Late Life Depression Team

Scott Mackin, PhD 

Principal Investigator, [email protected]

Dr. Mackin is a clinical neuropsychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. His program of research is focused on structural and functional brain abnormalities associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults with depression. He currently splits his time at the SF VA Medical Center were he sees patients and is running research at UCSF within the LLD lab.

Dr. Mackin completed his undergraduate degree from Dickinson College, his Masters from West Chester University, and his PhD from Penn State.  He completed his neuropsychology internship at the Medical University of South Carolina and his fellowship at the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center. He has held a faculty position at UCSF since 2003. 


J, Craig Nelson, M.D.

Principal Investigator, [email protected]

J. Craig Nelson, M.D. has been a Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF since 2002. He holds the Leon J. Epstein Endowed Chair in Geriatric Psychiatry. He is the Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program and the Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic at UCSF. Prior to 2002 he was Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Nelson is the past president of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology. He has published over 200 scientific articles, chapters, or books and has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” since its inception. 

Dr. Nelson completed his undergraduate training at Stanford University, his medical training at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his psychiatry residency at Yale University School of Medicine. He is board certified in adult psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry.



Emma Rhodes, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher; [email protected]

Dr. Rhodes is a postdoctoral fellow in the Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) Advanced Fellowship, focusing on Neuropsychology and Geropsychology, at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and affiliated with the Late Life Depression program at UCSF. Her research focuses on the intersection of psychiatric and cognitive disorders in older adults and the impact of psychosocial factors on healthy and pathological aging. 

Dr. Rhodes completed her undergraduate degree from Kenyon College, her Masters from Northwestern University, and her PhD from Temple University. She completed her neuropsychology internship at UCSD.





Cara Woodworth, B.A. 

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator; [email protected]

Lead Project: Multimodal MRI Characteristics of Psychotherapy Response in Late Life Depression. (Psychotherapy Response Study)

Cara Woodworth graduated with a Bachelors degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she realized her love for research. She has previously worked on studies testing novel treatments and improvements for existing treatments in both children and adults with severe mental illness. She is particularly interested in how imaging can help us better understand the connection between disordered sleep and psychopathology, and she intends to pursue a Ph.D. to continue researching these topics. When not working, she can be found writing urban fantasy or exploring the Oakland food scene.


Elizabeth Verduzco, B.A.

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator; [email protected]

Lead Project: Hoarding Disorder in Older Adults: Cognition, Etiology and Functional Impact (Controlling Clutter Study)

Elizabeth Verduzco graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of San Francisco. She has previously worked with older adults with Alzheimer’s, children with ADHD, and children Dyslexia within research and clinic settings. She is interested in working with people of all ages and learning about the impact of hoarding disorder on cognition in different stages of life. Elizabeth is also interested the development of psychological disorders during early childhood, specifically the connection between various cognitive, socioemotional, and cultural factors.



Emily Burns, B.S. 

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator​​​​​​[email protected]

Lead Project: Characterizing Cognitive Decline in Late Life Depression: The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative - Depression Project.  (ADNI-D)

Emily Burns graduated from the University of California, Berkeley's Psychology Post-Baccalaureate Program upon completing her Bachelor's degree at the University of California, Davis. Emily has dedicated her time to a broad variety of research settings, from evaluating patterns of self-perception and individual trait fluctuation, to identifying biopsychosocial risk markers in children with Autism, and studying mechanistic impulsivity, motivation and stigma in community adults with severe mental illness. With specific interest concerning the intersection of clinical neuropsychology, techology and statistical modeling across the lifespan, her current work at the LLD Program focuses on the cognitive and functional impact of depression in older adults.