Michael Geschwind, MD, PhD (Co-Chair)

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Michael Geschwind is a Professor of Neurology and the Michael J. Homer Family Chair in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. His primary areas of clinical research are in rapidly progressive dementias (RPDs; including prion diseases and antibody-mediated encephalopathies), Huntington’s disease, spinocerebellar ataxias, atypical parkinsonian disorders, and adult-onset leukoencephalopathies including CADASIL.  He completed his M.D. and Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, his internal medicine internship at UCLA, neurology residency at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and fellowship in neurobehavior at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, Memory and Aging Center, where he stayed on as faculty. He directs the UCSF Memory and Aging Center Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence (COE) and the ataxia clinic. He also directs an active clinical research program in prion disorders and other rapidly progressive dementias (RPDs). He ran the first ever treatment trial for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) in the United States. He has helped recruit one of the largest clinical cohorts in the United States of patients with prion disease, as well as patients with other non-prion RPDs.  He has evaluated more than 700 patients with or at risk for human prion disease. Goals of his clinical research program are to improve early diagnosis of prion disease and other RPDs and to identify early diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for these conditions.  His team has been following more than 100 families with genetic prion disease, many of whom they are following longitudinally to identify pre-symptomatic biomarkers for future treatment trials.  Dr. Geschwind also is involved clinically in caring for patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, spinocerebellar ataxias, adult-onset leukoencephalopathies, CADASIL, atypical Parkinsonian dementias and various neurogenetic disorders.

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