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 started at UCSF in Spring 2012 as an intern under Dr. Pierre-Antoine Gourraud in the Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Research Lab. In 2013, he joined UCSF’s Memory and Aging Center as a staff member under the mentorship of neuropathologist, Prof. Lea T. Grinberg. There, he developed his interests in neurodegenerative diseases, specifically selective vulnerability and resilience at the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the neuropsychiatric manifestations associated with those stages. Beginning in 2015, he also joined Dr.

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. Apart from assisting the management of data bank, Wenda also helps in wet lab, processing brain tissue. She intends to continue working in the field of medical research, particularly in the specialty of brain disease.

Caroline Lew, PhD

Postdoc Scholar - Employee

Caroline Lew is human comparative neuroanatomist, and received her PhD from UC San Diego in 2018. Her doctoral work utilized quantitative stereological methods in postmortem human brains to examine microstructural differences in limbic structures of neurodevelopmental disorders with atypical sociobehavioral phenotypes. She completed a one-year postdoc, also at UC San Diego, where she identified key differences in the serotonergic innervation of the amygdala in the closely linked, sociobehaviorally dichotomous neurodevelopmental disorders, Williams syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Song Hua Li


I graduated from UC Davis with B.S Degree in Biotechnology. Prior joining the Grinberg Lab at the Memory and Aging Center, I worked at the Brain Tumor Biorepository Tissue Core at the Department of Neurosurgery UCSF, where I assisted in clinical trials and research studies for CNS tumors using histology and immunohistochemistry techniques. I am looking forward to exploring the histotechnology field more and applying these techniques for Alzheimer’s diseases studies. 

Mihovil Mladinov, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Mladinov received his MD and PhD degrees from School of Medicine, University of Zagreb. He worked as teaching and research assistant in human neuroanatomy and neuroscience at the affiliated Croatian Institute for Brain Research. His PhD thesis was on localization and expression of the dopamine D2 receptors in the prefrontal cortex of men and mice. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany, where he acquired expertise in assessment and care of elderly patients with psychiatric disorders and dementia in outpatient and inpatient setting.

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.

Cathrine Petersen

Graduate Student

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.

Tonya Piergies

Staff Research Associate