Leadership Team

Gary Small
Director

Gary Small, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he is also Founding Director of the UCLA Memory Clinic and Director of the UCLA Center on Aging. Dr. Small was a phi beta kappa, summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and earned his medical degree (alpha omega alpha) at the University of Southern California. After an internal medicine internship at Children?s Hospital and Adult Medical Center in San Francisco, he completed a psychiatry residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a clinical fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Small then completed a geriatric psychiatry fellowship at UCLA. He has authored more than 400 scientific publications, as well as the international bestseller, "The Memory Bible." Dr Small is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Jack Weinberg Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the Senior Investigator Award from the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. In 2002, Scientific American magazine named Dr. Small one of the world's top 50 innovators in science and technology.

 

Zaldy S. Tan
Medical Director

Dr. Zaldy S. Tan, MD, is the Medical Director of the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program and Associate Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles. He is the Director and Principal Investigator for the UCLA California Geriatric Education Center.

Dr. Tan is a clinician, researcher and educator. He maintains clinical practices on memory disorders evaluation and primary care, and attends on the inpatient and geriatric psychiatry units at UCLA. He performs dementia researcher at the Framingham Heart Study and the UCLA Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research. His studies on brain aging and memory have been published in major medical journals and featured in the New York Times, Time, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other national publications. Prior to coming to UCLA, Dr. Tan was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, where he was director of the physical diagnosis course and for medical education at the Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Aging and the VA Boston Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center.

As the Medical Director of UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care, Dr. Tan supports the program's dementia care managers as they put together comprehensive, effective and timely care plans and work with referring physicians to help patients, families, and caregivers attain their treatment and personal goals.

Linda Ercoli
Director of Geriatric Psychology

Dr. Linda Ercoli, PhD, is a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel Institute, in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, and also serves as the Director of Geriatric Psychology, in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry.  She is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in geropsychology-neuropsychology and cognitive training. Her research background is in the neuroimaging and neuropsychology of age-related cognitive disorders, as well as in clinical trials testing the effects of healthy lifestyle interventions and cognitive stimulation on cognition and brain function. She has worked with individual patients for the remediation of cognitive difficulties secondary to age-related cognitive changes and dementia.  She developed a peer-based manualized cognitive rehabilitation and remediation interventions for community residing middle-aged and older adults with cognitive difficulties associated with aging.  The interventions have been implemented in many settings such as memory disorders clinics in several states in the U.S.  

 

Helen Lavretsky

Dr. Helen Lavretsky is a Professor In-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, a geriatric psychiatrist with research interest in geriatric and caregiver depression, as well as complementary and alternative medicine and mind-body approaches to treatment and prevention of mood and cognitive disorders in older adults. She received the 2001-2007 and 2010-2015 Career Development awards from NIMH and other prestigious research awards. Her current research studies include an NIMH-funded randomized trial of methylphenidate augmentation of citalopram to improve clinical and cognitive outcomes in geriatric depression, and the NCCAM funded study of complementary use of Tai-Chi to improve antidepressant response in geriatric depression, as well as a meditation study for family dementia caregivers, and a study of milnacipran for treatment of pain in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis. She has developed an elective rotation in clinical research for Medical Students at UCLA. After receiving her Medical Degree from the Moscow Medical Institute, Dr. Lavretsky performed her residency in Psychiatry at UCLA-San Fernando Valley Residency Program, followed by the UCLA Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry, and the national VA Research Fellowship in Neurosciences. She received her Degree of Master of Science in Clinical Research from UCLA in 2004.

 

Karen Miller

Director of Practicum Training

Dr. Karen Miller, Associate Clinical Professor and Clinical Neuropsychologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, has been part of Dr. Gary Small’s research team at the Longevity Center for the past 21 years. As Director of the UCLA Practicum Training Program, she oversees 23 psychotherapy/assessment tracks throughout the medical center, where dozens of graduate students receive training on a yearly basis. Her clinical and research career has focused on early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and memory enhancement for age-related memory decline. In addition to her book, The Estrogen-Depression-Connection, Dr. Miller co-authored the curriculum and workbook for the Memory Fitness Program and was the principal investigator for the clinical trials of Dakim BrainFitness, a computerized memory training program for older adults by Dakim Brain Fitness, Inc. In addition, Dr. Miller has received several awards, including: the National Academy of Neuropsychology Award for Exceptional Educator (2013), American Psychological Association - Blue Ribbon Award for Research (2012), UCLA Outstanding Housestaff Teaching Award (2011), The Semel Scholar Award (2008), and the UCLA Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award (2006). Dr. Miller is the director of UCLA’s Memory Care program and the lead presenter for UCLA’s Brain Boot Camp program, in addition to serving as a consultant to Dakim Brain Fitness, Inc., Erickson Foundation, OPICA, and the Universal Gerontology and Alzheimer's Disease Awareness at UCLA in their pursuit for developing tools and education regarding memory disorders and cognitive enhancement.

 

 

Prabha Siddarth

Biostatistician 

Dr. Siddarth is an applied biostatistician - She designs studies, formulates hypotheses, does power calculations, analyses data, interprets and reports results and write grants. She concentrates on data from medicine, public health, and biology; in particular, she has developed and applied novel statistical methods in Alzheimer's disease, mood disorders, memory and aging, traumatic brain injury, pediatric epilepsy, learning and communication disorders, and schizophrenia. She is fascinated by early neuroimaging and genomic biomarkers of these disorders that can be useful for designing preventive and treatment approaches, and has also worked in other fields such as environmental health and kinesiology, and even has experience modeling stock markets! This variety is precisely what makes her passionate about statistics.