Lea Grinberg, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator
Associate Professor in Residence

Dr. Grinberg is a neuropathologist specializing in brain aging and associated disorders. She received her medical and doctorate degrees in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2003, Dr. Grinberg, along with colleagues from several disciplines founded a brain bank in São Paulo, Brazil, which has developed into an extremely prolific and highly regarded institution. Her doctorate work was focused in the neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. From 2007 to 2009, Dr.

Maryana Alegro Ribeiro, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Computer Scientist Maryana Alegro received her MS and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of São Paulo Polytechnic School. Her major experience is in medical imaging, especially in MRI and histological image analysis. She is currently a post-doc at the UCSF Grinberg Lab, where she investigates and creates computational tools to assist researchers in studying human brain and dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Such tools incorporate a combination of machine learning techniques with visualization and computer vision.

Jonathan Chen

Staff Research Associate

Jonathan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018. He was first exposed to research was through UCSF's Diversity Scholar Program in the summer of 2015. Through this program, he received training in neuroscience lab techniques, computational science, and entrepreneurship. He joined the Grinberg Lab in fall 2015 as an undergraduate student. His goal is to pursue a medical career as a clinician in neurology.

Alexander Ehrenberg

Staff Research Associate

Alex graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with a B.A. in integrative biology (evolution, ecology, and organismal biology division) and molecular and cellular biology (developmental genetics division). He started at UCSF in Spring 2012 working under Dr. Pierre-Antoine Gourraud in the Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Research Lab. There, he developed skills in computational biology, informatics, and statistics.

Rana Eser

Lab Manager

Rana graduated from UC Berkeley (2018) with a BA degree in molecular and cellular biology with an emphasis in neuroscience. Rana started volunteering at the MAC in fall 2014, where she joined the Grinberg lab researching the pathology of tauopathies. Her research focused on investigating the selective vulnerability of brainstem regions of various dementias. Rana now continues to work in the Grinberg lab as the lab manager and is continuing her investigation in the effect of dementia on the brainstem.

Wing Hung Lee

Lab Helper

Wenda joined the Grinberg lab in March 2015 to support the group's efforts in researching brain aging and associated disorders. Prior to moving to the United States in 2014, Wenda worked as an executive assistant in a private company in Hong Kong for 19 years, assisting in the overall management and operation of the company. In the Grinberg lab, Wenda supports and manages the administrative needs. She intends to continue working in the field of medical research, particularly in the specialty of brain disease.

Mihovil Mladinov

Associate Specialist

Joseph Oh

Staff Research Associate

Joseph graduated from UC Berkeley (’17) with honors in molecular and cell biology (neurobiology). He began his research career in UCSF's Weill Institute for Neurosciences in Summer 2014 as a research assistant for Dr. William Seeley's Selective Vulnerability Research Lab. In Seeley’s lab, Joseph assisted with human brain banking and neuropathology studies in Frontotemporal Dementia. He then joined Grinberg lab in Fall 2015, where he now studies the neurobiological basis of sleep.

Dulce Ovando Morales


Dulce received her BSc in Physiology with a minor in Chemistry from San Francisco State University in 2016. Prior to joining the Grinberg lab in 2017, Dulce worked with various non-profit organizations that focused on increasing access to free medical care in San Francisco and rural communities around the globe by setting up temporary mobile clinics and developing essential infrastructure. In the lab, Dulce works on various projects investigating the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases as the Grinberg lab's lead histologist.

Cathrine Petersen

Lab Assistant

Cathrine is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, where she will graduate in December 2018 with honors in molecular and cell biology (neurobiology emphasis) and statistics. She joined the Grinberg lab in Fall 2016, where she studies the clinical correlates of tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease, integrating her experience in statistics and neuropathology. Her main interests with Dr. Grinberg are the neuropathological changes underlying atypical clinical presentations of Alzheimer’s disease.

Panos Theofilas, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor

Dr. Theofilas is Assistant Professor at the Memory and Aging Center, UCSF. He obtained his bachelor and masters’ degrees in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and his doctorate at the University of Bonn, Germany, studying apoptosis signaling pathways, mitochondria dysfunction and excitotoxicity in animal models of epilepsy.