Kristine Yaffe, MD - Contact Information

Yaffe Kristine 100x142

Title: Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair in Psychiatry; Vice Chair of Clinical and Translational Research; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Epidemiology; Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center


Yale University, BS; University of Pennsylvania, MD

Postgraduate Training:

UCSF, Neurology Residency; UCSF, Psychiatry Residency; UCSF, Clinical Epidemiology and Research Methods Fellowship; UCSF, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Biography Summary:

Kristine Yaffe, MD, is a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Epidemiology, the Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair and Vice Chair of Research in Psychiatry at UCSF. Dr. Yaffe is dually trained in neurology and psychiatry and completed postdoctoral training in epidemiology and geriatric psychiatry, all at UCSF. In addition to her positions at UCSF, Dr. Yaffe is the Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. In her research, clinical work, and mentoring, she has worked towards improving the care of patients with cognitive disorders and other geriatric neuropsychiatric conditions. 

Dr. Yaffe serves on the Beeson Scientific Advisory Committee, the Council of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, and the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference Scientific Planning Committee (Chair in 2012 and 2013). She is the Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging and a standing member of the NIA Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee. As the current principal investigator of 7 NIH grants as well as several other grants, Dr. Yaffe's research focuses on the epidemiology of cognitive aging and late life depression. In addition to publishing over 300 peer-reviewed articles (H-index=85) in numerous prestigious journals including the Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, and NEJM, Dr. Yaffe also edited a book published by Oxford Press, “Chronic Medical Disease and Cognitive Aging: Toward a Healthy Body and Brain.” In 2014, she was recognized as one of Thomas Reuters World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds and honored by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry with the Distinguished Scientist Award.

Clinical Expertise:

Memory disorders, geriatric neuropsychiatry

Educational Expertise:

Memory disorders, geriatric neuropsychiatry, clinical research methodology and epidemiology

Research Areas:

Dr. Yaffe’s research focuses on the epidemiology of cognitive aging, particularly on evaluating risk factors and biomarkers for cognitive impairment that may lead to strategies to prevent cognitive decline and optimize cognitive aging. Emphasis is placed on identifying risk factors that are potentially modifiable such as health and lifestyle related mechanisms. Her research also aims to determine and examine biomarkers associated with risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in order to help better identify those at risk as well as to increase our understanding of the mechanisms that may contribute or lead to cognitive decline and impairment.

Current research projects include:

  • Identifying cognitive trajectories and risk factors for mild cognitive impairment and dementia among community-dwelling older adults in their 9th and 10th decades of life
  • Investigating how diabetes and other cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors may contribute to accelerated cognitive aging
  • Evaluating the association between sleep disturbances and cognitive function among older adults
  • Determining how PTSD and traumatic brain injury contribute to the risk of developing dementia
  • Investigating the cognitive benefits of physical and mental activity 
  • Evaluating the relationship between neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive outcomes among older adults
  • Identifying and examining potential biomarkers associated with cognitive impairment and dementia  

Research Manager: Alice Roberts - Contact Information

Campus Location: VAMC

Publications on PubMed »

Psychiatric Research/Neurosciences Fellowship
Dementia Epidemiology Research Group
Memory and Aging Center (MAC)
Geriatric/Cognitive Impairment Research Collaboration Group
Women’s Health Clinical Research Center
US Department of Veterans Affair - Mental Health Service at SFVAMC


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service