People

Ji-Hye Hwang, PhD

Associate Specialist

Ji-Hye Hwang, PhD, joined the Seeley Selective Vulnerability Research Lab in March 2013 as a research associate and assists with human neuropathological experiments. She holds a PhD degree in neuroscience from Eulji University School of Medicine, South Korea, where her focus was on the histopathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Before joining the Seeley Lab, Ji-Hye served as a researcher at DGIST (Daegu-Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology), South Korea.

Shireen Javandel

Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Shireen coordinates the HIV research program at the Memory and Aging Center, including a number of domestic and international protocols focused on studying the impact of HIV infection on cognition. She also supports the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health and faculty within the Global Brain Health Institute to facilitate research studies aiming to understand neurodegeneration and test strategies to reduce the global impact of dementia.

Taylor Johnson

Staff Research Associate

Taylor joined the Yokoyama Lab at the Memory and Aging Center from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he studied both microbiology and enology. Taylor also helps manage the Biospecimens Core. Prior to his start at UCSF, Taylor worked as a Research Assistant at Cal Poly in cell culture utilizing various commercial probiotics and Vibrio parahaemolyticus to understand human intestinal epithelial and immune cell relationships upon probiotic and pathogenic challenge.

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.

Krystal Karunungan

Research Coordinator

Krystal is a research coordinator in the Rabinovici lab, where she coordinates the IDEAS study as well as the Early Onset and Atypical Alzheimer’s Disease study.

Niall Kavanagh

Communications Officer, GBHI

Niall Kavanagh is a communications officer with the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI). Based at UCSF, he is responsible for developing and sharing the stories and messages of GBHI and the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health.

Rachel Kiekhofer

Research Data Analyst

Rachel joins the Memory and Aging Center as a Research Data Analyst on the Care Ecosystem team, where she manages the Care Ecosystem codebase and collects data through interviews with study participants. In this capacity, she hopes to improve care outcomes for dementia patients and their caregivers.

Tom Kiely, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr. Tom Kiely is a neuropsychologist with clinical expertise covering a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions. He has obtained advanced training at a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient psychiatry departments, in addition to a variety of outpatient centers in neurology.

Mary Koestler, RN, PhD

Project Administrator and Trials Nurse

Mary Koestler joined the Memory and Aging Center’s clinical trials unit as project administrator and trials nurse in July 2007. Dr. Koestler completed a master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis in clinical research management at UCSF followed by a PhD degree. She currently manages industry-sponsored FDA Phase I-III Alzheimer’s disease trials. Dr. Koestler is credentialed by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).

Joel Kramer, PsyD

Director of Neuropsychology

Dr. Kramer is a Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology and the Director of the Memory and Aging Center Neuropsychology program. He earned his doctorate in psychology at Baylor University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the Martinez VA hospital. Dr. Kramer is board certified in clinical neuropsychology.

Lisa Kritikos, RN

Nurse

Lisa is a nurse in the Memory and Aging Center

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