Yaffe Lab

UCSF Faculty

Lab Director

Kristine Yaffe


Kristine Yaffe, MD

Dr. Yaffe attended Yale University for her undergraduate degree, received her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed residencies in Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the Scola Endowed Chair and Vice Chair, Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology, and Co-Director of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Training Program at UCSF. She is also the Chief of NeuroPsychiatry and Director of the Memory Evaluation Clinic at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Her research, clinical work, and mentoring focuses on geriatric neuropsychiatry. Her specific training and expertise is in the epidemiology of neuropsychiatric disorders among older adults, and she is especially interested in identifying novel risk factors that may lead to preventive strategies with a particular emphasis on psychosocial and medical co-morbidities. A great deal of her clinical work and research aims to improve the mental health of older adults, especially older veterans. Dr. Yaffe is a leading expert in the epidemiology of dementia and cognitive aging. Her research bridges neurology, psychiatry, and epidemiology with a primary focus on dementia prevention and modifiable risk factors. Dr. Yaffe is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Beeson Scientific Advisory Board, and the Global Council on Brain Health, and she serves as Multiple PI/PI of almost a dozen NIH and Department of Defense grants. With over 500 peer-reviewed articles (H-index=139; recognized by Clarivate Analytics as one of the most highly cited researchers in her field in 2014, 2018, and 2019), Dr. Yaffe has received several awards for her groundbreaking work, including the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s Distinguished Scientist Award and the American Academy of Neurology’s Potamkin Prize for Alzheimer’s Research.



Deborah Barnes, PhD is a Professor at UCSF in the Department of Psychiatry and a Mental Health Research Investigator at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating strategies to maintain cognitive function and prevent or delay dementia onset in late life. Dr. Barnes also works on developing dementia risk prediction models that can be used to estimate the impact of risk factor reduction and to target prevention strategies toward those who are at greatest risk.
Amy Beyers, PhD is an Associate Professor at UCSF in the Department of Psychiatry and a Mental Health Research Investigator at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her research focuses on cognitive and health outcomes associated with psychological disorders among older adults, including late-life depression among older adults and the effects of late-life PTSD among U.S. veterans.
Eric Vittinghoff, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the UCSF School of Medicine. Dr. Vittinghoff provides statistical support and mentoring to clinical researchers and fellows.
Allison Kaup, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and a Clinical Research Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Her research focuses on cognitive reserve and other factors that protect against cognitive decline, particularly in high-risk older adult populations. She is also investigating mobile cognitive training as a potential means to enhance cognitive reserve. Dr. Kaup has been selected to participate in the 2017-2018 Emerging Leaders in Aging Program, which focuses on augmenting existing leadership skills relevant to clinical care, research, and education.
Raquel Gardner, MD received her MD from Harvard University. She completed her internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at UCSF and was a Behavioral Neurology Fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center in 2012. Her research focuses on the cognitive and behavioral effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among older adults.
Yue Leng, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. She received her PhD and MPhil in epidemiology from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of sleep, particularly the relationship between sleep, cognition and other health outcomes.
Willa Brenowitz, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry. She received her PhD in epidemiology and MPH in health services from the University of Washington School of Public health. She is broadly interested understanding the role of multimorbidity in cognitive decline; her current research focuses on the relationship between sensory impairments (e.g. hearing and vision loss) and dementia in older adults.
Erica Kornblith, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with advanced training in neuropsychology, and clinical interests include the assessment and treatment of the cognitive and emotional sequelae of TBI and acquired brain injury. Her research focuses on the rehabilitation of executive function in Veterans with TBI and polytrauma, identifying factors impacting response to cognitive rehabilitation intervention in this population, and using technology to increase access to cognitive rehabilitation, particularly for aging Veterans.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Christina S. Dintica, PhD, received her PhD in medical science with focus on epidemiology of cognitive aging from Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Her postdoctoral work will focus on vascular risk factors and subclinical CVD markers in relation to cognitive outcomes and neuroimaging patterns of brain aging.
Jennifer Eastman earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine where she specialized in clinical neuropsychology. Her research is focused on neuropsychological assessment and neuroimaging of various clinical syndromes to better understand cognitive decline. This includes a special interest in understanding the impact of cancer-related cognitive impairment in older adults.



Tina Hoang, MPH, Research Associate

Carrie Peltz, PhD, Research Associate

Alice Roberts, MA, Research Manager

Feng Xia, MPH, Programmer

Amber Bahorik, PhD, Research Associate

Maggie Bruck, BS, Research Associate

Sara Schweizer, BS, Research Associate

Gary Tarasovsky, Data Manager, Webmaster