Sam Pleasure, MD, PhD


Dr. Samuel Pleasure is a neurologist who specializes in the care of multiple sclerosis patients. He also has significant experience and interest in the care of epilepsy patients. Pleasure has years of experience in the management of general neurology problems as well, in both clinic and hospital settings.

Pleasure's research focuses on two main areas of inquiry. He studies processes that regulate early brain development, which is important for the formation and organization of the cerebral cortex in both normal and diseased situations. He also studies autoimmune forms of meningoencephalitis, where inflammation in specific brain areas causes severe neurologic dysfunction.

Pleasure received his medical degree and doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. He was chief resident during his neurology residency at UCSF, where he then completed a research fellowship in neuroscience.

Pleasure is a fellow of the American Neurological Association and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Epilepsy Society, Society for Neuroscience, Society for Developmental Biology and Cajal Club. He has won numerous awards for his research, which has received funding from a wide variety of private, state and federal sources. He has served in leadership roles in national organizations and in the UCSF Department of Neurology.

Pleasure is a professor of neurology and the Glenn W. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Endowed Chair in Neurology at UCSF.


Multiple Sclerosis Center
1500 Owens St., Suite 320
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2069
Fax: (415) 353-2633

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

Board Certification

Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Academic Title


More about Sam Pleasure


University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., Neuroscience 1993
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania 1993


UCSF Medical Center, Neurology 1997

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Han D, Byun SH, Kim J, Kwon M, Pleasure SJ, Ahn JH, Yoon K. Human Cytomegalovirus IE2 Protein Disturbs Brain Development by the Dysregulation of Neural Stem Cell Maintenance and the Polarization of Migrating Neurons. J Virol. 2017 09 01; 91(17).
  2. Byun SH, Kim J, Han D, Kwon M, Cho JY, Ng HX, Pleasure SJ, Yoon K. TRBP maintains mammalian embryonic neural stem cell properties by acting as a novel transcriptional coactivator of the Notch signaling pathway. Development. 2017 03 01; 144(5):778-783.
  3. Yadav S, Oses-Prieto JA, Peters CJ, Zhou J, Pleasure SJ, Burlingame AL, Jan LY, Jan YN. TAOK2 Kinase Mediates PSD95 Stability and Dendritic Spine Maturation through Septin7 Phosphorylation. Neuron. 2017 Jan 18; 93(2):379-393.
  4. Yabut OR, Pleasure SJ. The Crossroads of Neural Stem Cell Development and Tumorigenesis. Opera Med Physiol. 2016 Dec; 2(3-4):181-187.
  5. Yabut OR, Ng HX, Fernandez G, Yoon K, Kuhn J, Pleasure SJ. Loss of Suppressor of Fused in Mid-Corticogenesis Leads to the Expansion of Intermediate Progenitors. J Dev Biol. 2016 Dec; 4(4).
  6. Mishra S, Choe Y, Pleasure SJ, Siegenthaler JA. Cerebrovascular defects in Foxc1 mutants correlate with aberrant WNT and VEGF-A pathways downstream of retinoic acid from the meninges. Dev Biol. 2016 Dec 01; 420(1):148-165.
  7. Bonney S, Harrison-Uy S, Mishra S, MacPherson AM, Choe Y, Li D, Jaminet SC, Fruttiger M, Pleasure SJ, Siegenthaler JA. Diverse Functions of Retinoic Acid in Brain Vascular Development. J Neurosci. 2016 07 20; 36(29):7786-801.
  8. Cocas LA, Fernandez G, Barch M, Doll J, Zamora Diaz I, Pleasure SJ. Cell Type-Specific Circuit Mapping Reveals the Presynaptic Connectivity of Developing Cortical Circuits. J Neurosci. 2016 Mar 16; 36(11):3378-90.
  9. Choe Y, Pleasure SJ, Mira H. Control of Adult Neurogenesis by Short-Range Morphogenic-Signaling Molecules. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2015 Dec 04; 8(3):a018887.
  10. Choe Y, Huynh T, Pleasure SJ. Epithelial cells supply Sonic Hedgehog to the perinatal dentate gyrus via transport by platelets. Elife. 2015 Oct 12; 4.
  11. Yabut OR, Fernandez G, Huynh T, Yoon K, Pleasure SJ. Suppressor of Fused Is Critical for Maintenance of Neuronal Progenitor Identity during Corticogenesis. Cell Rep. 2015 Sep 29; 12(12):2021-34.
  12. Yabut O, Pleasure SJ, Yoon K. A Notch above Sonic Hedgehog. Dev Cell. 2015 May 26; 33(4):371-2.
  13. Choe Y, Huynh T, Pleasure SJ. Migration of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells is controlled by transforming growth factor ß family proteins during corticogenesis. J Neurosci. 2014 Nov 05; 34(45):14973-83.
  14. Berberoglu MA, Dong Z, Li G, Zheng J, Trejo Martinez Ldel C, Peng J, Wagle M, Reichholf B, Petritsch C, Li H, Pleasure SJ, Guo S. Heterogeneously expressed fezf2 patterns gradient Notch activity in balancing the quiescence, proliferation, and differentiation of adult neural stem cells. J Neurosci. 2014 Oct 15; 34(42):13911-23.
  15. Orosco LA, Ross AP, Cates SL, Scott SE, Wu D, Sohn J, Pleasure D, Pleasure SJ, Adamopoulos IE, Zarbalis KS. Loss of Wdfy3 in mice alters cerebral cortical neurogenesis reflecting aspects of the autism pathology. Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 08; 5:4692.
  16. Cocas L, Pleasure SJ. Wrong place, wrong time: ectopic progenitors cause cortical heterotopias. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Jul; 17(7):894-5.
  17. Yabut O, Pleasure SJ. The quintessence of quiescence. Neuron. 2014 May 07; 82(3):501-3.
  18. Choe Y, Zarbalis KS, Pleasure SJ. Neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells require Wnt signaling for their development and drive invagination of the telencephalic midline. PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e86025.
  19. Yang S, Edman LC, Sánchez-Alcañiz JA, Fritz N, Bonilla S, Hecht J, Uhlén P, Pleasure SJ, Villaescusa JC, Marín O, Arenas E. Cxcl12/Cxcr4 signaling controls the migration and process orientation of A9-A10 dopaminergic neurons. Development. 2013 Nov; 140(22):4554-64.
  20. Li G, Pleasure SJ. The development of hippocampal cellular assemblies. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2014 Mar-Apr; 3(2):165-77.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.