Brain Bank

Lea T. Grinberg, MD, PhD - Professor

Dr. Grinberg is a neuropathologist specializing in brain aging and associated disorders. She received her MD and PhD degrees in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2003, Dr. Grinberg, along with colleagues from several disciplines founded a brain bank in São Paulo, Brazil, which has developed into an extremely prolific and highly regarded institution. Her PhD work was focused on the neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration. From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Grinberg acquired expertise in neuroanatomy and in the use of state-of-the-art methods for tridimensional brain reconstruction at the University of Würzburg, Germany. This knowledge is being utilized in several projects, including a R01 funded study in which the overarching goal is to provide an integrated picture of brainstem vulnerability in AD and FTLD-TDP and to incorporate this understanding into their etiopathogenesis, testing the hypothesis that selected brainstem nuclei are interdependently and consistently involved in very early stages of AD and FTLD-TDP. Currently, Dr. Grinberg is an Assistant Professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. In 2009, she was the recipient of the UNESCO-L'Oréal Award "For Women in Science" and in 2010 of the John Douglas French Alzheimer Foundation "Distinguished Research Scholar Award." She is also the chairwoman of the HUPO Brain Proteome Project since 2013.

Maria Hunt - Administrative Manager

Maria joined the Memory and Aging Center in February 2021 as Administrative Manager to provide operational, analytical, and administrative support to the Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank. She has a BA degree in Education, with minors in Mathematics, and Spanish Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the MAC, Maria managed education programs, business solutions, and strategic initiatives in the healthcare, insurance, and financial services industries, both nationally and internationally. Maria enjoys solving problems, and helping people and organizations improve. She is a bilingual speaker of Spanish and English.


Antonia Sarria Rivera - Autopsy Coordinator and Administrative Assistant

At the Memory and Aging Center, Antonia assists families with the brain donation process and acts as Dr. William Seeley’s administrative assistant. She graduated in 2021 from UC Davis with a B.S degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. She participated in health-related internships and was a member of a few clubs such as Alzheimer’s Buddies, Pre-Dental Society, and Outdoor Crew.

Afterward, she moved to San Francisco to complete a year-long Pre-Health Post-baccalaureate program at SF State. She then completed the UCSF Learners for Equity (CIRCLE) Training Program which led to her current position.


Athena Schlereth - Autopsy Coordinator

Athena studied Integrative Biology and Classics at UC Berkeley. She was involved in archaeological research and assisted the excavation of a prehistoric cemetery in Greece. On campus, she was a volunteer EMT and worked as a chef for her housing cooperative. Her experiences volunteering in hospice and nursing facilities led her to the Memory and Aging Center, where she looks forward to assisting patients, families, and caregivers with the Autopsy program.


Ayesha Nanda - Autopsy Coordinator

Ayesha graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bsc in Psychological Sciences where she primarily involved herself in researching family relationships and COVID-19 tracing and public health interventions. While on campus, she was also involved in outreach through founding and leading her club, Women in Psychology. Since moving to the Bay Area, she worked as a microbiology lab technician at ZSGH. Her interest in neurodegenerative diseases, especially those predominant in women, led her to the Memory and Aging center. Ayesha helps patients, families , and caregivers in the process of brain donation for the autopsy program.