Our Team

Leadership

Ronglih Liao, PhD

Dr. Ronglih Liao is a Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She was recruited from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where she was a Professor of Medicine. Her research program has centered upon the interrogation of cardiovascular physiology, from the cellular level to the organismal level, to understand the molecular underpinnings of human heart disease. The seminal work from her laboratory has redefined AL amyloid cardiomyopathy to a disease resulting from the direct cardiotoxic effects of amyloid precursor protein in addition to passive amyloid fibril deposition and restriction. She leads the basic and translational research effort at Stanford Amyloid Center with the goal to establish collaboration with leading amyloid program/centers nationally/internationally and contributes to the education of the next generation of scientists.

Ronald Witteles, MD

Ronald Witteles, MD is Co-Director of the Stanford Amyloid Center.  He is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and is Program Director for the Stanford University Internal Medicine Residency Training Program – the largest residency training program at Stanford.  He was co-founder of the Stanford Amyloid Center in 2008, and has helped to oversee its growth to become the largest program in the Western United States and one of the largest amyloid programs in the world.

Dr. Witteles earned his MD with Honors from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  He completed all of the remainder of his training at Stanford – including residency training in Internal Medicine, Chief Residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine.  Dr. Witteles holds board certifications in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.  He is a frequent speaker at regional, national, and international conferences on amyloidosis and on cardiac complications of cancer therapy.  He has led each of the clinical trials at Stanford for transthyretin amyloidosis, and has won many awards for excellence in patient care, teaching, and research.

Michaela Liedtke, MD

Dr. Michaela Liedtke is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford Cancer Institute. Dr. Liedtke received her medical degree from Hanover Medical School in Germany followed by basic science training at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She completed her internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York where she was trained in plasma cell dyscrasias and light chain amyloidosis by Dr. Raymond Comenzo. Dr. Liedtke has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters. She is an associate editor for the journal ‘Therapeutic Advances in Hematology’ and serves on the Myeloma guideline committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Dr. Liedtke’s research interests include evaluating novel plasma cell directed therapies as well as the development of amyloid fibril targeting strategies to improve treatment for light chain amyloidosis.

Clinical Team

Cardiology

Ronald Witteles, MD

Ronald Witteles, MD is Co-Director of the Stanford Amyloid Center.  He is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and is Program Director for the Stanford University Internal Medicine Residency Training Program – the largest residency training program at Stanford.  He was co-founder of the Stanford Amyloid Center in 2008, and has helped to oversee its growth to become the largest program in the Western United States and one of the largest amyloid programs in the world.

Dr. Witteles earned his MD with Honors from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.  He completed all of the remainder of his training at Stanford – including residency training in Internal Medicine, Chief Residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine.  Dr. Witteles holds board certifications in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.  He is a frequent speaker at regional, national, and international conferences on amyloidosis and on cardiac complications of cancer therapy.  He has led each of the clinical trials at Stanford for transthyretin amyloidosis, and has won many awards for excellence in patient care, teaching, and research.

Kevin Alexander, MD

Dr. Kevin Alexander is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. During medical school, he received a Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellowship and studied beta-adrenergic receptor signaling for 2 years in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Rockman at Duke University. He completed internal medicine residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is currently pursuing a 1-year subspecialty fellowship in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology at Stanford.

During his training, he has developed clinical and research interests in cardiac amyloidosis and has been working in the laboratory of Dr. Ronglih Liao since 2016. He is particular interested in unraveling the molecular determinants of transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis. To this end, he recently was selected for an American Heart Association-Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program award. For this 4-year award, he will work closely with Drs. Liao and Witteles in the Stanford Amyloid Center.

Paul Cheng, MD, PhD

Dr. Paul Cheng received his BEng in Chemical Engineering and BSc in biology at MIT, where he worked in the Wittrup lab engineering antibody mimetic. He subsequently completed his MD/PhD at UCSF working in the Srivastava lab studying how extracellular morphogenic signals affect cardiac development and fate determination of cardiac progenitors. After finishing an internal medicine residency at Stanford, Paul has continued at Stanford as a fellow in cardiology. He is currently investigating molecular mechanisms behind genetic risk factors for human cardiovascular disease with a keen interest in amyloidosis.

Matthew Wheeler, MD, PhD

Hematology

Michaela Liedtke, MD

Dr. Michaela Liedtke is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford Cancer Institute. Dr. Liedtke received her medical degree from Hanover Medical School in Germany followed by basic science training at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She completed her internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York where she was trained in plasma cell dyscrasias and light chain amyloidosis by Dr. Raymond Comenzo. Dr. Liedtke has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters. She is an associate editor for the journal ‘Therapeutic Advances in Hematology’ and serves on the Myeloma guideline committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Dr. Liedtke’s research interests include evaluating novel plasma cell directed therapies as well as the development of amyloid fibril targeting strategies to improve treatment for light chain amyloidosis.

Stanley Schrier, MD

Nephrology

Richard Lafayette, MD

Dr. Richard Lafayette is Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) at the Stanford University Medical Center. He is the founder and director of the Stanford Glomerular Disease Center and its fellowship training program. He is an original member of the Stanford Amyloid Center. He earned his medical degree at New York Medical College, trained in Internal Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and in nephrology at Stanford University. He has a longstanding interest in glomerular disease with a focus on IgA nephropathy. This interest has led to many evaluations and some elucidation of the pathogenesis of kidney disease and leadership in many clinical trials. He has more than 25 years of clinical experience and has more than 125 publications including more than 75 peer reviewed papers. He remains passionate in his efforts to discover safer and more effective treatments for patients.

Michelle O’Shaughnessy, MD

Michelle O’Shaughnessy, MB BCh, MS, MRCPI, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology. She underwent clinical training in internal medicine and nephrology in Ireland, Australia, and the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), before coming to Stanford in 2013 to complete a nephrology research fellowship along with an M.S. degree in epidemiology and clinical research. Her fellowship research was supported by a Ben J. Lipps research fellowship from the American Society of Nephrology and by an industry-sponsored fellowship award. She joined the nephrology faculty at Stanford in 2016 and has become an integral member of Stanford’s Glomerular Disease Center and Amyloid Center. In addition to seeing patients affected by kidney diseases such as amyloid, she conducts clinical outcomes studies using large patient databases and is an investigator for industry-sponsored clinical trials and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded cohort studies. Her research focuses particularly on patients with diseases affecting the glomerulus (or filtering apparatus) of the kidney, among which amyloid is an important cause.

Bone Marrow Transplantation

Sally Arai, MD

Neurology

Safwan Jaradaeh, MD

Gastroenterology

John Clarke, MD

Dr. John Clarke is originally from Virginia.  He received his undergraduate degree in History from Brown University and his medical degree from Columbia University.  He pursued residency in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in Gastroenterology & Hepatology from Johns Hopkins University and an advanced fellowship in gastrointestinal motility from Northwestern University.  He was on faculty for 9 years at Johns Hopkins University where he was the Clinical Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology & GI Motility and the Clinical Director of the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center before joining the faculty at Stanford in 2016, where he is currently Director of the Esophageal Program.  He has a clinical interest in amyloidosis stemming from his time at Johns Hopkins and an expertise in GI manifestations of amyloidosis, in particular with regards to dysmotility and malabsorption.

 

Pathology

Gerald Berry, MD

Genetic Counseling

Julia Platt, MS, LCGC

Julia Platt, MS LCGC is a Genetic Counselor for the Stanford Amyloid Center. She sees patients and families with genetic cardiomyopathies. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor (Affiliated) for the Stanford Genetic Counseling program, where she lectures for the molecular genetics, cardiovascular genetics, and psychosocial counseling courses.

Nurse Coordinators

Stacy Kobayashi, RN

Stacy Kobayashi, RN earned a BS in Nursing from Loma Linda University and MS in Business Administration from Santa Clara University. Since 2014, she has been working as a study coordinator with Dr. Witteles for the several ongoing clinical trials of cardiac amyloidosis at the Stanford Amyloid Center. Prior to this, she coordinated HIV clinical trials and served as a patient advocate.

Marie Lugtu, RN

Marie Lugtu, RN graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader program with a Masters in Nursing. She joined Stanford’s Amyloid Center in 2015 and has watched the program exponentially grow. She is one of the Center’s Nurse Coordinators, whose role is to assist in providing a seamless coordinated care plan for patients being treated with Amyloidosis. She manages the referral process in ensuring patients are able to see the numerous specialties related to their diagnosis, participates in clinic, and works directly with patients while assisting the physicians to manage their individual care. She is excited for the research efforts the Stanford Amyloid Center is making toward understanding this rare disease.

Trish Ulloa, RN

Trish Ulloa, RN spent the bulk of her career in Critical Care. She joined Stanford’s Amyloid Center in 2013 and was the original Nurse Coordinator assisting in its program development. She manages the referral process in ensuring patients are able to see the numerous specialties related to their diagnosis, participates in clinic, and works directly with patients while assisting the physicians to manage their individual care.

Research Team

Isabella Graef, MD

Seema Dangwal, PhD

Seema received PhD degree in vascular pharmacology from Duesseldorf, Germany in 2010 with the best doctoral thesis award. During her first postdoc in Dr. Thomas Thum’s lab in Hannover Germany, she got trained in non-coding RNA driven translational research and high throughput biomarkers screening in cardiovascular diseases. In 2012, she received European Foundation (EFSD) grant and DHD fellowship to study platelet miRNA mediated vascular cell cross talk in cardiovascular complications. Later in 2014, she secured German Research foundation (DFG) independent PI grant and investigated bulk and single cell RNA sequencing based molecular mechanisms of impaired tissue repair in diabetic patients in Dr. Aristidis Veves’ lab at BIDMC, Boston. In August 2018, she joined Stanford School of Medicine as a junior faculty. Her major research interests are novel biomarker search and non-coding (mi-, lnc-, circ-) RNAs driven molecular and cellular mechanisms of tissue tropism in amyloidosis, inflammation, CVD and diabetes associated complications.

Isabel Morgado, PhD

Dr. Isabel Morgado received her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Algarve in Portugal, where she studied the structure-to-function evaluation and amyloid formation by the protein transthyretin. Since then, her research interest has focused on protein misfolding and amyloid diseases. She was a DFG fellow at the Max Planck Research Unit for Protein Folding, studying Aβ amyloid formation and a Marie Curie fellow at the Center of Marine Sciences of Algarve and Boston University, investigating transthyretin and apolipoproten A-I amyloidosis. She currently holds an Instructor position at Stanford and works in Dr. Liao’s lab to uncover mechanisms of amyloid diseases, in particular transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis, using in vivo zebrafish models.