primary progressive aphasia
Alissa joined the Seeley Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory in 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow. Her background is in neurodegeneration research. Alissa completed a BSc degree with honors in biomedical science in 2004 and a PhD degree in anatomy in 2009 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where she investigated the variable pattern of cortical neuronal loss in Huntington’s disease. In the Seeley lab she is investigating the selective vulnerability of von Economo neurons (VENs) in frontotemporal dementia.
Shubir joined the Memory and Aging Center in June of 2011 after receiving his BA degree in cognitive science at UC Berkeley and completing an honors thesis in Dr. Matthew Walker’s Sleep & Neuroimaging Lab. He works with Dr. Joel Kramer on neuroimaging studies of healthy aging through the Hillblom Aging Network and Aging & Cognitive Decline projects. Additionally, he works with Dr. Adam Boxer on neuroimaging analyses of structural and functional data from the Saccade Aging and 4RTNI projects. Shubir is also a leader of the Imaging Core, a small group within the MAC which acquires, tracks, archives, and manages all neuroimaging data acquired at the center and assists all staff with neuroimaging related needs.
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Dr. Perry graduated from medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he also researched obsessive-compulsive features in dementia. He is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Memory and Aging Center and participates in the evaluation and treatment of patients in the MAC clinic.
His current area of research interest is the impact of neurodegenerative illness on reward processing.
Dr. Chiong received his medical degree from UC San Francisco and his doctorate in philosophy from NYU, where his work focused on ethical issues in clinical research and medical education, personal identity, and brain death. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Stanford University and then returned to UCSF for his residency training in neurology. He then received an American Brain Foundation/Alzheimer's Association Clinical Research Training Fellowship to pursue training in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging in the laboratory of Dr. Mark D'Esposito at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Chiong's current research is focused on decision-making and how it is affected by aging and neurodegenerative disease; as well as the ethical and policy implications of these changes. This work is supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (administered through the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute K Scholars program), and the Hellman Family Foundation.
Jamie Fong received her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley and her master’s degree in human genetics at Sarah Lawrence College. Jamie is a board certified genetic counselor.
Jamie arrived at the Memory and Aging Center (MAC) by way of Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she previously provided genetic counseling to individuals about thoracic aortic aneurysms in a cardiology research setting. Jamie has maintained a long-standing interest in neurogenetics and previously volunteered at the MAC in 2002. To this day, she remembers vividly the moving stories and experiences of MAC families she met many years ago. Jamie is delighted to return to the UCSF team.
Jamie returned to the MAC in 2011. She provides genetic counseling to individuals and families who are affected by or at risk for neurodegenerative conditions. She is intimately involved in the MAC’s efforts to understand the genetic underpinnings of dementia.
Virginia Sturm, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. After undergraduate work at Georgetown University, she received her PhD degree in clinical psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF. Her research centers on laboratory measurement of emotion and social behavior in patients with neurodegenerative disease.
Dr. Sturm directs the Clinical Affective Neuroscience (CAN) Laboratory located in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and affiliated with the UCSF Center for Psychophysiology and Behavior (CPB).
This list defines many of the words or terms you will hear when discussing neurodegenerative disease.
- agnosia: A loss of the ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes or smells without injury to the primary sensory organ or memory loss
- agrammatism: The presence of grammatical errors in speech, such as the omission or incorrect usage of articles (“cow jumped over moon”), prepositions (“dog walk bridge”) or verbs (“cat eated mouse”).
Genetics and Specimens Project Manager
Anna Karydas joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2005 to support research activities investigating genetic causes of neurodegenerative diseases. She manages our laboratory specimens, genetic samples and genetic collaborations.