Biomarkers

People who primarily work to identify and characterize biomarkers and endpoints for diagnosis and clinical trials.

Miranda Chen

Clinical Research Coordinator

Miranda was born and raised in Palo Alto, California and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2020 with a bachelor of arts degree in molecular and cell biology. At the Memory and Aging Center, she is working as a clinical research coordinator in the Rabinovici Lab to help coordinate studies examining the utility of innovative neuroimaging techniques and other biomarkers for the improved diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Breton Asken, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Breton Asken, PhD, ATC, is a neuropsychology fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in the Department of Neurology. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Exercise & Sport Science – Athletic Training. He then completed his PhD degree in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology) at the University of Florida in 2019, which included a clinical internship at the Brown University Clinical Psychology Internship Training Program.

Charles Windon, MD

Behavioral Neurology Clinical Fellow

Charles Windon, MD, is a behavioral neurology fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. In his current role, he participates in the clinical care of those with neurodegenerative disease and also participates in the research evaluations of those referred to the Memory and Aging Center with a multitude of neurological conditions. Charles is also involved in the community outreach program at the MAC, with a particular interest in outreach to underserved communities, especially the African American community within the San Francisco Bay Area.

Elisabeth Thijssen, MS, BS

Visitor (Graduate)

Lies works with the clinical trials team led by Dr. Adam Boxer. She develops assays and sample analyses of fluid-based biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases with the aim to evaluate therapeutic response in clinical trials.

Adam Staffaroni, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Staffaroni is a neuropsychologist at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. He provides clinical neuropsychological assessments, and his research focuses on predicting disease progression and improving endpoints for clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases. He obtained a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University, with an emphasis in neuropsychology. He completed a clinical internship at the West Los Angeles VA Health Care System and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

Fanny Elahi, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Fanny Elahi is a board-certified neurologist with specific expertise in the evaluation and management of patients with cognitive and behavioral disorders due to degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. She completed her bachelor's degree at Columbia University, her MD from Icahn School of Medicine, at Mount Sinai, and her DPhil from Oxford University.

Paul Sampognaro, MD

HS Clinical Instructor

Dr. Sampognaro majored in neurobiology as an undergrad at Georgetown University. There, he worked as a research assistant in the laboratory of Maria Donoghue, studying the molecular underpinnings of Eph/ephrin signaling and its role in cortical neuronal development. After college, he matriculated to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he earned his MD and worked part-time in Charlotte Sumner’s laboratory, quantifying the degree of SMN1 insufficiency in humans with spinal muscular atrophy.

Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD

Associate Professor

Jennifer Yokoyama obtained her doctorate degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics from UCSF in December 2010 with Dr. Steven Hamilton (Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Human Genetics). Her dissertation comprised work within the Canine Behavioral Genetics Project, utilizing purebred dogs as genetic models for studying neuropsychiatric disease. Utilizing community-based canine DNA samples, Dr.

Gil Rabinovici, MD

Professor

Dr. Rabinovici is the Edward Fein and Pearl Landrith Endowed Professor in Memory & Aging. He received his BS degree from Stanford University and MD from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Stanford University, neurology residency (and chief residency) at UCSF and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the Memory and Aging Center (MAC).

Aimee Kao, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Aimee Kao, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. She directs the UCSF Tau Consortium Human Fibroblast and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Bank and leads the UCSF Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) Neurodegenerative Disease Biomarker Core. Dr. Kao’s clinical expertise includes the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

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