People

Our multidisciplinary team includes neurologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, psychologists, and neuroscientists working together to both uncover underlying deficits and unique strengths that are associated with dyslexia and to develop therapies that can avert or reverse deficits and enhance the strengths.

Neurology Investigators

  • Maria Luisa Gorno-Tempini, MD, PhD., is a behavioral neurologist and the Co-Director of the UCSF Dyslexia Center. As lead neurologist, she applies her expertise in cognitive neurology to language-based learning differences such as dyslexia.
  • Adam Boxer, MD, PhD, is a behavioral neurologist and Associate Professor of Neurology at the Memory and Aging Center. His expertise is in eye-tracking and neuroimaging.
  • Joel Kramer, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist, Professor of Neurology, and Director of the Memory and Aging Center’s Neuropsychology Program and participates in the UCSF Language Clinic. His expertise is in executive functioning and attention systems.
  • Maria Luisa Mandelli, PhD, is a bioengineering researcher at the Memory and Aging Center. She is an expert in the neuroimaging of neurological disorders.
  • Zachary Miller, MD, is a behavioral neurologist at the Memory and Aging Center with expertise in language disorders in children and adults.
  • Kate Possin, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology at the Memory and Aging Center within the UCSF Department of Neurology. She develops cognitive assessment tools to support patient evaluation and monitoring, including virtual reality tests of navigation and tablet-based tools for clinical applications.
  • Katherine Rankin, PhD, is a neuropsychologist at the Memory and Aging Center. Her primary area of expertise is in personality and social behavior.
  • Howard Rosen, MD, is a behavioral neurologist at the Memory and Aging Center. His primary area of interest is in the organization of emotional systems in the brain.
  • Virginia Sturm, PhD, is a psychologist at the UCSF Memory and Aging Program. She is an experienced research in laboratory measurement of emotion and social behavior. She directs the Clinical Affective Neuroscience (CAN) Laboratory is located in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.
  • Christa Watson, PsyD, is a neuropsychologist at the Dyslexia Center. She has a background in psychology, developmental biology, neuroimaging and neuropsychology. Her research interests include brain development across the lifespan.
  • Eduardo Caverzasi,  is a MD PhD Neuroradiologist working as an associate specialist at the Department of Neurology. His research specializes in advanced diffusion and morphometry MRI techniques in primary progressive aphasia (PPA) and dyslexia.
  • Jessica Deleon, MD, is a behavioral neurologist at the Memory and Aging Center who specializes in language disorders in children and adults.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Investigators

  • Robert Hendren, DO., is a Co-Director of the UCSF Dyslexia Center; and Director of the Program for Research On Neurodevelopmental and Translational Outcomes (PRONTO)
  • Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D. is a Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, at UCSF. For 40+ years, she has taught students in general/special education classrooms at public/private schools, provided psycho-educational assessment and literacy intervention, trained pre-/in-service teachers and practitioners, developed curricula, and been involved in policy. She has particular expertise in the training of teachers in the Slingerland Multisensory Structured Language Approach (Structured Literacy) for teaching students with dyslexia. 
  • Nicole Bush, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. Her expertise is in adversity in early life and examining the gene x environment interaction in stress reactivity.
  • Kaja LeWinn, ScD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. She has expertise in epidemiology, social engagement and emotion regulation issues in adolescence.
  • Keith McBurnett, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and a Professor of Psychiatry. He has extensive experience researching behavior disorders and developmental psychopathology such as ADHD, dyslexia, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder.
  • Stephen Bent, MD, is a Professor and Research Director for the Neurodevelopmental Translational Outcomes Research Program (NTORP).
  • Linda Pfiffner, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist with clinical expertise in ADHD, disruptive behavior problems and other related learning or emotional issues in children and adolescents. She has special interests in developing and implementing interventions in the home and in schools.
  • Matthew State, MD, PhD, is world-renowned geneticist with expertise in autism, Tourette syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental syndromes. He was appointed chair of the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute in March of 2013.

Other Investigators

  • Steve Hauser, MD, is chair of Neurology at UCSF and director of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. Dr. Hauser is a leader in the international effort to identify genetic causes of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the first physician-researcher to demonstrate a promising weapon against progressive MS.
  • Edward Chang, MD, is an Associate Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Physiology and the Co-Director for the Program for Neural Engineering at UC Berkeley and San Francisco. Dr. Chang specializes in brain mapping methods, such as awake speech and motor mapping.
  • John Houde, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology. He directs the Speech Neuroscience Laboratory at UC San Francisco. He has expertise in the neural substrate of speech motor control.
  • Elysa Marco, MD, Dr. Marco is a pediatric neurologist, Assistant Professor of Neurology, and Director of Research at the Autism and Neurodevelopment Program. Her research focuses on autism and sensory processing disorders.
  • Pratik Mukherjee, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Radiology and Bioengineering and directs the Neural Connectivity Laboratory. His methodological expertise is in diffusion tensor imaging to measure white matter and computational approaches, with a special interest in children and in traumatic brain injury.
  • Srikantan Nagarajan, PhD, is a Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, and directs the Biomagnetic Imaging Laboratory. He is an expert in computational neuroscience and magnetoencephalography (MEG). He has special interest in research related to neural mechanisms of brain plasticity, sensorimotor learning and speech motor control.

Staff

  • Ariane Welch, MSLP is a speech language pathologist and coordinates studies on primary progressive aphasia, the impact of neurodevelopmental differences on aging, and the adult program of the Dyslexia Center.
  • Nicole Yabut is a clinical research coordinator for the Dyslexia Phenotyping Project. Nicole is the main adminstrative contact point for those interested in participating in research at the Dyslexia Center.
  • Rian Bogley is a clinical research coordinator for the Alba Language Lab and for the adult program of the Dyslexia Center.
  • Matthew Neylan is a clinical research coordinator for the Dyslexia Phenotyping Project
  • Swati Sudarsan is a clinical research coordinator for the Dyslexia Phenotyping Project
  • Kesshi Jordan, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in the Alba Language Lab led by Dr. Marilu Gorno Tempini.
  • Cheng Wang is a postdoctoral scholar at the Dyslexia Center.
  • Eleanor Palser, PhD is a postdoctoral scholar specializing in developmental cognitive neuroscience.
  • Carly Miler is a speech language pathologist who evaluates research participants with primary progressive aphasia and learning differences.
  • Melissa Brown is a clinical research analyst and education specialist.
  • Matt Davis is the lab manager at brainLENS in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry under the direction of Dr. Fumiko Hoeft. She is primarily involved in research efforts to understand social and emotional learning (e.g., motivation, resilience, stereotype threat) in students who struggle with learning.
  • Felicia Widjaja, MPH: is the lead coordinator for  PRONTO.
  • Kat Dang, MS: is the statistician for PRONTO.
  • Tracy Warren: is the clinical coordinator for PRONO.
  • Megan Chung joined the Dyslexia Center and the Precision Learning Center as a research assistant in 2017 to work on validating AppRISE.
  • Ella Pyle joined the Dyslexia Center and the Precision Learning Center as a research assistant in 2017 to work on validating AppRISE.
  • Isabel Sunshine joined the Dyslexia Center and the Precision Learning Center as a research assistant in 2017 to work on validating AppRISE.