Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology

We need to understand the biology of the diseases that cause dementia and identify modifiable risk factors by studying all of our global populations.

Current Work

Associate Professor of Neurology and Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, UCSF

Personal Hero

Dr. Rosa Rademakers

Words of Strength

Motivating people to dream big


To reduce the scale and impact of dementia, we need to understand the biology of the diseases that cause it and identify modifiable factors that can be used to reduce risk. To do this effectively, it is imperative we study ALL of our global populations.


Jennifer is a geneticist who studies how genomic variation impacts brain development, function, and aging across diverse populations.This information enhances our understanding of brain biology and may ultimately be used to improve diagnosis and risk assessment for neurodegenerative disease.


By understanding the impact of genetic variation on disease risk and brain structure and function, we gain insights into underlying disease biology and may identify new targets for treating neurodegeneration and promoting healthy cognition across the lifespan.

Education & Experience

Jennifer obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics in 2010 at UCSF. She conducted postdoctoral work in neuroimaging at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she is now an Associate Professor and leads the Neurogenetics in Aging lab. Her lab studies how genomic variation influences brain anatomy, physiology, and cognitive behaviors in healthy older adults. It also studies how genomic variation relates to vulnerability, as well as resilience against neurodegenerative processes of aging across diverse populations.

Featured Publications