ppa

primary progressive aphasia

Nagehan Ayakta

Research Associate

Nagehan graduated from University of California, Berkeley in May 2014 with honors and a BA degree in Molecular and Cell Biology-Neurobiology. She completed her honor thesis at the Jagust laboratory under the guidance of Dr. William Jagust and Dr. Sylvia Villeneuve at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Her main focus was investigating the temporal and spatial pattern of beta-amyloid accumulation in healthy adults.

At the Memory and Aging Center, Nagehan is a research associate working with Dr. Gil Rabinovici and also continues to work with the Jagust laboratory at Berkeley. Currently she is working on a variety of PET imaging projects studying amyloid, hypometabolism, and tau.

Luke Bonham

Research Coordinator

Luke grew up in Southern California before attending UC Berkeley. Graduating with a degree in business administration, he joined the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center in 2013. Prior to joining the Memory and Aging Center, he worked in Dr. Dena Dubal’s lab at UCSF to study sex differences in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases. He currently works with Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD, and Howard Rosen, MD, to study the genetics of healthy aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

In his free time, Luke likes to ski, camp and hike.

Fitness, Aging & Stress (FAST) Study for Family Caregivers

The purpose of this study is to explore the benefits of regular physical activity to adult women and men providing care to family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Summary

Isabel Hubbard, PhD

Speech Language Pathology Specialist

Dr. Hubbard graduated with a BA degree in speech language pathology from the University of Tennessee and a MS degree in communication disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas. She recently completed her PhD degree in the lab of Dr. Julius Fridriksson at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include aphasia treatment and recovery in stroke and neurodegenerative disease.

Miguel Angel Santos, MD

Clinical Research Fellow

Dr. Miguel Angel Santos is a clinical research fellow in Dr. Gorno Tempini’s language group since 2013. His research focuses on studying the characteristics of both speech and limb apraxia present in patients across different neurodegenerative disease syndromes. His research methodology includes correlation of neuropsychological and psychophysical behavioral measures with brain images using various neuroimaging analysis techniques. He was born in Washington, DC where he lived until moving to Spain at the age of 17. He completed medical school at the University of Salamanca and his neurology residency at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain. He research is supported by a grant from the Alfonso Martin Escudero Foundation based in Madrid, Spain.

Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS, joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in July 2014 as a behavioral neurology fellow. She provides care to patients with various neurodegenerative disorders and collaborates in the evaluation of patients for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) and frontotemporal dementia program project grant.

Lisa Kritikos

Research Coordinator

Lisa Kritikos joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2014. Her primary role is managing the New Approaches to Dementia Heterogeneity research, which follows patients with the goal of learning more about dementia to improve early detection and clinical care for patients as part of the UCSF Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

Natanya Russek

Research Coordinator

Natanya Russek graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2014 with a degree in neurobiology. At Wisconsin she contributed to research on the development of a stem cell therapy for stroke under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Jensen.

Natanya joined the Memory and Aging Center in May of 2014. She coordinates the study Frontotemporal Dementia: Genes, Imaging and Emotions. This observational study aims to better characterize neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia with the goal of developing better diagnostic tools for the diseases.

Carolyn Fredericks, MD

Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Carolyn Fredericks, MD, joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in July 2014 as a behavioral neurology fellow. She completed her AB/ScB degrees at Brown University in classics and neuroscience, then received her MD from Stanford University, where she also completed her internship in internal medicine. She went on to a residency in neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and UCSF. Her prior research experience includes studies of genetic influences on corticolimbic circuits in individuals with bipolar disorder, functional neuroimaging studies of reward processing in both healthy and bipolar individuals, and exploration of the inflammatory response to psychosocial stress in healthy young women. She is currently working with Drs. Bill Seeley and Virginia Sturm in an effort to better understand the effects of genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease on psychosocial measures and intrinsic brain connectivity.

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 biomarker development and cognitive enhancing interventions.

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