Jennifer Yokoyama wants to understand how variation in our genome affects our brain during aging and how we can leverage this information to promote healthy cognition across the lifespan. To do this, Yokoyama studies how genetic variation is linked to increased risk for neurodegenerative disease in diverse populations. She also seeks to identify genetic factors that are linked to healthy cognitive aging. By understanding how genetic variation relates to disease, brain structure and function, behavior, and cognition, we gain insights into underlying brain biology. These studies also lead to identification of new targets for treating brain disease and promoting healthy cognition.
At GBHI, Yokoyama teaches the statistics module and provides the Fellows with instruction and mentorship on genetics and clinical research.
Bio: Jennifer Yokoyama obtained her doctorate degree in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics in 2010 at UCSF. Yokoyama is currently an assistant professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she is building an independent research program in the neurogenetics of aging. She is interested in how genomic variation influences brain anatomy, physiology, and cognitive behaviors in healthy older adults, and how genomic variation relates to vulnerability, as well as resilience, against neurodegenerative processes of aging.