People

Sarat Vatsavayai, PhD

Associate Specialist

Sarat Vatsavayai received an MSc degree in Human Genetics from Andhra University, India. He then did his doctoral work in the field of Huntington’s disease at the Open University, UK, where he was characterizing a novel mouse model and was trying to find out if DNA repeat instability could modify disease progression. In July 2013, he joined Dr. Seeley’s lab and is studying the molecular basis of C9ORF72 mutation in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Stephanie Vento

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Stephanie is an assistant clinical research coordinator for the 4RTNI-2 study and the Boxer Lab. She has a BS degree in psychology from Northeastern University and has previously worked as a research assistant in the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD and with Dr. David Barlow at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Christina Veziris

Clinical Research Coordinator

Christina Veziris is an assistant clinical research coordinator in the UCSF Clinical Affective Neuroscience (CAN) Lab. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minors in neuroscience and health studies. She volunteered in the CAN lab for a year and then worked in the Relationships, Emotions, and Health Lab at San Francisco State University for three years using the Facial Action Coding System to code facial emotions.

Christine Walsh, PhD

Assistant Professor

Christine M. Walsh, PhD, received her BA degree in physiology from Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin in Ireland. Dr. Walsh did her doctoral work at the University of Michigan studying the effects of REM sleep modulation on learning and memory. She also studied the neural correlates of cognitive aging. In 2011 Dr. Walsh joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center where she has been studying sleep in both healthy older adults and in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Walsh is particularly interested in the contribution of sleep disturbance to cognitive decline.

Kathy Wang

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Kathy Wang is an assistant clinical research coordinator in the MAC Clinical Trials program and Boxer lab.

Cheng Wang, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Cheng Wang is a postdoctoral fellow working with the UCSF Dyslexia Center and ALBA Language Neurobiology Lab. Prior to joining UCSF, she completed a BS degree from East China Normal University, a MS degree in social neuroscience at Peking University, and a PhD degree in cognitive neuroscience from University of Michigan. Her research interests include the neural and genetic mechanisms of reading and language processes, as well as intergenerational transmission of emotion regulation.

Catherine Wang

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.

Christa Watson, PsyD

Adjunct Instructor

Dr. Watson graduated from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology-Stanford PsyD Consortium in 2014. She has a background in psychology, developmental biology, neuroimaging and neuropsychology. Her research interests include brain development across the lifespan. She is currently working on dyslexia in the ALBA Language Neurobiology Lab and a pediatric HIV brain imaging study with Dr. Victor Valcour

Sophia Weiner-Light

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Sophia joined UCSF in September 2018 as a research coordinator in Dr. Joel Kramer’s lab. She is currently coordinating a study examining the effects of chronic inflammation on brain aging in healthy elderly individuals and in those with mild cognitive impairment. She also works as a research coordinator on the Care Ecosystem team as well as the Community Outreach Program, working with both English and Spanish speakers.

Liz Weis

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator

Liz graduated in December 2016 from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA degree in psychology and neuroscience. She has a background in collecting and analyzing electroencephalogram data and working in a clinical setting with all age groups. Liz joined the ALBA Language Neurobiology Lab in May 2018 and is working as a research coordinator for Dr. Maria Luisa Gorno Tempini.

Ariane Welch

Speech Language Pathologist

Ariane is a speech language pathologist from Australia. She performs diagnostic speech and language assessments for research participants with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), treats patients with PPA via our PPA Speech Therapy trial and researches the diagnosis and treatment of motor speech disorders in PPA. 

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