Stanford ADRC Clinical Core

The Clinical Core of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) recruits and follows patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and mild cognitive impairment; and healthy older volunteers without neurological disease or cognitive impairment.  Information that we collect supports innovative research on understanding fundamental causes of neurodegenerative disease and enabling early identification, effective treatment, and prevention.

We believe that research is most efficient when each volunteer is able to contribute multiple types of information. We refer to this strategy as “deep phenotyping.” Our research data come from neurological and neuropsychological assessments, brain imaging (PET scans and MRI scans), and molecular and genetic markers derived from blood, spinal fluid, skin fibroblasts, and stool.  All of these are ultimately tied to crucial diagnostic information obtained by brain autopsy through the ADRC Neuropathology Core.  Anonymous research data and some specimens and tissues are shared with researchers at Stanford and other universities.  Like other ADRCs, we provide Uniform Data Set measures to the  National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (Seattle, WA) and biological specimens to the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (Indianapolis, IN).  We maintain strict confidentiality. The Clinical Core is led by Dr. Victor Henderson and Christina Wyss-Coray (Clinical Coordinator) and by Dr. Kathleen Poston (Lewy body disease), Dr. Sharon Sha (clinical trials), and Dr. Maya Yutsis (neuropsychology).


Victor W. Henderson, MD, MS
Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Clinical Core Leader

Dr. Henderson directs the Stanford ADRC and co-directs the Stanford master degree program in epidemiology and clinical research. His research emphasizes risk factors for cognitive aging, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, and therapeutic strategies to maintain and improve cognitive abilities affected by cognitive aging or dementia. Dr. Henderson obtained his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and master's degree in epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health. He trained at Duke University (internal medicine), Washington University (neurology), and Boston University (behavioral neurology). He has been a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visiting professor at the University of Melbourne (Australia), and is Honorary Skou Professor at the University of Aarhus (Denmark). He has served in leadership roles concerned with late-life cognitive disorders (chair of the Geriatric Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology) and midlife cognitive health (president of the North American Menopause Society; general secretary of the International Menopause Society). He serves on editorial boards and scientific advisory boards, and he has authored more than 300 scientific articles and chapters.


Christina Wyss-Coray, RN
Nurse Coordinator

Christina completed her nursing degree in Switzerland in the Evangelischen Krankenpflege Schule in Chur and a BSN from Holy Names University in Oakland. Christina started her nursing career as a registered nurse and nurse manager at the Inselspital in Bern, Switzerland before she moved to the United States with her family.

In 1999, after receiving her California nursing license (RN) she started working at UCSF Memory and Aging Center as a clinical nurse and was involved in the coordination of several research trials. In 2009 she moved to Stanford Neuroscience Clinics and has been working there ever since as a nurse coordinator for the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders. She has been involved in coordination of clinical trials and longitudinal studies for the Center.

Kathleen Poston, MD, MS
Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Associate Core Leader, Lewy Body Disease

Dr. Poston received her Bachelor's of Science in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, her Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering and her MD at Vanderbilt University. She completed her Neurology residency training at UCSF, where she was Chief Resident. She also completed a fellowship in clinical Movement Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University and post-doctoral training in Functional Neuroimaging with Dr. David Eidelberg at the Feinstein Institute.

Dr. Poston's clinical expertise include Parkinson's Disease, atypical Parkinsonian disorders, Essential Tremor, Huntington's Disease, and tics. She also has interest in the treatment of dystonia and blepharospasm with botulinum toxin.

Dr. Poston's research focuses on the development of novel neuroimaging biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy and monitor the efficacy of investigational treatments for Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders. She is also the Principle Investigator for clinical trials in movement disorders, such as Gene Therapy in Parkinson's disease.


Sharon Sha, MD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Associate Core Leader, Clinical  Trials

Dr. Sha received her Bachelor’s degrees in Cognitive Science and Molecular Cell Biology emphasizing in Neurobiology from UC Berkeley. She went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Physiology and MD from Georgetown University. She trained in Neurology at UCLA and Stanford University and completed a clinical and research fellowship in behavioral neurology at UCSF where she focused on identifying biomarkers for genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia and caring for patients with movement disorders and cognitive impairment.

Dr. Sha’s clinical expertise include Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy Body disease, corticobasal syndrome, progressive supranuclear palsy, Huntington’s disease, ataxia, multiple system atrophy, and other dementias. She is currently co-director of the Huntington’s disease and Ataxia clinic with Dr. Veronica Santini.

Dr. Sha’s non-clinical time is spent conducting clinical trials as the Director of the Memory Disorders Clinical Trials Program in order to identify disease modifying treatments for dementia. She has a special interest in genetic forms of dementia and the cognitive impairment in parkinsonian-related disorders. She is also director of the Stanford Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Clinical Fellowship.


Maya V. Yutsis, PhD, ABPP-CN
Clinical Assistant Professor (Affiliated) of Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Associate Core Leader, Neuropsychology

Dr. Yutsis received her bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Palo Alto University, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. She completed a clinical internship in neuropsychology at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  Prior to coming to Stanford, she was the lead neuropsychologist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System for the Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program and for the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center Telehealth Neuropsychology clinic. Dr. Yutsis's research interests are in cognitive aging and dementia and traumatic brain injury.


Veronica E. Santini, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Santini received her BS degree in chemistry at the University of Miami and MA and MD degrees from Boston University. She trained there as a Resident in Neurology, becoming chief resident in her final year. She undertook fellowship in Movement Disorders under Dr. Saint Hilaire at Boston University. Dr. Santini specializes in the diagnosis and management of Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonism, and she has a special interest in disorders of the autonomic nervous system. Dr. Santini has assumed leadership roles in medical student and resident education. To help advance global health, she started an initiative that brought multidisciplinary teams of health care providers and trainees to Haiti to provide essential neurologic care. She serves as ambassador to the St. Luke Foundation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


Irina Skylar-Scott, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Skylar-Scott is a board-certified, fellowship-trained cognitive and behavioral neurologist and clinical assistant professor at Stanford University.

Her clinical interests include the treatment of cognitive and behavioral impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, posterior cortical atrophy, primary progressive aphasia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, primary age-related tauopathy, and limbic-predominant age-associated TDP-43 encephalopathy, among other disorders of cognition and behavior.

Her research interests include clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and how social and intellectual engagement can affect cognition. She also has investigated impaired consciousness in epilepsy and biomarkers for assessing Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Prior to joining Stanford, Dr. Skylar-Scott was a fellow in the Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (CART) in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


Laurice Yang, MHA, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Laurice Yang is a movement disorders specialist, with clinical and research interests in Parkinson’s disease, other parkinsonian disorders, dystonia, essential tremor, and Huntington’s disease.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley, master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of Southern California,  and medical degree from the University of Vermont.  Dr. Yang completed neurology residency training at the University of Southern California and completed a movement disorders fellowship at the University of California in Los Angeles.  She is particularly interested in rehabilitation techniques to improve motor symptoms and motor performance of movement disorders patients.


John Barry, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences (by courtesy)

Dr. Barry, director of the Neuropsychiatry and Psychotherapy Clinics, has a special interest in neuropsychiatric problems of people with dementia. He directs the UCNS-accredited Stanford Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Program and is consultant to the Stanford Center on Memory Disorders and the Stanford Movement Disorders Center.


Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine and Genetics

Humans are now understood to live in complex symbiosis with microbes. While the majority of interactions between the host and microbiota are considered to be symbiotic, alterations of the microbiota are associated with various disease states. It is hypothesized that perhaps the patients most susceptible to adverse outcomes of microbiota dysbiosis are patients whose immune systems are challenged. The goal of the Bhatt lab is to understand the interplay between the microbial environment in immunocompromised patients, especially those with hematological malignancies (leukemia and lymphoma). The laboratory focuses on (1) the use of next generation sequencing to define the microbiome and host immunologic features in patients with hematological diseases and (2) developing custom computational tools for the identification of novel human commensals and pathogens in these immunosuppressed patient populations, and (3) using statistical and functional biological methods to understand the interplay between the human microbiome and the development of immunological diversity.


Jennie Clark, MA, CPG, CAEd, CMC, CDP, CMDCP
Gerontologist, Memory Support Program Manager

Jennie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Master of Arts degree in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist, Board Certified in Alzheimer Education, a Certified Geriatric Care Manager, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional. Jennie manages the Memory Support Program of Aging Adult Services. She lectures and presents on the topics of person-centered dementia care and caregiving in dementia. She is published in academic journals and has co-authored clinical and research manuals.

Henry (Hank) Greely, JD
Neuroethicist

Henry T. "Hank" Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University. He specializes in ethical, legal, and social issues arising from advances in the biosciences, particularly from genetics, neuroscience, and human stem cell research. He chairs the California Advisory Committee on Human Stem Cell Research and the steering committee of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, and directs the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences and the Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society. He serves as a member of the NAS Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; the NIGMS Advisory Council, the Institute of Medicine’s Neuroscience Forum, and the NIH Multi-Center Working Group on the BRAIN Initiative. Professor Greely graduated from Stanford in 1974 and from Yale Law School in 1977. He served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court. He began teaching at Stanford in 1985.

 


Allyson C. Rosen, PhD, ABPP-CN
Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Neuropsychologist

Dr. Rosen is Director of Dementia Education at the Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the Palo Alto VAMC. She completed college at Brown University, a clinical psychology Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, clinical neuropsychology internship at the Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York, clinical neuropsychology fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin and research fellowships at National Institute on Aging and Stanford. For the past decade Dr. Rosen provided dementia education in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and other community organizations. Dr. Rosen’s funded research has focused on applying cognitive neuroscience of aging to improve clinical practice in older adults by using cognitive measures, brain imaging, and noninvasive brain stimulation. Studies include using fMRI as an outcome measure for cognitive training, adapting transcranial magnetic stimulation to brain atrophy using fMRI, and using structural MRI to avoid postoperative cognitive decline and improve outcome from carotid vascular procedures

Maria-Lucia Campos, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Maria-Lucia Campos earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Rochester in upstate New York. Before joining us at the ADRC, she worked at Boston Children’s Hospital as Clinical Research Study Coordinator, where she collaborated with team members across thirty-two sites in North America to implement a comprehensive and robust handoff program proven to decrease medical errors. She was also a Research Data Specialist for Dana Farber Cancer Institute and was involved in the coordinator of several clinical trials. She is very passionate about research and quality improvement projects.

Michelle Collado, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Michele graduated from San Jose State University in 2019, where she studied Biology with a concentration in Systems Physiology and a minor in Chemistry.  She has contributed to research with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's MIRT program in Chile, and San Jose State University's White Cancer Biology Lab. Michele's role with the ADRC and Pacific Udall Center focuses on the outreach of the Hispanic/Latino community in research. In her free time, she likes to garden and spend time with her dog Lucas.

Nicole Kathleen Corso, MS
Clincal Research Coordinator Associate

Nicole received her MS in Health Psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2018. As a masters student, she worked in the Psychiatric Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory with Israel Liberzon, MD and in the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory with J. Todd Arnedt, PhD in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Using fMRI and electroencephalography (EEG), her work focused on attention and emotion regulation neurocircuitry in patients with mood and sleep disorders. Nicole joined the Stanford Memory Lab led by Anthony Wagner, PhD and the Mormino Lab led by Elizabeth Mormino, PhD in June 2018 to explore the cognitive changes that occur in aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. Nicole hopes to pursue a PhD to further explore these changes and the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.  

T’Lesa Meadowcroft, BS
ADRC Clinical Core Research Assistant

T’Lesa Meadowcroft earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She worked as a research assistant in psychology and, after graduation in 2010, as a neuropsychometrist at the University of Utah Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research.  In 2015, she became a Certified Specialist in Psychometry and moved to Stanford Health Care as a clinical psychometrist, before joining us at the ADRC.

Veronica Ramirez, BS
ADRC Clinical Core Research Assistant

Veronica Ramirez is a research assistant for the Clinical Core of the Stanford ADRC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Orleans. As an undergraduate at the University of New Orleans, she worked as a lab assistant in the department of psychology. After receiving her bachelor’s, she worked as a psychometrist and Clinical Research Coordinator at a private neuropsychology practice in New Orleans. Much of her work has involved research in behavioral neurology and forensic neuropsychology.

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