Dr. Lea Grinberg – University of California, San Francisco

University of California in San Francisco

Lea T. Grinberg, MD, PhD, is a neuropathologist with an interest in brain aging and associated disorders.  Currently, Dr. Grinberg is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Pathology at the University of California in San Francisco.  She completed a residency in Pathology and a PhD in neuropathology at University of Sao Paulo Medical School.  She also received training in Neurodegenerative diseases at the Washington University in St. Louis.  Her post-doc training in neuroanatomy was completed at the Universty of Wuerzburg, Germany as a Humboldt Foundation fellow.

Dr. Grinberg is a founding member of the BioBank for Aging Studies (formerly known as Brazilian Brain Bank of the Brain Aging Aging Study Group).  She currently serves in the Biobank Executive Board.  By investigating this Biobank collection, Dr. Grinberg led studies showing that vascular dementia, a preventable disease, is much more common than appreciated in Brazil, that people with African-ancestry have different risk factors for dementia than Caucasians.  These findings together with other discoveries from Biobank investigators are changing the perception of the underlying causes and risk factors for dementia in the Brazilian population and helping to shape public policies and direct efforts to develop diagnostic tools and therapeutics tailored for this population. 

Also, Dr. Grinberg led studies showing that Alzheimer’s disease starts building up in the brain in a region called brainstem.   This could explain why people who develop Alzheimer dementia sometimes manifest depression, anxiety and sleep problems even before they show memory loss. At UCSF, Dr. Grinberg runs an active lab at the Memory And Aging Center that pioneers in studies investigating the mechanisms, spreading and features of neurodegenerative diseases during its early, clinically silent stages using postmortem human brain tissue, neurons derived from iPSCs and advanced computing technology.

She also serves as a director of a Human Validation Core for the NIH-funded Center Without Walls for Tau Biology and co-leader of the UCSF/ Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank.  Dr. Grinberg joined Global Brain Health Institute in 2016 and serves as a mentor, member of the selection and origination committee, and the executive committee.

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