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Neurology Staff

James B. Brewer, MD, PhD James B. Brewer, MD, PhD Director of the Shiley-Marocs ADRC. Professor of Neurosciences. Joined the ADRC in 2004. Medical Degree: Stanford University and his neurology residency training at Johns Hopkins University. He joined the Department of Neurosciences in 2004, in a joint recruitment of the Departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, and is a leading investigator at the interdisciplinary Multimodal Imaging Laboratory. Field of interest: Structural and functional brain changes in early Alzheimer’s disease.
Jody Corey-Bloom MD, PhD Jody Corey-Bloom MD, PhD Clinical Professor, Department of Neurosciences. Joined the ADRC in 1990. Medical Degree: 1986 UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA. Field of Interest: clinical research pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease and neurological disorders in the elderly.
Dr. Howard Feldman

Dr. Howard Feldman is a neurologist with special expertise in cognitive disorders and the dementias. He is Professor in the Department of Neurosciences, at the University of California, San Diego and Director of the Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study (from April 1, 2016). He holds an affiliate appointment at the University of British Columbia, where he has as served Director of the Clinic for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorder, and as the inaugural Fisher Family, and Alzheimer Society of British Columbia Endowed Professorship for Alzheimer’s disease research. He has authored or coauthored over 160 peer reviewed publications among total publications of > 390 and has H Index > 50. His career contributions have been profiled in Lancet Neurology in 2007, and in 2014 he was named by Thomson Reuters as a ‘highly cited’ neuroscientist (2002-2012) and among ‘the world’s most influential scientific minds’. He has been appointed as Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the American Academy of Neurology in 2008.

Douglas R. Galasko, MD

Douglas R. Galasko, MD  Associate Director of the Shiley-Marcos ADRC Clinical Core is a neurologist who conducts clinical and basic research on Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, he has focused on biological markers and genes related to AD, and understanding the clinical course and novel therapeutics for AD. Together with collaborators, he has found that levels of the proteins tau and beta-amyloid protein in CSF are useful markers for AD. These biomarkers may be useful in identifying even very early stages of AD. Dr. Galasko and colleagues also identified the Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) as accounting for about 15 percent of patients at our center, many of whom were originally thought to have AD. Dr Galasko has contributed to diagnostic criteria for DLB, and also studies cognitive decline in Parkinson’s Disease, which can overlap with DLB. He has recently helped to  develop biomarkers in CSF related to synaptic damage in AD, and a specific CSF biomarker for DLB and PD. He has contributed to national efforts to develop Appropriate Use Criteria for CSF biomarkers for AD, and is working on projects to help to develop and standardize blood tests that may help in screening for Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr Galasko has been an investigator in a large number of academic and industry clinical trials for AD.

Gabriel Léger

Doctor Gabriel Léger completed his training in clinical neurology at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, where he also performed research in imaging of neurodegenerative diseases. He completed clinical fellowships in Movement Disorders at McGill, and in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at Northwestern University, Chicago.   He returned to Montreal, where he was Assistant Professor and Director of the Neurology Residency program at the University of Montreal.  In 2011, he moved to the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health of the Cleveland Clinic, Las Vegas, where he directed their fellowship program in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry and their FTD and young-onset dementia clinic.  He has participated in numerous clinical trials targeting the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. In addition, he has special interests and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of atypical and focal dementias, including frontotemporal dementia (FTD or Pick’s disease), Primary Progressive Aphasia, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, and dementias with Lewy bodies.  He joined the neurosciences faculty at UCSD and the ADRC in July 2018.

Stephanie Lessig, MDStephanie Lessig, MD Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Operations joined the Department of Neurosciences on July 1, 2007. She completed a fellowship in Neurotherapeutics and Movement Disorders and Neurology residency at University of California San Diego. Dr. Lessig received her medical degree at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Currently, she serves as Director of Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers Consortium (PADRECC) and head of the Clinical Trials Unit for Neurosciences.

Her clinical focus is treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, such as dystonia and ataxia. She also specializes in deep brain stimulation and botulinum toxin.

Dr. Lessig’s research interests are Neurodegenerative Disorders such as Huntington’s disease. She is the Principal Investigator on four clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease.

Roberto Malinow, MD, PhDRoberto Malinow, MD, PhD Professor of neurosciences. Malinow came to the UC San Diego School of Medicine in March 2008 from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a private, non-profit research institution in New York, where he held the Alle Davis and Maxine Harrison Endowed Chair of Neurosciences since 1998.  His research focuses on synaptic transmission and plasticity, learning and memory.   He received his medical degree from New York University and his Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley. Malinow has received numerous awards including the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research and has been keynote speaker in several venues including the Einar Hille Memorial Lecture, KAC Elliot Lecture and Gordon Conference on Synaptic Transmission.
Kristoffer Nissinen, MDKristoffer Nissinen, MD was born in San Diego, CA and in his first years moved to Finland where he spent the first 20 years of his life. He moved back to the United States in 2001 to pursue a degree in medicine. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at UCI after which he moved to Arkansas for medication school and obtained his MD from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences School of Medicine. He completed his neurology residency at UCI Medical Center and Long Beach VA in the spring of 2011. He is currently furthering his training at the ADRC as a Neurology Fellow with focus on memory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases which includes working with patient’s in clinical practice and clinical trials.
Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD Professor of Neurosciences. Joined the ADRC in 1991. Medical Degree: 1983 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. Field of Interest: trophic factor effects on neurons in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, clinical trials of cholinergic agonists in Alzheimer’s disease, gene therapy, nervous system growth factors, and spinal cord injury.