Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Bioinformatics Applications to Cognitive Aging and Brain Health

The San Francisco VA Health Care System is recruiting for an advanced two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Epidemiology with a focus on using bioinformatic approaches to solve new challenges in cognitive and brain health research.  Potential areas of application to bioinformatic concepts include big data, genetic epidemiology secondary data, prognostic models, pharmacoepidemiology, digital health, and machine learning. The fellowship is associated with the Sierra Pacific Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC; VISN 21) and affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). It is funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The primary goal of the program is to train fellows with a doctoral degree in epidemiology, psychology/ neuro-psychology or related field with advanced training in statistical methods to become skilled bioinformaticians for advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive aging. Over the course of the 2-year program, fellows are trained in bioinformatic concepts and computational methods allowing opportunities to generate novel approaches and tools to analyze brain health data. Fellows will be responsible for driving an original research agenda while also gaining skills and training to become an independent investigator.

Faculty mentors are affiliated with the SFVAMC services for Mental Health, Medicine, Neurology, and Radiology, the UCSF/ SFVAMC Center for Population Brain Health, the UCSF Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Precision Medicine, Neuroscience, the Global Brain Health Institute, and The Kaiser Division of Research.

We are a team of multidisciplinary researchers, dedicated to advancing brain health across the lifespan. We emphasize population-based research methods to identify risk and protective factors for dementia, cognitive aging, and brain health, and to optimize cognitive and emotional brain health in aging. The expertise of our faculty spans the fields of epidemiology, neurology, and psychiatry. Please see faculty webpages ( and CPBH website ( for more details.


  • Kristine Yaffe, MD, Fellowship Director, board-certified psychiatrist and neurologist. TBI, geriatric psychiatry, big data, VA national data, machine learning (
  • Deborah Barnes, PhD, epidemiologist. Secondary data and prognostic models
  • Amy Byers, PhD, MPH, epidemiologist. Depression suicide/ suicide behavior in aging, machine learning
  • Raquel Gardner, MD, behavioral neurologist. TBI and dementia
  • Yue Leng, PhD, epidemiologist. Big data of circadian rhythms, sleep assessment
  • Willa Brenowitz, PhD, epidemiologist. Neuropathology of big data, genetic risk scores
  • Dugyu Tosun, PhD, engineer. Multimodial neuroradiology, machine learning
  • Maria Glymour, ScD, epidemiologist. UK Biobank, health disparities
  • Eric Vittinghoff, PhD, biostatistician.   Global public health, clinical/ epidemiological data
  • Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD, behavioral geneticist. Neurogenetics of aging, health disparities
  • John Boscardin, PhD, biostatiscian.  VA national data, prognostic models, machine learning  


To apply, please email the following to Tina Hoang (administrative assistant) [email protected]

  1. Letter of interest detailing your research experience, interests, career goals, and proposed faculty mentor(s) from list above 
  2. CV
  3. 3 letters of recommendation