People

Sarah Herrman

Clinical Research Coordinator

Sarah is an assistant clinical research coordinator for the MAC Clinical Trials Program and Boxer lab.

Joseph Hesse

Director of Innovation

Joe Hesse joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2002 and serves as the center’s Director of Innovation. His focus is the development of informatics and computational infrastructure in support of precision medicine. He works in collaboration with many groups and faculty across UCSF with the overall goal of delivering technology solutions to clinicians and researchers that are both scientifically agile and regulatory compliant.

Hilary Heuer, PhD

Oculomotor Specialist

Dr. Hilary Heuer is an oculomotor specialist in the Boxer lab.

Maria Hunt

Administrative Manager, ND Brain Bank

Maria joined the Memory and Aging Center in February 2021 as Administrative Manager to provide operational, analytical and administrative support to the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank. She has a BA degree in education, with minors in mathematics and Spanish literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the MAC, Maria managed education programs, business solutions and strategic initiatives in the healthcare, insurance and financial services industries, both nationally and internationally.

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.

Ashley Jackson

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Ashley is transitioning from a former career as a ballet dancer to a field of medicine, science and groundbreaking clinical research. She graduated magna cum laude with a performing arts degree in the Liberal Education for Arts Professionals (LEAP) program at Saint Mary’s College of California. While focusing on her artistry as a ballerina, she enjoyed traveling the world and experiencing unique cultures.

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.

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.

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