Our group studies the genetics underlying neurodegeneration in diverse populations, with a particular focus on Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia. Utilizing novel statistical genetics approaches, we probe the relationships between genomic variation, brain structure, and cognitive/behavioral function to elucidate genetic contributions to selective vulnerability for neurodegenerative disease. We also assess transcriptomic profiles in the periphery and brain to identify new biomarkers of disease. Finally, we engage in collaborations with basic researchers to translate findings from clinical cohorts to in vitro and in vivo models of disease to improve our understanding of underlying disease biology. We believe that understanding how genetic variation affects brain structure and function, in both healthy aging and clinical populations, will be critical for developing effective therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease.




Neurogenetics of Disease

  • To elucidate contributions to clinical heterogeneity in the face of shared genetic risk.
  • To predict disease risk from polygenic variation.

Neurogenetics of Healthy Cognitive Aging

  • To identify cognitive enhancers of baseline brain structure and function.
  • To identify genes that promote cognitive maintenance in aging.




For additional news please see our blog for Blogoyama!


Alzforum: Consortia Assemble Worldwide to Take on Lewy Body Dementia

KCBS - Dr. Yokoyama was featured on KCBS to talk about Dr. Celeste Karch and Dr. Rahul Desikan's recently published work that identifies a genetic overlap between ALS and FTD. Listen here.

- For more on this, please click here!


Alzforum: 11th ICFTD Meeting in Sydney Sorts Out Clinical Subtypes

ABC News GMA: A colleague and good friend of Laboyama Rahul Desikan, MD, PhD talks about his battle with ALS on 'Good Morning America'

UCSF News Center: UCSF Researcher Identifies Risk Genes for ALS


Genetic overlap between Alzheimer's disease and autoimmune disease

Alzforum: New Genetic Method Connects Immune Genes to Alzheimer's Study Shows Shared Genetic Risks for Alzheimer's and Autoimmune Disease

Psych Congress Network: Genetic Overlap Between Alzheimer's, Immune-Mediated Diseases


KLOTHO and healthy brain aging

UCSF Press Release: Brain Region Vulnerable to Aging is Larger in Those with Longevity Gene Variant

LA Times: A fateful gene may make us smarter - for a while, at least

The Guardian: Gene linked to long life also protects against mental decline in old age

CBS News: "Long life" gene might also make some smarter

Fox News Health: Gene variant associated with better aging, cognitive function, study finds