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Sam Pleasure, Ph.D., M.D.

Neurologist and epilepsy specialist

Dr. Samuel J. Pleasure is a neurologist and neuroscientist specializing in the care of epilepsy patients. In his research, he studies how early brain development is disturbed leading to structural brain lesions that cause epilepsy in many patients. He has published numerous scientific papers in this area and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for many scientific journals. Pleasure earned his medical degree and doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. At UCSF, he completed a residency in neurology and served as chief resident for one year, followed by a research fellowship in neuroscience. Pleasure joined the faculty at UCSF as assistant professor in residence and the Robert and Elinor Aird Endowed Chair of Neurology in 2000. He is a member of the American Neurological Association, the American Academy of Neurology, American Epilepsy Society, Society for Neuroscience, Society for Developmental Biology and Cajal Club. He is a John Merck Scholar in the Biology of Developmental Disabilities in Children and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


Epilepsy Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Eighth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-2437
Fax: (415) 353-2837

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

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

Hours: Monday to Friday
7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

More about Sam Pleasure


University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 1993


UCSF Medical Center, Neurology 1997

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Yabut O, Pleasure SJ, Yoon K. A Notch above Sonic Hedgehog. Dev Cell. 2015 May 26; 33(4):371-2.
  2. 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 5; 34(45):14973-83.
  3. 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.
  4. 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; 5:4692.
  5. Cocas L, Pleasure SJ. Wrong place, wrong time: ectopic progenitors cause cortical heterotopias. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Jul; 17(7):894-5.
  6. Yabut O, Pleasure SJ. The quintessence of quiescence. Neuron. 2014 May 7; 82(3):501-3.
  7. 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.
  8. Yang S, Edman LC, Sánchez-Alcańiz 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.
  9. Li G, Pleasure SJ. The development of hippocampal cellular assemblies. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2014 Mar-Apr; 3(2):165-77.
  10. Berger JR, Choi D, Kaminski HJ, Gordon MF, Hurko O, D'Cruz O, Pleasure SJ, Feldman EL. Importance and hurdles to drug discovery for neurological disease. Ann Neurol. 2013 Sep; 74(3):441-6.
  11. Ross AP, Mansilla MA, Choe Y, Helminski S, Sturm R, Maute RL, May SR, Hozyasz KK, Wójcicki P, Mostowska A, Davidson B, Adamopoulos IE, Pleasure SJ, Murray JC, Zarbalis KS. A mutation in mouse Pak1ip1 causes orofacial clefting while human PAK1IP1 maps to 6p24 translocation breaking points associated with orofacial clefting. PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e69333.
  12. Siegenthaler JA, Choe Y, Patterson KP, Hsieh I, Li D, Jaminet SC, Daneman R, Kume T, Huang EJ, Pleasure SJ. Foxc1 is required by pericytes during fetal brain angiogenesis. Biol Open. 2013 Jul 15; 2(7):647-59.
  13. Li G, Fang L, Fernández G, Pleasure SJ. The ventral hippocampus is the embryonic origin for adult neural stem cells in the dentate gyrus. Neuron. 2013 May 22; 78(4):658-72.
  14. Choe Y, Kozlova A, Graf D, Pleasure SJ. Bone morphogenic protein signaling is a major determinant of dentate development. J Neurosci. 2013 Apr 17; 33(16):6766-75.
  15. Harrison-Uy SJ, Siegenthaler JA, Faedo A, Rubenstein JL, Pleasure SJ. CoupTFI interacts with retinoic acid signaling during cortical development. PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e58219.
  16. Huilgol D, Udin S, Shimogori T, Saha B, Roy A, Aizawa S, Hevner RF, Meyer G, Ohshima T, Pleasure SJ, Zhao Y, Tole S. Dual origins of the mammalian accessory olfactory bulb revealed by an evolutionarily conserved migratory stream. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Feb; 16(2):157-65.
  17. Choe Y, Pleasure SJ. Wnt signaling regulates intermediate precursor production in the postnatal dentate gyrus by regulating CXCR4 expression. Dev Neurosci. 2012; 34(6):502-14.
  18. Choe Y, Pleasure SJ. The GAP between axon pruning and repulsion. Dev Cell. 2012 Jul 17; 23(1):3-4.
  19. Harrison-Uy SJ, Pleasure SJ. Wnt signaling and forebrain development. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Jul; 4(7):a008094.
  20. Ultanir SK, Hertz NT, Li G, Ge WP, Burlingame AL, Pleasure SJ, Shokat KM, Jan LY, Jan YN. Chemical genetic identification of NDR1/2 kinase substrates AAK1 and Rabin8 Uncovers their roles in dendrite arborization and spine development. Neuron. 2012 Mar 22; 73(6):1127-42.

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.