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 has published over 475 peer-reviewed articles (H-index:125) and has received several awards for her accomplishments, including the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry Distinguished Scientist Award, the John Mackey Award for Excellence in Dementia Care, and the American College of Psychiatrists Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry. She was named one of the world's most influential scientific minds by Thomson Reuters in 2014, and she was recently awarded the prestigious Potamkin Prize by the American Academy of Neurology.




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.


Postdoctoral Researchers


Willa Brenowitz, PhD 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.


Yue Leng, PhD 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.


Claire Sexton, DPhil completed her doctoral and postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. She is a Global Brain Health Institute Atlantic Fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Her work investigates non-pharmacological factors proposed to promote healthy aging, including physical activity and sleep.   


Patrick Stuchlik, PhD received his PhD in epidemiology from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and MS in statistics. His research aims to understand the cardiovascular risk factors associated with dementia and cognitive aging, particularly in middle aged 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

Ekaterina Tangog, MS(c), Research Associate