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Panos Theofilas, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Panos Theofilas is a postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Dr. Grinberg at UCSF Memory and Aging Center since 2012. His research focus is on neuropathological changes and susceptibility of subcortical brain regions in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). His project takes advantage of the great availability of elderly controls from the Brain Bank of the Brazilian Aging Study Group and UCSF Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank in order to characterize the susceptibility of brainstem nuclei in AD. Dr. Theofilas’ research methodology includes analysis of different components of human brain circuitries as a whole by combining unbiased stereology, immunohistochemistry/biochemical assays and making use of advanced 3D computer graphics for histological volume reconstructions. His academic background include a BSc degree in zoology and a MSc degree in neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh in the UK. He completed his doctorate degree at Bonn University in Germany on programmed cell death signaling pathways in animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy and acquired expertise in stereotaxic brain surgery and molecular biology techniques.

Sophie Lin, PhD

Research Coordinator

Sophie joined Dr. Adam Boxer’s clinical trials team at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2013. Sophie is the primary study coordinator for several clinical trials.

She completed her doctorate degree in pathobiology at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine and her undergraduate degree at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

Serggio Lanata, MD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Serggio Lanata was raised in Peru, where he began his undergraduate studies in general science. He later earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida. He obtained his medical degree from the University of South Florida, and then completed his medicine internship and neurology residency at Brown University. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in July 2013 as a Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow. He evaluates and treats patients referred to the MAC clinic.

Currently, he is mostly interested in the phenotypic overlap that exists between behavioral variant FTD and different psychiatric disorders, and how our understanding of bvFTD can inform our knowledge of the pathophysiology that underlies specific psychiatric disorders.

Salvatore Spina, MD, PhD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Spina received his medical degree from the University of Catania, Italy. He completed a neurology residency at the University of Siena, Italy from which he also obtained his doctorate degree on mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He was trained in neuropathology of dementia syndromes at the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, Indianapolis in the laboratory of Dr. Bernardino Ghetti. Later, he completed an internship in internal medicine and a neurology residency at Indiana University. Dr. Spina’s research focuses on the clinicopathologic and genetic correlations in neurodegenerative dementia syndromes, with a special interest on frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Richard Tsai, MD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Richard Tsai received his undergraduate degree in molecular and cell biology at University of California, Berkeley and a joint MD/MBA degree at Drexel University. He completed a neurology residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, serving as chief resident in his last year. During his residency Dr. Tsai studied dementia and elderly populations in the developing world and worked on white matter imaging of dual task gait performance.

Dr. Tsai is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese. In addition to evaluating patients at the Memory and Aging Center, he sees patients at the Chinese Hospital and SFDPH Chinatown Public Health Center in Chinatown.

Peter Pressman, MD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Pressman received a BA degree in biology and English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He then spent three years as a research assistant at Oregon Health & Science University’s Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center under Dr. Jeffrey Kaye. Dr. Pressman went on to receive his MD from Oregon Health & Science University, then moved to Chicago, Illinois where he completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology through Northwestern University. Dr. Pressman joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2011 as a Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow.

Dr. Pressman is particularly interested in communication, emotion, and sensorimotor integration in neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, early onset Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He has been awarded a Clinical Research Training Fellowship by the American Brain Foundation to pursue research on the melody of speech in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Pressman is also a freelance writer whose work can be read on neurology.about.com.

Jee Bang, MD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Bang completed her bachelor’s degree in brain and cognitive sciences at MIT. She received her medical degree from University at Buffalo. She completed her residency in neurology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She then joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center where she is a Clinical Instructor and a Behavioral Neurology Fellow. As a neurologist, Dr. Bang evaluates and treats patients with various neurodegenerative disorders and provides them with follow-up care. Her current research focuses on understanding the association between cognitive and movement disorders.

Elissaios Karageorgiou, MD, PhD

Clinical Instructor and Behavioral Neurology Fellow

Dr. Karageorgiou was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and raised in Athens, Greece, where he graduated from Athens College and subsequently obtained a medical degree and a PhD degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Upon completion of his medical studies, he worked as a post-doctoral associate at the Brain Sciences Center of the University of Minnesota under the mentorship of Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, MD, PhD, studying the encephalographic brain patterns in health and diseases such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. He subsequently completed residency training in neurology at the University of Minnesota, where he also served as the Associate Chief Resident for Research and Education. After his residency, he joined the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco as a behavioral neurology fellow providing care and conducting research in the field of dementia.

Dr. Karageorgiou’s primary goal is the provision of optimal care to his patients and their families, a goal which also guides his translational research. He has been awarded the Robert Katzman, MD, Clinical Research Training Fellowship by the American Brain Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association to pursue research on magnetoencephalographic neural interactions in frontotemporal dementia. He is also the recipient of the Young Investigator Award by the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research for his work on the early diagnosis of schizophrenia and related psychoses. During his residency at the University of Minnesota, he received the John R. Gates Award for his clinical qualities and patient advocacy and the Benjamin Shapiro Award for his research on the early and noninvasive diagnosis of brain disorders.

Alyssa Caplan

NIFD Research Coordinator

Alyssa joined the Memory and Aging Center in July 2013. She coordinates the Neuroimaging in Frontotemporal Dementia study. This longitudinal study is aimed at determining which imaging modalities and biomarkers help predict the onset and monitor the progression of frontotemporal dementia.

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