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Genetics and Family Studies

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Priyanka Bhatt

Imaging Core Associate

Priyanka joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in June 2012. She is helping Dr. Adam Boxer on a pilot project of developing the Brainstem Atlas.

Eileen Pedersen

Clinical Coordinator

Eileen is a clinical coordinator for the UCSF Memory and Aging Center with a BA degree from Dominican University of California in English.

CJD, a personal story

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Steve, a California physician, whose wife spontaneously developed CJD, shares his experiences with the public. CJD is a rapidly progressive dementia whose study may yield important insights about other, more prevalent dementias. We thank Steve and his children for sharing their stories. Their contribution has contributed to a growing awareness about CJD.

What is a prion?

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Pardis Esmaeili

Research Coordinator

Pardis Esmaeili graduated from San Francisco State with a bachelor of science degree in physiology and minor in sexuality studies. She has worked on a variety of research projects including looking at neurogenesis in tobacco hornworms in the lab of Dr. Christopher Moffitt, impact of lifestyle and life stress on telomere length in the labs of Dr. Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, and intervention programs for patients with diabetes under Principal Investigator Dr. Lawrence Fisher. In 2012, she joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center as a research coordinator for Dr. Valcour's HIV Over 60 Cohort study, looking at HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) in older HIV-positive individuals. Pardis is interested in pursuing an academic career in neurocognition, conducting research on the impact of long term estrogen therapy on cognition and memory in male to female transgender individuals. Pardis looks forward to mentoring aspiring queer/LGBT scientists and researchers in the future.

Valcour Lab website

Alice Hua

Research Associate

Alice graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012 with a BA degree in psychology. While at Cal, she volunteered at the Matthew Walker Sleep & Neuroimaging Lab and Gopnik Cognitive Development Lab, exploring the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive tasks as well as testing three-year-old's spatial cognition strategies. Alice later joined the Greater Good Science Center where she investigated and published digests on gratitude, mindfulness and empathy. Between classes and lab, she also choreographed hip hop dances, taught free workshops and organized sets to be showcased at the end of each semester.

As a research associate to Drs. Bill Seeley and Virginia Sturm, Alice joined the Memory and Aging Center in August 2012 to examine the social and emotional behavior and network organization of patients of neurodegenerative disease.

In her free time, Alice loves exploring the city and hopes to continue pursuing her passion for dance.

Kristie Wood

Research Coordinator

Kristie Wood graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in cognitive neuroscience. While studying at UC Berkeley, Kristie volunteered as a research associate in the D’Esposito Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, was president of the Cognitive Science Student Association and co-facilitated a course called “Adventures in Neuroscience.” Post-graduation, Kristie worked as a research associate at the Northern California Institute of Research and Education, developing cognitive training tools for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Kristie joined the Memory and Aging Center in 2011 and currently coordinates both Cognitive and Behavioral Control in Frontotemporal Dementia as well as Domain Specific Tasks of Executive Function.

In her free time, Kristie likes to write fiction and poetry, meditate, paint and run outside.

Anna Khazenzon

Research Associate

Anna Khazenzon joined the Memory and Aging Center in July of 2012. She works with Dr. Suzee Lee on neuroimaging studies evaluating the role genetic risk factors play in atypical dementias. She received her BA degree in cognitive science from UC Berkeley in May of 2012. As an undergraduate, she worked in the Walker Lab of Sleep and Neuroimaging, investigating the role of reward in memory using fMRI, and in the Elias Lab of Animal Communication and Behavior, studying courtship plasticity in the male jumping spider. Aside from marveling at the workings of the brain, she enjoys playing minesweeper and eating her vegetables.

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