hiv

HIV

Lauren Chang

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Originally from San Jose, Lauren graduated from the University of Washington – Seattle in 2014 with a degree in psychology. She continued to explore the field of psychology by working as an applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapist for children with autism, which sparked her interest into moving back into the research field. She previously worked at the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND) within the UCSF Radiology department on two different Alzheimer’s related studies, one looking specifically at possible connections between post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease, and the other looking to get FDA approval on a tau PET imaging tracer. At the MAC, Lauren works with Dr. Valcour to coordinate his international acute HIV studies and his HIV over 60 studies.

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.

Jennifer Daniels

Research Coordinator

Originally from Virginia, Jen graduated from Penn State in 2014 with dual degrees in biology and psychology. After graduating, she worked teaching anatomy and physiology labs and as a research assistant on the Early Growth and Development Study at Penn State. Her love of the outdoors led her to San Francisco, and her interests in neuroscience, infectious disease, and public health led her to the Valcour Lab. Having formerly volunteered with Global Medical Brigades in Panama and Ghana, Jen is excited to continue to have a global impact through biomedical research. Jen now coordinates participant visits with Dr. Valcour’s HIV Over 60 and HIV Elders studies, as well as manages data and protocols for the SEARCH Thailand acute HIV studies. Outside of work, Jen enjoys hiking, yoga and playing guitar.

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.

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.

HIV Elder Study

The goal of this study is to determine the efficacy of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) to alleviate stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms and improve attention among patients aged 60 or older who suffer from HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and have maximized treatment options.

Summary

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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