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.

Prinicipal 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.


David Bickford, B.A. 

Study Coordinator, [email protected]

David Bickford graduated with a degree in psychology from San Francisco State University.  David began with the Late Life Depression Lab in 2012 as a volunteer and became a full-time employee and Lab Manager with the initiation of the ADNI Depression Project.  Based on his interests in psychiatric mental health services and Neurology, he is currently preparing for medical school to emphasize in Psychiatry and Geriatrics.  On his free time he enjoys BBQing and exploring new neighborhoods of San Francisco. 



Yiu Ho (Lee) Au, B.S.

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator, [email protected]

Lee is a graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles where he majored in Psychobiology and Neuroscience. He has been a part of the LLD team since 2016, and is the lead coordinator for the ADNI-D Study. He is passionate about addressing health disparities in communities of color,  with a focus on mental wellness in in LGBTQ populations. When not researching, Lee can be sighted at his local archery range with his Olympic recurve bow.












Kelly Scherer, B.S. 

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator [email protected]

Kelly is a graduate from University of California, Santa Cruz where she majored in Neuroscience with an emphasis in Behavioral Analysis. She has been part of the lab since 2015. She is passionate about investigating the heterogenity of depression and how that understanding can then lead to better treatment outcomes and is currently the lead coordinator for the Treatment Study. While not researching you can find her playing Rugby on Treasure Island with SFGG. 

Dan Catalinotto, B.A. 

Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator [email protected]

Dan Catalinotto received his B.A. in U.S. History from Hampshire College and an A.S. in Emergency Health from Mt. San Antonio College, and has worked in post-disaster public health and EMS. He is interested in the effect that changes in brain biochemistry have on personality, memory, and mood. More generally, he is interested in determining best practices in triage and questionnaire-writing in order to get meaningful, accurate answers to health questions.


Kamal Kaur, B.S.

LLD Lab Intern, [email protected]

Kamal studied at the University of California, Davis where she received her B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. She is interested in looking at depression from a larger perspective, focusing on the social determinants of mental health and the role they play in the individual experience of depression. Kamal plans to attend medical school and aspires to work in global health, helping to improve access to healthcare and working towards health equity for all people.