aging

healthy, normal aging

Nihar Patel

Research Coordinator

Nihar Patel joined the Memory and Aging Center in April 2012. He is the research coordinator for the Aging and Cognitive Decline project, which is a longitudinal study that aims at identifying the cognitive mechanisms and neural structures that underlie the decline in executive functioning observed in normal aging.

Dena Dubal, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Dubal received her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Her graduate research with Dr. Phyllis Wise focused on effects of hormones on stroke injury. Dr. Dubal completed a medical internship and neurology residency at UCSF, where she also served as chief resident. She then trained with Drs. Lennart Mucke and Bruce Miller, who shared the 2011 Potamkin Prize in Neurodegeneration. Dr. Dubal is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCSF and directs the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Aging research. Her laboratory's research focus is on how to slow or block aging to prevent diseases of the aging brain, such as Alzheimer's. She is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Career Development Award through the NIA and American Federation for Aging Research.

Information on Dr. Dubal's Laboratory for Neuroscience and Aging Research can be accessed at www.duballab.org.

Georges Naasan, MD

Neurologist, Clinical Instructor

Dr. Georges Naasan received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed an internship in medicine and a residency in neurology at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals of Cleveland. He joined the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2011 where he is a Clinical Instructor and a Behavioral Neurology Fellow.

As a neurologist, Dr. Naasan evaluates patients and research participants with various neurodegenerative disorders through a multidisciplinary approach and provides follow-up care. He is particularly interested in the psychotic manifestations of neurodegenerative diseases such as hallucinations and delusions. During his residency, he used functional MRI imaging techniques to study the anatomy of misidentification delusions such as the Capgras syndrome.

Alex Beagle

Research Coordinator

Alex graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 with BA degrees in cognitive science and psychology. During his undergraduate career he volunteered in the Matthew Walker Sleep & Neuroimaging Lab, specializing in EEG and fMRI studies on sleep’s relationship to emotional processing. He also volunteered in UC Berkeley Phonology Lab where he helped investigate phonetically-motivated differences in speech perception. During his time at Cal he also served as a Director’s Assistant in the Cal Band, arranging music for the drumline.

Alex joined the Memory and Aging Center in July 2011 as a research assistant for the Hillblom Aging Network, a longitudinal study of what constitutes normal aging and what early cognitive declines are associated with neurodegenerative disease. He also coordinates Dr. Keith Vossel’s study on the relationship between neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy.

In his free time during the fall, Alex can be found firmly planted in front of his TV watching college football. During any other season you might find him attending concerts around the bay area, trying out a new restaurant, or taking a trip to somewhere new.

Andrew Trujillo

Research Associate

Andrew joined the Seeley Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory in June 2011 as an Imaging Research Associate. He graduated from Pomona College in 2009 with a bachelor of arts degree in cognitive science. Andrew comes to the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC) after having completed a two year apprenticeship at Stanford University where he worked on neuroimaging projects related to reward processing. Andrew assists with fMRI data collection and analysis across multiple projects including the Autonomics study.

Alissa Nana Li, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alissa joined the Seeley Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory in 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow. Her background is in neurodegeneration research. Alissa completed a BSc degree with honors in biomedical science in 2004 and a PhD degree in anatomy in 2009 from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where she investigated the variable pattern of cortical neuronal loss in Huntington’s disease. In the Seeley lab she is investigating the selective vulnerability of von Economo neurons (VENs) in frontotemporal dementia.

Aging and Cognitive Decline

This is a longitudinal study which aims at identifying the cognitive mechanisms and neural structures that underlie the decline in executive functioning observed in normal aging.

Summary

  • Study director: Joel Kramer, PsyD
  • Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Recruiting?: No
  • Official study title: Mechanisms of Executive Decline in Normal Aging
  • Conditions studied: Healthy aging

Norbert Lee

Staff Research Associate

Norbert Lee joined Dr. Seeley's Selective Vulnerability Research Laboratory as a Staff Research Associate in 2010. He assists with brain banking and other histology technician functions.

David Perry, MD

Neurology Fellow

Dr. Perry graduated from medical school at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he also researched obsessive-compulsive features in dementia. He is a clinical instructor and fellow in behavioral neurology at the Memory and Aging Center and participates in the evaluation and treatment of patients in the MAC clinic.

His current area of research interest is the impact of neurodegenerative illness on reward processing.

Jennifer S. Yokoyama, PhD

Assistant Professor

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.

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