Salvatore Spina, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology
UC San Francisco

Key areas: behavioral neurology, neuropathology, neurodegenerative dementia, clinicopathological correlations

Dr. Spina is a behavioral neurologist with extensive experience in the neuropathology of neurodegenerative dementia. The central focus of his research is the study of the neuropathological substrates underlying the heterogeneous phenotypic expression of neurodegenerative dementia syndromes. In addition, Dr. Spina’s research aims to ascertain the neuropathological correlates of common in vivo biomarkers of neurodegeneration, such as structural and functional MRI and molecular PET imaging data, with the aim to improve the applicability of these common clinical surrogates of disease for clinical trials purposes. Dr. Spina’s research methodology integrates behavioral neurology, neuroimaging, as well as classic and advanced neuropathology with the use of multiplex immunofluorescence platforms capable to assess dozens among protein and nucleic acid markers in the same histological sections. His research focuses on the development of deep learning algorithms for biomarkers quantifications, which will enable an unprecedented understanding of the pathological substrates of neurodegeneration and their relationship with imaging biomarkers and clinical phenotypes.

At GBHI, Spina teaches the writing skills curriculum and is the organizer of the Case Study section of the Globular Neurology Forum, a quarterly video-conference stage aimed to promote a world-wide discussion on the impact of social determinant of care on brain health and disease.

It is in the microscopic world of neuropathology, the intricate networks of neurons and their connections, that the secrets of neurodegenerative dementias ultimately reside. It is in this fascinating world, that we must look to unveil the cure of these diseases

Bio: Salvatore Spina, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Spina received his medical degree from the University of Catania, Italy. He completed a neurology residency at the University of Siena, Italy from which he also obtained his doctorate degree on mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He was trained in dementia neuropathology at the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, Indianapolis in the laboratory of Dr. Bernardino Ghetti. Later, he completed an internship in internal medicine and a neurology residency at Indiana University, and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the Memory and Aging Center, UCSF with Dr. Bruce Miller. Dr. Spina’s research focuses on the clinicopathologic and genetic correlations in neurodegenerative dementia syndromes, with a special interest on frontotemporal lobar degeneration.