Accelerating the development of individualized treatments for diseases that affect the brain
 
 
 

Accelerating the development of individualized treatments for brain disease 

 
 
 
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Our mission

Integrate imaging with genetic, health, and behavioral data to understand, diagnose, and treat brain disease

 
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Our perspective

Brain disorders have different underlying causes in different people

 
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Our goal

Develop ways to identify these subgroups of people and target trials and treatments to their individual illness

 
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For us, this mission is personal

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Dr. Desikan's fight against ALS: scientific and personal

 
 

In February of 2017, I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, one of the very neurodegenerative diseases that has been the focus of my research.

Using a hands-free setup, I am continuing my research with an entirely new perspective and a heightened sense of urgency. My team at UCSF is breaking new ground in understanding the genetic basis of the disease, in turn accelerating the development of individualized treatments.

My vision is to help people like me who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases and for whom being alive is a daily struggle.

 
 
 
 
photo by: Nick Otto
 
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Our Work

 

Through the brain we shape, and are shaped by, the world around us.

Diseases that affect the brain are particularly devastating, with the potential to redefine who we are at the most fundamental level.

We study brain disease throughout the lifespan using an approach that combines imaging, genetic, health, and behavioral data to better understand the root cause of disease in individual patients.

 

Research at the Laboratory for Precision Neuroimaging focuses on:

 
 
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Neurodegeneration

Leveraging big data to understand the genetic architecture of neurodegenerative disease

 
 
 
 

Prediction can lead to prevention

Our Polygenic Hazard Score measures an individual’s risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.

We compare your combination of variants across dozens of genes with genetic variation and Alzheimer’s disease rates across thousands of people.

The result is your personalized genetic risk profile for Alzheimer’s Disease.

 
 

THE POLYGENIC HAZARD SCORE IN THE NEWS:

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCIENCE:

 
 
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Brain Networks

Understanding brain disease through the complex networks that power the brain

 
 

Imaging biomarkers of early Huntington's Disease

Functional connectivity MRI reveals altered brain circuitry before structural changes appear in early Huntington’s Disease.

 
 
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Brain Development

How the brain develops informs our understanding of brain health and disease throughout life

 
 
 

Our Team

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Rahul Desikan,
MD PhD

Co-Director, Laboratory for Precision Neuroimaging at UCSF

Assistant Professor in Residence at UCSF in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging
(Photo by: Nick Otto)

Full UCSF Bio

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Leo Sugrue,
MD PhD

Co-Director, Laboratory for Precision Neuroimaging at UCSF

Assistant Professor in Residence at UCSF in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging

Full UCSF Bio

Chin Hong Tan, PhD  Postdoctoral Scholar

Chin Hong Tan, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

Maria Olaru, BS  Staff Research Associate

Maria Olaru, BS
Staff Research Associate

Iris Broce, PhD  Postdoctoral Scholar

Iris Broce, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

Ryan Nillo, BA  Staff Research Associate

Ryan Nillo, BA
Staff Research Associate

Yi Li, MD  Assistant Professor

Yi Li, MD
Assistant Professor

Andreas Rauschecker, MD PhD  Neuroradiology Fellow

Andreas Rauschecker, MD PhD
Neuroradiology Fellow

Matt Barkovich, MD  Neuroradiology Fellow

Matt Barkovich, MD
Neuroradiology Fellow

 

Friends and Collaborators

Our work would not be possible without the ongoing support and collaboration of the neuroscience community and our home institution, the University of California, San Francisco.

 
Christopher Hess, MD, PhD  Alexander R. Margulis Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF.

Christopher Hess, MD, PhD
Alexander R. Margulis Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF.

Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD  Assistant Professor at the Memory and Aging Center, UCSF

Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD
Assistant Professor at the Memory and Aging Center, UCSF

Jim Barkovich, MD  Professor in Residence and Chief of Pediatric Neuroradiology in the Department of Radiology at UCSF

Jim Barkovich, MD
Professor in Residence and Chief of Pediatric Neuroradiology in the Department of Radiology at UCSF

Bill Newsome, PhD  Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Harman Family Provostial Professor, Professor of Neurobiology and, by courtesy, of Psychology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Bill Newsome, PhD
Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Harman Family Provostial Professor, Professor of Neurobiology and, by courtesy, of Psychology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Christine Glastonbury, MD  Interim Chief of Neuroradiology and Professor of Clinical Radiology, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and Radiation Oncology at the UCSF

Christine Glastonbury, MD
Interim Chief of Neuroradiology and Professor of Clinical Radiology, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and Radiation Oncology at the UCSF

Bruce Miller, MD  A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Neurology at UCSF

Bruce Miller, MD
A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Neurology at UCSF

Anders Dale, PhD  Founding Co-Director of the Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, an interdisciplinary initiative of the Departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, UCSD

Anders Dale, PhD
Founding Co-Director of the Multimodal Imaging Laboratory, an interdisciplinary initiative of the Departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, UCSD

Celeste Karch, PhD  Assistant Professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Celeste Karch, PhD
Assistant Professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Ole Andreassen, MD PhD  Professor in Psychiatry, University of Oslo

Ole Andreassen, MD PhD
Professor in Psychiatry, University of Oslo