Cohort 
2017

Jenny Zitser, MD

Neurologist

We need to improve the predictive capabilities of cognitive decline to protect at-risk populations.

Current Work

Jenny is an associate specialist at the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is investigating sleep disturbances in dementias with cost-minimizing devices to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with sleep disorders.

Personal Hero

Her grandmother

Words of Strength

Decisive and perseverant

Vision

Jenny believes we need to improve the predictive capabilities of cognitive decline to protect at-risk populations. We also need to broaden our scope to include sleep and autonomic disturbances, which often have a greater impact on the quality of life than dementia itself.

Strategy

Jenny is helping to define the pathological characteristics of skin biopsy for diagnosis of pre-motor manifestations of the synucleinopathies—a group of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease—as well as understanding the mechanism and finding biomarkers, with the hope to improve treatments.

Impact

Jenny acquired knowledge, tools, and connections to advance neurological care, while further emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy brain. She also developed the communication skills needed to educate the medical and general community about aging, sleep and autonomic disturbances.

Motivation

Through Jenny’s work, she realized that most patients can cope well with the motor limitations of neurodegenerative illnesses, but they find non-motor issues more challenging. Current treatments and tools are insufficient. Therefore, further research, resources, and application of skills are needed.

Education & Experience

Jenny studied medicine at the Universidad Central of Venezuela, where she graduated back in 2006. Shortly after she moved to Israel, where she did her Neurology Residency. Between 2015–2017 she worked as a Senior Neurologist and Head of the Huntington’s Disease Clinics at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Department, Tel Aviv; Israel. There, she was also in charge of the MSA clinics. Afterward, in 2017, she moved to San Francisco to become an Atlantic Fellow at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), and since 2019 she has been an Associate Specialist at the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in the United States.

Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI)
2017
Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health
Israel
Neurology
2010
Residency
Universidad Central of Venezuela
Medicine
2006
MD

Awards & Honors

American Academy of Neurology
2020
2020 Futures in Neurological Research (FINR) Scholarship
The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
2020
MDS-PAS Regional LEAP Course
Movement Disorders Society
2019
2019 International Congress Travel Grant
Tau Consortium
2019
Investigators’ Meeting Fellowship Award
Metropolitan College of Physicians
Excellence in morphologic science
2003
“José Izquierdo” Award
Dpto. de Ciencias Morfológicas, Escuela Luis Razetti
Anatomy
2001
Honors Diploma