primary progressive aphasia
Neurologist, Clinical Instructor
Dr. Georges Naasan received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed an internship in medicine and a residency in neurology at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2011 where he is a Clinical Instructor and a Behavioral Neurology Fellow.
As a neurologist, Dr. Naasan evaluates patients and research participants with various neurodegenerative disorders through a multidisciplinary approach and provides follow-up care. He is particularly interested in the psychotic manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases such as hallucinations and delusions. During his residency, he used functional MRI imaging techniques to study the anatomy of misidentification delusions such as the Capgras syndrome.
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.
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”).
Biospecimen/Genetics Programs Manager
Anna Karydas is the Biospecimen/Genetics Programs Manager at the Memory and Aging Center. She serves as primary subject expert for the acquisition, characterization and management of biological materials. Karydas works directly with the clinical staff, including nurses and genetic counselors, to ensure accurate and efficient collection, delivery and reconciliation of biologic materials.