Stanford ADRC Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core

In support of research on Alzheimer disease and related disorders, the Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core analyzes tissues and other biological samples from volunteers in the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). Core faculty provide state of the art neuropathology diagnoses of ADRC participants according to consensus diagnostic criteria.  They contribute anonymous autopsy data to the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center, and prepare a brain autopsy report for a participant’s next of kin.  The Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core maintains an archive of research tissues from ADRC brain autopsies.

Specimens provided by the Clinical Core are processed and analyzed within the Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core.  These include blood, spinal fluid, and skin fibroblasts.  Some specimens and genetic materials are provided anonymously to the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease.


Thomas J. Montine, MD, PhD
Stanford Medicine Professor in Pathology
Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core leader

Dr. Montine is chair of the Department of Pathology.  His research focuses on the structural and molecular bases for cognitive impairment in the elderly and how they give rise to Alzheimer’s disease and non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease. His lab seeks to identify key pathogenic steps in these processes and to develop new ways to protect cognitive function with advancing age. Dr. Montine also directs the Pacific Northwest Udall Center, a national center of excellence for Parkinson’s disease research that involves faculty from Stanford University, the University of Washington, and the Oregon Health & Science University.


Edward D. Plowey, MD
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core co-leader

Dr. Plowey earned M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology and fellowship training in Neuropathology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  He is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology by the American Board of Pathology.  Dr. Plowey’s primary research interest is the role of autophagy in the protection of neurons from stressors associated with aging, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.


Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
ADRC Core co-leader

Dr. Wyss-Coray received his PhD in cellular immunology at the University of Bern, Switzerland and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.  At Stanford, his lab is focused on understanding how different types of immune responses and activation of inflammatory pathways in the brain may be able to promote or ameliorate neurodegeneration as a result of aging or traumatic injury. They use various neuropathological methods to quantify degeneration and have invested significant efforts in establishing state of the art behavioral tests for mice. Over the past few years, Dr. Wyss-Coray's lab has been particularly intrigued by the observation that brain aging and neurodegeneration are associated with cellular and molecular changes in the systemic environment, and his group has shown that blood derived factors are sufficient to modulate brain physiology at the molecular, cellular, and functional level. They have put an increasing effort into focused proteomic approaches in which several hundred secreted signaling proteins are measured, which may be critical regulators (and indicators) of physiological and pathophysiological processes throughout the body, including the brain.


Ahmad Salehi, MD, PhD
Clinical Professor (Affiliated) in Psychiatry VA Research

After receiving the MD degree, Dr. Salehi obtained his Ph.D. in the field of neurobiology at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research in Amsterdam, followed by postdoctoral training in the Netherlands and at Stanford. He worked as a senior scientist at Stanford for almost a decade, and from 2001 to 2010 he directed the VA/Stanford Brain Bank, collecting high quality postmortem tissue samples from individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Salehi currently directs the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center translational laboratory at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he works on molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome. In 2010, he received the World Technology Award for the innovative use of mouse models to identify genes responsible for cognitive disabilities. He has found that increasing beta2 adrenergic signaling improves cognitive function in a mouse model of Down syndrome, and he is now helping to test whether a beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist might also improve cognitive function and reduce brain pathology in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  


Hannes Vogel, MD
Professor of Pathology and of Pediatrics (Pediatric Genetics)

Dr. Vogel is associate chair for neuropathology in the Department of Pathology.  His research interests include mitochondrial diseases, nerve and muscle pathology, pediatric neuro-oncology, and transgenic mouse pathology.  He received his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine and completed residency and fellowship training in pediatrics, anatomic pathology, and neuropathology at Baylor, UCSF, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Stanford University, and Texas Children’s Hospital.