Manager

Kirsten Rogers joined the MAC team in 2016 as the project manager of the Dementia Care Pathway project, led by Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Kate Rankin. This Quest Diagnostics-supported initiative translates best practices in screening, evaluating, and managing dementia and neurodegenerative disease into tools for primary care practitioners and their patients. As project manager, Kirsten works with investigator led teams to pilot, enhance and implement these tools in the community.

Kirsten earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in human biology with concentrations in international health and infectious disease. She is particularly interested in working to address health disparities in marginalized populations and engaging vulnerable communities in research through outreach and education.

In her free time, Kirsten enjoys hiking, marathon running, traveling and volunteering.

Melanie Stephens, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Melanie Stephens is an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center within the Department of Neurology.

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.

Ariane Welch

Clinical Research Coordinator

Ariane is a speech language pathologist from Australia. She graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia with a bachelor of arts degree (Hons) in English, Linguistics and Semiotics and has a masters degree in speech language pathology, also from the University of Sydney. During her undergraduate degree, she researched multi-modal discourse analysis, creating a system network for the illustration of facial affect in children’s literature and completing a research project on embodied semiosis in political photography. She will be working with Drs. Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini on primary progressive aphasia, Zachary Miller on dyslexia and Kevin Shapiro on pediatric stroke.

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.

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