Personnel

Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Bio

Dr. Keith D. Sudheimer is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is the director of the Affective Research Collaborative (ARC) lab at Stanford. Dr. Sudheimer is a neuroscientist and expert in neuroimaging and neuroendocrinology. His research is focused on understanding the functioning of the neural networks that control emotion. The goal of ARC-lab research is to develop new evidence-based strategies for treating psychiatric mood and anxiety disorders like depression and anxiety. The research also seeks to develop new strategies for treating emotional disturbances that occur in other conditions, such as age-related cognitive impairments, Alzheimer's, obsessive-compulsive disorder, traumatic brain injury, sepsis, autism-spectrum disorders. Dr. Sudheimer's work has produced several key advances is the study of Depression. 1) Sadness-related activation of the subgenual cingulate cortex is suppressed by cortisol. The subgenual cingulate is a brain region that becomes more active when people experience sadness. People experiencing symptoms of depression have hyperactivity in the subgenual cingulate, likely leading to the pathological versions of sadness that they feel. Cortisol is a hormone that responds to stressful events and helps the body cope with stress. People experiencing symptoms of depression have reduced brain sensitivity to cortisol. Dr. Sudheimer was the first to demonstrate that one of the functions of cortisol in the brain is to suppress subgenual cingulate activity, suggesting that reduced brain sensitivity to cortisol is causing hyperactivity in the subgenual cingulate. 2) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation(TMS) aimed at suppressing subgenual cingulate cortex activity is can produce remission in patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression. The ARC-lab in collaboration with the Brain Stimulation lab (BSL) at Stanford has jointly developed a new strategy for treating depression. TMS uses magnetic stimulation to non-invasively produce brain activity in a targeted neural network. We developed a way to map the personalized neural networks of a patient that have the highest likelihood of suppressing hyperactivity in the subgenual cingulate in patients. Using TMS to strengthen a patient's own capacity to inhibit their subgenual cingulate response, we have developed a breakthrough new way of treating depression.
Postdoctoral Medical Fellow, Psychiatry Resident in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Bio

Brandon received his bachelors in physics from The College of New Jersey. Upon graduating he spent a year conducting plasma physics research in a joint project between Princeton University and NASA. Brandon then turned his interests to addiction neuroscience and began his training in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). At MUSC Brandon completed his dissertation research with Gary Aston-Jones, PhD, studying the behavioral economics and neuroeconomics of drug self-administration in rats. Simultaneously, Brandon conducted clinical research on buprenorphine maintenance therapy, focusing on how patient perspectives influence treatment. Brandon is currently a resident physician in the research track in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Brandon's current research interests focus on developing neurostimulation-based treatments for substance use disorders within a neuroeconomic framework.
Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Clinical Rsch Coord Assoc, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Bio

Flint M. Espil, Ph.D. is an Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences within the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Espil’s research focuses on anxiety and compulsive behaviors within youth, with particular emphasis on phenomenology, assessment, and the dissemination of behavioral interventions for these disorders. Within the Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program (ELSPAP), Dr. Espil currently oversees a research trial investigating the effectiveness of trauma-focused interventions and neurobehavioral correlates of outcomes for youth seeking services in a community-based mental health clinic. He is also the Principal Investigator of a study examining ways to partner with local community organizations to improve school-based mental health care for students in East Palo Alto. Dr. Espil also recently received a grant from the American Academy of Neurology and Tourette Association of America to study neurofunctioning as a predictor of behavior therapy outcomes for pediatric tic disorders. In addition to research, Dr. Espil has extensive experience training practitioners to provide clinical services for youth and their families.
MD Student, expected graduation Spring 2021
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry

Bio

My research has focused on differences in brain activity, structure and functional connectivity in various conditions; sensory deficits, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions. I have experience with a range of neuroscience techniques including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electromyography (EMG). My PhD research focused on neural differences in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I completed my PhD within three years; completing four research projects across three different labs, including working with a world leader in ASD research, Prof. Peter Enticott, in Melbourne, Australia. Alongside my PhD, I worked in an outpatient clinic alongside clinical psychiatrists and coordinated a multi-award winning mental health campaign. My interest in psychiatric research led me to take a postdoctoral position in the Psychiatry Department at Stanford, developing an accelerated brain stimulation therapy for adults with treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation. This position also involves utilizing the latest neural targeting methods for rTMS using functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI), examining neural connectivity changes associated with antidepressant responses and identifying potential biomarkers of antidepressant response. I am fully committed to a career in research, particularly research aimed at identifying the neural basis of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders in order to both develop new treatments and improve existing treatments for mental illnesses.
Clinical Rsch Coord Assoc, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)

Bio

Claudia graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Cognitive Science in 2018. She joined the Brain Stimulation Laboratory team as an Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator in June 2018. She is interested in learning more about depression and novel treatments for it and other mental illness using brain stimulation. Claudia's aspirations are to be accepted into an MD-PhD program.
Resident in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry

Bio

John obtained his BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, where he worked in a sleep and psychopathology lab. He then worked in a depression lab at UCSF before entering a PhD program at UCLA, where he conducted research on the relationship between language and thought under the guidance of Dr. Martin Monti. After completing his doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience, he returned to the Bay Area where he currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the Palo Alto VA in the lab of Dr. Maheen Adamson, where he is developing new treatments for traumatic brain injury, and at Stanford in the Brain Stimulation Lab, where he is developing new treatments for depression. His current focus in both labs is on noninvasive neuromodulation.
Stanford Student Employee, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry
Temp Non-Exempt Research Assistant, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry
Casual Non-Exempt Research Assistant, Psych/General Psychiatry and Psychology (Adult)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry