Professor of Neurology, De Director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center (NIC) at UCSF
Dr. Gazzaley was born and raised in New York City. He was interested in science since childhood and was always convinced that it was his career path. However, he did not discover his passion for the brain until later in his undergraduate years. He went on to receive his MD and PhD degree in neuroscience through the NIH-sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. His doctoral research, under the mentorship of Dr. John Morrison, focused on plasticity of glutamate receptors in the hippocampus and implications for cognitive changes in normal aging. This research earned him the prestigious 1997 Krieg Cortical Scholar Award. He then completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Following residency, Dr. Gazzaley traveled to UC Berkeley for a research fellowship with Dr. Mark D’Esposito and Dr. Robert Knight. The research involved studying memory and attention in humans and the changes that occur with normal aging using functional MRI and EEG. During that time period he also completed a clinical fellowship in cognitive neurology at the Memory and Aging Center under the direction of Dr. Bruce Miller and became board-certified in neurology.
Following his post-doctoral training, he was hired as an Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Departments of Neurology and Physiology and as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. He now directs a cognitive neuroscience laboratory at the UCSF Mission Bay campus, which focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms of memory and attention in humans, how these processes change with normal aging and dementia, and how we might intervene to improve cognitive abilities in those suffering from deficits. In addition to his laboratory, he has recently established and now directs the Neuroscience Imaging Center (NIC) at UCSF, a core facility designed to use the tools of human neurophysiology, notably functional MRI, to study the healthy and impaired brain.