Jennifer Yokoyama obtained her PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics from UCSF in December 2010 with Dr. Steven Hamilton (Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Human Genetics). Her dissertation comprised work within the Canine Behavioral Genetics Project, utilizing pure bred dogs as genetic models for studying neuropsychiatric disease. Utilizing community-based canine DNA samples, Dr. Yokoyama performed genome-wide surveys for genetic loci underlying the canine anxiety disorder noise phobia, as well as for loci underlying adult-onset deafness in border collies.
Dr. Yokoyama is currently an Assistant Professor at the Memory and Aging Center, where she is beginning a research program in neurogenetics of aging. Specifically, she is interested in the effect genotype can have on brain physiology, behavior and cognition in healthy older adults, and how this is related to increased vulnerability to (or protection from) neurodegenerative processes during aging. She is also particularly interested in understanding these effects in 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.
Dr. Chiong received his medical degree from UC San Francisco 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 then received an American Brain Foundation/Alzheimer's Association Clinical Research Training Fellowship to pursue training in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging in the laboratory of Dr. Mark D'Esposito at 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; as well as the ethical and policy implications of these changes. This work is supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (administered through the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute K Scholars program), and the Hellman Family Foundation.
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.