Jennifer Yokoyama obtained her PhD in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics from UCSF in December 2010. Under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Hamilton (Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Human Genetics), her dissertation comprised work completed within the context of the Canine Behavioral Genetics Project. The overarching goal of the project is to leverage the simplified genetic structure in pure breeds of dog to glean novel information on canine neuropsychiatric disorders that are analogous to complex human diseases. Utilizing community-based DNA samples from domestic, purebreed dogs, Dr. Yokoyama performed genome-wide surveys for genetic risk loci underlying the canine anxiety disorder noise phobia, as well as for loci underlying adult-onset deafness in Border collies.
Dr. Yokoyama is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Memory and Aging Center, where she is investigating genetic risk for neurodegenerative disease. Specifically, she is interested in the effect genotype can have on brain physiology, behavior and cognition in healthy adults, and how this may relate to increased vulnerability to (or protection from) disease processes in later stages of life. She is also particularly interested in understanding how these effects may differ across diverse ethnic populations. Dr. Yokoyama's long-term goal is to understand how variation across the entire genome confers risk for particular types of neurodegeneration for purposes of early treatment and therapeutic intervention.
Pia is a San Francisco native of Latino and Indian descent. She received her bachelor's degree in the biological basis of behavior in 2008 from the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, Pia researched the effect of low birth weight on the behavioral and central nervous system (CNS) response to stress under the direction of Dr. Teresa Reyes, PhD. In addition, Pia has a background in adolescent counseling, women's health and clinical volunteering. She is presently part of the Volunteer Health Workers Program at the Women's Community Clinic in San Francisco.
After exploring clinical research in Kolkata, India as well as volunteering in the Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Surgery Research Departments at San Francisco General Hospital, Pia joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC) in 2011. She is excited to be involved in research again and is thrilled to be working with such a comprehensive team.
Pia works with Dr. Gil Rabinovici at the MAC and in the Jagust Lab at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley. Dr. Rabinovici's research focuses on pairing clinical presentation of disease with FDG and PIB PET imaging techniques. The hope is that these techniques will increase the ability of clinicians to better understand and accurately diagnose neurodegenerative disease in the pre-clinical stages.
Dr. Chiong received his medical degree from UCSF and his doctorate in philosophy from NYU, where his work focused on ethical issues in clinical research and medical education, personal identity, and brain death. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Stanford University and then returned to UCSF for his residency training in neurology. He is a clinical fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Mark D'Esposito in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Chiong's current research is focused on decision-making and how it is affected by aging and neurodegenerative disease. This work is supported by the American Academy of Neurology Foundation Robert Katzman, MD Clinical Research Training Fellowship.
Stephanie joined the Seeley Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory in October 2007 as an Associate Specialist. Her background is in sleep and circadian rhythms research, including neuroanatomy. She completed a doctorate in neurobiology (CB Saper, Harvard University), a master's in medical science (Harvard Medical School), and a postdoc focusing on narcolepsy (E Mignot, Stanford University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute). In the Seeley lab, Stephanie is helping to characterize von Economo neurons in health and disease. Using immunohistochemical and molecular biological techniques, Stephanie is exploring the normal and pathological neuroanatomy and pathology of these neurons.
Jamie Fong received her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley and her master’s degree in human genetics at Sarah Lawrence College. Jamie is a board certified genetic counselor.
Jamie arrived at the Memory and Aging Center (MAC) by way of Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she previously provided genetic counseling to individuals about thoracic aortic aneurysms in a cardiology research setting. Jamie has maintained a long-standing interest in neurogenetics and previously volunteered at the MAC in 2002. To this day, she remembers vividly the moving stories and experiences of MAC families she met many years ago. Jamie is delighted to return to the UCSF team.
Jamie returned to the MAC in 2011. She provides genetic counseling to individuals and families who are affected by or at risk for neurodegenerative conditions. She is intimately involved in the MAC’s efforts to understand the genetic underpinnings of dementia.