Recent Honors & Awards


Ann Poncelet, MD has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Frank A. Rubino Award for Excellence in Clinical Neurology Teaching, given by the American Academy of Neurology.  She will receive the award at the AAN Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Vikram Rao, MD, PhD has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award given by the American Academy of Neurology.  He will receive the award at the AAN Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Kristine Yaffe, MD has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Michael Geschwind, MD, PhD has received the Circle of Excellence Award from the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease  Foundation for his work with patients and families as well as helping with educational projects for the foundation. 

Victor Valcour, MD, PhD has won the Service to Medicine and Community Award from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. 

Shahrzad Akhtar, MD and Alexandra Brown, MD have both received the annual Excellence in Teaching Award for 2019. These outstanding women were nominated by faculty peers for this recognition of their skill and dedication to teaching.

Megan Richie, MD has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Maxine Papadakis Award for Faculty Professionalism and Respect. Nominations for this award come from third- and fourth-year medical students.

Nilika Singhal, MD has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Bridges Curriculum Teaching Award in the Outstanding Coach category. Nominations come from first- and second-year medical students to recognize outstanding instructors in the School of Medicine.

Jonah Chan, PhD won the NINDS Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship. The award is named for Story Landis, PhD, Director of NINDS from 2003-2014, who was known for her dedication to mentorship. 

At the residents’ graduation ceremony in June 2019, the Robert E. Layzer “Golden Toe” Award for Resident Teaching was presented to Alexandra Brown, MD.
Yin Shen, PhD has been named by the Office of Research as “Researcher of the Month.” Read about her work in this article.

Our chair, S. Andrew Josephson, MD has received the Excellence in Teaching for Clinical Faculty Award given by the UCSF graduating medical school class of 2019, in recognition of his teaching of 3rd and 4th year students on the wards.

The UCSF Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring was presented to Bruce Miller, MD at an Award Celebration and Reception on July 29, 2019.

Ana Grijalvo-Perez, MD has won the Caroline Casey Award for Dignity and Worth of Persons, one of the Ida M. Cannon Awards given by the Pediatric Social Work Department at UCSF to honor their non-social work colleagues. She received her award in a ceremony on March 28, 2019.

Michael Aminoff, MD, DSc, is the recipient of the 2019 Robert S. Schwab Award given by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS) in recognition of his significant contributions to research in peripheral clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Aminoff gave the Schwab Lecture at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the ACNS. 

Dena Dubal, MD, PhD has been selected by the American Academy of Neurology as the recipient of the 2019 Neuroendocrine Research Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in neuroendocrine research. She received the award at the AAN's 71st Annual Meeting in May.

Dawn Gano, MD, MAS has been elected to the Society for Pediatric Research in recognition of her leadership in investigating brain injury in preterm newborns.

Jeanne Paz, PhD has won the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for uncovering the neural basis of epileptic seizures, and for demonstrating possible methods of predicting and arresting seizures. The Vilcek Prize is awarded to immigrants whose work is of significant consequence to both their individual fields and to American society. The prize spotlights the critical importance of foreign-born innovation to national advancement.

Saul Kato, PhD has been awarded the 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Neuroscience. This prestigious award goes to early-career scholars with significant achievements and leadership potential.

Audrey Foster-Barber, MD, PhD has won the 2019 American Academy of Neurology’s Program Director Recognition Award. Dr. Foster-Barber is our Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Neurology and a driving force across all of our educational efforts. She was recognized at the AAN’s Annual Meeting.

Vanja Douglas, MD has won the A.B. Baker Teacher Recognition Award from the American Academy of Neurology for his outstanding contributions as a teacher.

Louis Ptáček, MD has received the 2019 Distinguished Scientist Award given by the Sleep Research Society for his work in genetic studies of human sleep behavior, published in a series of papers over the past ~15 years. 

Ying-Hui Fu, PhD has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Earlier this year, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health.

Megan Richie, MD has received the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Academy of Medical Educators. 

Nerissa Ko, MD, MAS has been honored with the 2019 Chancellor Award for Diversity in recognition of her outstanding efforts for the advancement of women at UCSF.


Mark Terrelonge, Jr., MD, neurology resident, was elected to the UCSF Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society by our medical students in recognition of his dedication to the profession and art of healing.

Jonathan Kleen, MD, PhD, a clinical fellow in the UCSF Epilepsy Center, has won the 2019 Edwin B. Boldrey Award given by the San Francisco Neurological Society in recognition of his outstanding research in neuroscience. He presented his paper, "Cinematic 3D projection of intracranial seizure activity on personalized volumetric brain reconstructions," at the SFNS Annual Meeting.


Jane Czech, MS, MBA, Associate Chair for Finance and Administration, has won the 2019 Chancellor Award for Exceptional University Management.

Caroline Prioleau, Writer and Designer, has won the 2019 Chancellor Award for Exceptional University Service. They received their awards during the Founders Day activities. 

Kathleen Colao, Child Neurology Clinical Research Coordinator, has won the first CRC of the Year Award presented by the Clinical Research Coordinators Council

The Department of Neurology has 28 winners of the 2019 Spot Awards. These awards recognize significant achievements and contributions for a recent specific project.

Andrew Barnecut
Natalia Browne
Jennifer Cantero
Allison Coker
Sarah Corr
Kate Denevan
Ann Giron
Leslie Goss
Oscar Guadron
Carey Herman
Chris Jehle
Helena Khim
Christina Liu
Collin Molberg
Stacey Morris
Evangeline Palero
Camellia Rodgriguez-Sackbyrne
Fonda Smith
Iris Solorzano
Vicky Tateo
Jeanie Tran
Nu Truong
Edward Wahyu
Shannon Warto
Janet Yau
Ricky Yee
Shirley Yu
Antonella Zaratan

The 2019 STAR Program's Achievement Awards recognize sustained, exceptional performance and/or significant contributions from an employee over an extended period of time. Eight of our staff in Neurology have received Achievement Awards:

Rudy Asuncion
Vera Bakman
Aaron Daley
Peili Lee
Karen Louie
Dominica Randazzo
Erica Schleimer
Sonia Tsoi