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. Nisimov H, Orenbuch A, Pleasure SJ, Golan HM. Impaired Organization of GABAergic Neurons Following Prenatal Hypoxia. Neuroscience. 2018 Jun 03.
  2. Winkler CC, Yabut OR, Fregoso SP, Gomez HG, Dwyer BE, Pleasure SJ, Franco SJ. The Dorsal Wave of Neocortical Oligodendrogenesis Begins Embryonically and Requires Multiple Sources of Sonic Hedgehog. J Neurosci. 2018 May 08.
  3. Shen W, Ba R, Su Y, Ni Y, Chen D, Xie W, Pleasure SJ, Zhao C. Foxg1 Regulates the Postnatal Development of Cortical Interneurons. Cereb Cortex. 2018 Apr 18.

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.