The Stanford Neuromuscular Disorders Program Team
John W. Day, MD, PhD
Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences Director, Stanford Neuromuscular Disorders Program
Dr. Day has over 25 years of experience in diagnosing, treating and supporting patients with neuromuscular diseases. He is involved in ongoing research defining causes, diagnosis and novel treatments of genetic neuromuscular disorders. Prior to his arrival at Stanford in 2011, Dr. Day directed the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center at University of Minnesota. Dr. Day graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his Residency and Fellowship at University of California Medical School in San Francisco. Dr. Day is Board Certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Day serves as an advisor to many scientific committees researching neuromuscular diseases, including NIH’s Advisory Committees on Muscular Dystrophy and Muscular Dystrophy research.
His areas of interest include most areas of nerve and muscle diseases, in particular, muscular dystrophies, motor neuron diseases, Ataxia and Myasthenia Gravis.
Yuen So, MD, PhD
Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Chief, Neurology Clinics
Dr. So has over 25 years of experience in the diagnosis and management of neuromuscular diseases. He received his Ph.D. From Rockefeller University, and his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his Neurology Residency and Electrophysiology Fellowship training at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. Dr. So held faculty positions at University of California at San Francisco and Oregon Health Sciences University before joining Stanford in 1999, where he is currently Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Neurology Clinics.
Dr. So is board certified in Neurology with added Qualification in Neuromuscular Medicine by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and in Electrodiagnostic Medicine by the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. His areas of interest include most areas of nerve and muscle diseases, in particular, myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and neuropathy. His research focuses on peripheral neuropathy, ALS and myasthenia gravis.
Dr. So is passionate about teaching. He directed the Neurology Residency Training at Stanford for 11 years. He won the L. Forno Award for Teaching Excellence in the Neurology Department in 1999. He was nominated by Stanford medical students in 2005 for the AAMC Humanism in Medicine Award. He has also been included in Best Doctors list for many years.
Safwan Jaradeh, MD
Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Director, Autonomic Disorders Program
Dr. Jaradeh's clinical interests include autonomic disorders, small fiber neuropathies and the development of effective methods of testing and treating these disorders. Prior work has focused on small fiber painful and autonomic neuropathies; syndromes of orthostatic intolerance and syncope; gastrointestinal motility dysfunction; cyclic vomiting; protected Gastroesophageal Reflux; non-allergic rhinitis syndromes; and the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and normal or abnormal sleep. Additional areas of interest include the neurology of phonation and swallowing disorders, and peripheral nerve injury and repair.
Dr. Jaradeh is board certified in Clinical Neurophysiology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and board certified in Electrodiagnostic Medicine by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine.
Prior to his arrival at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Dr. Jaradeh was the Chair and a professor at Medical College of Wisconsin from 2000 to 2011.
Dr. Les Dorman studies the clinical electrophysiology of the peripheral and central nervous systems, including nerve conduction velocity; electromyography (EMG); and visual, auditory and somatosensory evoked potentials. He also studies the application of digital signal processing techniques in clinical neurophysiology for diagnosis of neurological disorders and for neurological rehabilitation. Dr. Dorfman has been on staff at Stanford for more than thirty years.
Dr. Dorfman received his M.D. From Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed residencies at Greenwich Hospital and at Stanford Hospital. He did fellowships at the National Hospital in London and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Charles Cho, MD
Clinical Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr. Cho has over a decade of experience in diagnostic electrophysiological testing and treatment of neuromuscular and pain disorders. Dr. Cho, a Clinical Professor of Neurology, joined Stanford Hospital in 2001 after his fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He completed his Residency at Stanford University School of Medicine in 2000.
His interests are in muscle and motor neuron disease, the neurophysiology and electrical functions of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves, and the neuroablative therapies available using anesthetics, steroids, and toxins. He specializes in emerging treatments for patients with neurological diseases.
Thomas A. Rando, MD, PhD
Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Director, Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging
Dr. Rando has over 20 years of experience in research in muscle diseases and the diagnosis and management of neuromuscular diseases. He received his MD and PhD from Harvard University, after which he completed his neurology residency at UCSF and postdoctoral training at Stanford before joining the faculty in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences as an Assistant Professor. He was a founding director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at Stanford. Dr. Rando is Chief of Neurology at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System where he also is Director of the Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of Excellence whose focus is translational research and tissue engineering for neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders.
His primary research interests are in muscle stem cell biology and therapeutics from muscular dystrophies, stem cell aging, and musculoskeletal tissue engineering.
Hannes Vogel, MD
Associate Chair for Neuropathology, Department of Pathology
Dr. Vogel’s research interests include nerve and muscle pathology, mitochondrial diseases, pediatric neurooncology, and transgenic mouse pathology. Dr. Vogel is the Associate Chair for Neuropathology, Department of Pathology at Stanford from 2005 to the present.
Dr. Goyal received her medical degree from State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. She completed her Neurology residency and fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Diseases at Stanford University Hospital. She served as Chief Resident in her last year of Residency.
Dr. Goyal is Board Certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Her clinical research interests include ALS and sleep, hereditary neuropathies, and neuromuscular junction disorders. She also focuses her efforts on teaching the medical students and neurology residents about neurological and neuromuscular diseases, peripheral neuroanatomy, and the proper technique and interpretation of electromyography and nerve conduction studies.
Ana Carolina Tesi Rocha, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatric Neurology & Neurological Sciences
After moving to the United States from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dr. Tesi Rocha received her second medical degree from Children’s National Medical Center. She continued her work at Children’s National as an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, was the co-director of the MDA clinic, as well as the director of the neuromuscular program and electrodiagnostic lab. Dr. Tesi Rocha specializes in general child neurology with a focus on pediatric neuromuscular disorders. Her clinical research focuses on SMA, muscular dystrophies and congenital myopathies.
Srikanth Muppidi, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr Muppidi is a clinical assistant professor in the autonomic and neuromuscular divisions. After finishing medical school in South India, he obtained MRCP (London) before moving to the US and completed neurology residency training at Thomas Jefferson University and neuromuscular fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He specializes in clinical care and diagnostic testing for various autonomic disorders and neuromuscular disorders. His clinical interests include various types of neuropathies, autonomic disorders and Myasthenia Gravis. His research interests include treatment and outcome measures in Myasthenia Gravis, methods to detect early autonomic impairment in diabetes and diagnosis and management of immune/neurodegenerative causes of autonomic failure.
Dr Muppidi is board certified in Neurology and in Neuromuscular disorders by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is also board certified in Autonomic Disorders by the UCNS Board of American Autonomic Society.
Prior to his arrival at Stanford Hospital and Clinics in November 2013, Dr. Muppidi was an Assistant Professor in Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2009.
Sarada Sakamuri, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Sakamuri received her medical degree from New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ, where she focused on community health education and was elected a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She completed her neurology residency at Stanford University and served as chief resident. She pursued her passion for neuromuscular disorders by completing fellowships in EMG/Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Medicine at Stanford, and a concurrent research fellowship at Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research Center.
Dr. Sakamuri is board-certified in Neurology and in Neuromuscular disorders by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Her interests and research include respiratory dysfunction in neuromuscular disease, Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome, nemaline myopathies, and myotonic dystrophy.
Dr. Sakamuri also enjoys medical education. She is the Associate Director of the Neuromuscular Medicine Fellowship. She previously served as a teaching fellow for medical students at Stanford School of Medicine, and as a clinical instructor at Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland.
Jacinda Sampson, MD, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Jacinda Sampson received her MD and a PhD in biochemistry from University of Alabama at Birmingham, and completed her neurology residency and neurogenetics fellowship at the University of Utah. She served at Columbia University Medical Center prior to joining Stanford University Medical Center in 2015. Her areas of interest include myotonic dystrophies, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and neurogenetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis, hereditary spastic paraparesis, spinocerebellar ataxia, among others. She is interested in clinical trials for treatment of neurogenetic disorders, and is the clinical application of next-generation genomic sequencing to genetic testing.
Michelle Cao, DO
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Cao is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Sleep Medicine. She received her medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Loma Linda University. Dr. Cao then went on to complete Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Sleep Medicine fellowship at Stanford University.
Dr. Cao is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties. Dr. Cao sees patients at the Stanford Sleep Medicine Clinic in Redwood City Campus and the Neuromuscular Multidisciplinary Clinic in the Stanford Neurosciences Institute. Her clinical expertise includes obstructive sleep apnea; central sleep apnea and pulmonary/sleep related breathing disorders in neuromuscular disease. Her research interests include advanced positive airway pressure treatment for sleep-disordered breathing; opioid induced central sleep apnea, and sleep education.
Ning Sarah Yang
Dr. Sarah Yang received her B.A. in Biology and Mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her internship and neurology residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago where she served as chief resident prior to joining the Stanford neuromuscular program as a fellow. She was selected as the AANEM Junior Member Leadership Liaison for 2016-2018 and also serves on the website CME committee.
Meeta Cardon, MD
Dr. Meeta Cardon is a Pediatric Neurologist who is completing subspecialty training in Pediatric Neuromuscular disease at Stanford. Her interest in neuroscience began during her undergraduate career at Vanderbilt University when she studied the development of the neuromuscular junction in fruit flies, Drosophila. Her clinical interests bloomed at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where she began to study Pediatric Neurology. She then completed her post-graduate training in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine before moving to Northern California for Fellowship at Stanford Medicine. Her clinical interests include pediatric neurology, contributing to innovations in treatments, and teaching physicians in training as she continues to learn about this fast-evolving field.
Karolina Watson, MS, PNP-BC, CNS, RN
Karolina Watson is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who joined the Neurology team in January 2012. She graduated from University of California San Francisco’s Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing program in 2005. Karolina works primarily with our pediatric neuromuscular patients, providing exemplary patient care throughout our multi-disciplinary MDA clinics.
Connie Wolford, MSN, FNP-BC
Connie joined the Neuromuscular team in 2010. She previously worked in the Center for Memory Disorders at Stanford. She earned her MS in nursing from San Francisco State University. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Connie’s publications and presentations are in the area of transient ischemic attack evaluation.
Deborah Gilman RN, MSN
Deborah joined the Neuromuscular team in 2015. She started her career at Stanford in 2006 as a medical surgical nurse in Neurosurgery/ Trauma, and later in the Endoscopy department. While at Stanford her focus has been education and patient safety. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of California at Davis, a secondary teaching credential in Biology and General Science from San Jose State University, and Master’s Degree in Case Management from Samuel Merritt College. After becoming a tenured science teacher and a paramedic, Deborah found nursing as her career. Her goal is to empower patients through education and collaboration.
Carly Siskind, MS, LCGC
Senior Genetic Counselor, Assistant Clinical Professor – Affiliated
Before joining the neuromuscular team in 2011, Carly Siskind worked in neurogenetics at Wayne State University in Detroit. She sees patients both at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Ms. Siskind is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology (Affiliated), with her main research focus being Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Ms. Siskind obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan with a major in Biology, minor in Global Change and a teaching certificate for high school science. She obtained her Master’s degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. She was board certified by the National Society of Genetic Counselors in 2009 and licensed by the state of California in 2011.
Julie Muccini, MS, OTR/L
Neuro Clinical Specialist
A graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College, Julie received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy and received her Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at University of Massachusetts. Julie joined Stanford Hospital and Clinics in 1997 where she began practicing Occupational Therapy with the acute inpatients and the inpatient rehabilitation unit. In 2009, she transitioned to the role of Inpatient Rehabilitation Neuro Clinical Specialist working on the Neurology, Neurosurgical and Neuro Critical Care Units, and has experience working with patients with neurological disorders on all units of the hospital. She has her advanced practice in dysphagia from AOTA. She co-chaired a committee to implement the Oral Care Policy and Procedure for the hospital in 2008, and in 2009 completed an SHC Evidence Based Practice Fellowship (EBPF) where she successfully implemented the Frazier Free Water Protocol at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. She coaches EBP fellows in nursing and Physical Therapy to complete fellowships supporting early mobility on the acute floors. Julie has received training in NDT (Neurodevelopmental Approach to the Treatment of Adult Hemiplegia). At Stanford, she has served as the Chairperson for Rehab Council, Stanford Shared Governance Research Council, and Rehabilitation Education Coordinating Council. Julie helped to lead the Rehab Department in 2012 during the Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification process where Stanford Hospital and Clinics was awarded the first ever Comprehensive Stroke Center status in the United States of America. Julie is passionate about managing and promoting wellness through the balance of work and play, and she actively participates in martial arts, indoor rock climbing, cycling, running, yoga, and scrapbooking. From her years working as a consulting engineer prior to becoming an OT, she has experience and interest in problem solving for ergonomic and home environment redesign to support increased independence and satisfaction at work and play. Her areas of interest include upper extremity motor control and strength training, visual perceptual disorders, functional memory retraining, wheelchair seating and promoting independence in all areas of functioning and activities of daily living.
Chelsea E. Macpherson, PT, DPT
Chelsea Macpherson is a Physical Therapist in the Outpatient Neurologic Rehabilitation program at Stanford Health Care, and further, a researcher on the Stanford Neuromuscular Disease Team. Chelsea obtained her Bachelors of Science degree from in Exercise Science, Psychology, and Gerontology from Syracuse University. She went on to attend Columbia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, where she specialized in Adult Neurorehabilitation. While at Columbia University, she won both the Alma S. Merrians Award for excellence in neurorehabilitation, and the faculty award for excellence in research after publishing a systematic review detailing pulmonary physical therapy interventions to enhance the life span in those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Post-graduation, Chelsea worked in the Acute Hospital/ICU Setting prior to gaining acceptance to the highly coveted Boston University Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency program.
Chelsea has a strong interest in degenerative and progressive diseases. Her publications and presentations to date have encompassed the practice of neurologic physical therapy as a whole and further have investigated the influence of the cardiopulmonary system on mobility.
Judy Henderson, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech & Language Pathologist III
A graduate of Purdue University and San Francisco State University, Judy specializes in adult and pediatric speech and language pathology research, augmentative communication and assistive technology. She has been a member of the ALS/Muscular Dystrophy clinic for more than 10 years.
Sarah Stranberg, MA, CCC-SLP
Senior Speech-Language Pathologist
Sarah Stranberg is a senior speech-language pathologist in the Outpatient Neurologic Rehabilitation Program at Stanford Health Care. She has degrees in communication sciences and disorders from Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota. Sarah has extensive experience and interest in working with individuals with communication and swallowing disorders due to neurologic conditions, including ALS, Myasthenia Gravis, brain injury, stroke and Parkinson's disease. She has practiced for over 20 years in a variety of medical settings from acute care and critical care to the outpatient clinics. Between 2000-2012, Sarah was the primary SLP in the multidisciplinary ALS Clinic and the Paul and Shelia Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center at the University of Minnesota. She has spoken a numerous national conferences on topics related to ALS as well as palliative care issues. Sarah is dedicated to helping individuals with neuromuscular disorders and their families achieve their greatest functional abilities and quality of life. She enjoys involvement with activities outside of clinic such as support groups, professional conferences, and community events. In 2005, the Muscular Dystrophy Association presented Sarah with the Leon Poliachik Humanitarian Award for her comprehensive care and work with individuals with neuromuscular diseases.
Tina Duong, MPT
Research Physical Therapist
Ms. Duong is a research physical therapist at Stanford with over 10 years of clinical experience in neuromuscular and pediatric research. She is instrumental in optimizing clinical endpoints for study design and assessments through the CINRG network and research in exercise regiments in mouse models of muscular dystrophy. She trains and educates clinicians worldwide on implementing and designing clinical outcome measures for international multi-site trials. She is a member of the International Outcomes Working Group in which she collaborates with experts to assess and develop novel outcomes and approaches toward function-based outcome measures in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She continues to work on outcomes development with neuromuscular diseases and pursues her work on the benefits of rehabilitation and exercise as conjunctive therapies.
Sheela Crasta, PhD
Sheela Crasta joined Dr. John Day’s lab as a Laboratory Manager in early 2014. She received her Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Molecular and Cellular Biology, where she studied the regulation of cardiac gap junctions under conditions of ischemia. After which she obtained her post-doctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine, where her research focused on hormonal and signal transduction pathways that control epithelial ion transport in the kidney.
Shirley Paulose, MS
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator
Shirley Paulose is the Senior Clinical Research Coordinator for the Neuromuscular Division, coordinating research studies on adults and children. She has been a member of the team since 2005.
Clinical Research Coordinator
After joining the Neuromuscular Division in 2014 as a Research Assistant, Jennifer Perez coordinates research studies with both adults and children. Before arriving at Stanford, Ms. Perez was both a Clinical Research Assistant and Clinical Research Coordinator at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC for seven years. In 2003 she graduated from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA with a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy. Her research interests include chronic disease and palliative care.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Sabrina Pol joined Dr. John W. Day’s research team in 2015 as a Clinical Research Coordinator and coordinates neuromuscular studies for both children and adults. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, where she was an undergraduate research assistant in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for autism and developmental disorders research. Sabrina has spent over half of her life working with and caring for those with developmental disabilities; she also periodically serves as a Mandarin medical interpreter at a San Jose free clinic.
Bona Purse, MSW
Clinical Research Coordinator
Bona Purse is a clinical research coordinator for the Neuromuscular Division. She has 8 years clinical trial experience, including sleep disorders and ADHD. Prior to that, she has provided social work services in Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and outpatient mental health clinics. She has a masters degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lesly Welsh, CCRC, CMA
Clinical Research Coordinator
Lesly Welsh is a clinical research coordinator, coordinating clinical trials for both adults and children diagnosed with neuromuscular conditions . She joined the neuromuscular team in April, 2014. Ms. Welsh has been a research coordinator at Stanford since 2009. She has previously worked on clinical trials for liver disease and kidney disease. She is an ACRP certified clinical research coordinator, has an AS degree in medical assisting and 11 years of experience working in pre-clinical toxicology trials.
Clinical Research Coordinator
After joining Dr. John W. Day’s research team in 2016 as a clinical research coordinator, Carolyn McLaughlin coordinates studies with both adults and children. Prior to joining the Neuromuscular Division, Carolyn worked on coordinating clinical trials in the Arrhythmia Service Division at Stanford. She earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University where she focused on undergraduate research in Computational Neuroscience and Behavioral Neuropharmacology working with Bengalese finches and mice animal models.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Ms. Sangco earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at California Baptist University where she researched and presented data for gene regulation in lateral mesodermal progenitor cells of zebrafish. In her free time, she volunteers at a free mobile health clinic for uninsured patients in the central valley.
Katharine Hagerman, PhD
Katharine is a Research Associate that joined Stanford in 2013 to work under the supervision of Dr. John Day. Katharine began her research career at the University of Toronto, obtaining a Ph.D in Molecular Genetics. It was here that she first became fascinated with the genetics of neuromuscular disorders. She continued to pursue this interest during her post-doctoral training at the University of Rochester, where she focused on myotonic dystrophy laboratory research while volunteering in the clinic performing community outreach and education. She is currently establishing a laboratory at Stanford focusing on molecular and cellular aspects of myotonic dystrophy research, as well as helping with clinical research studies
Michileen Oberst, LCSW
Advanced Licensed Clinical Social Worker Division of Neuromuscular Medicine Pediatric and Adult Neuromuscular Clinics
Michileen Oberst, LCSW is an advanced licensed clinical social worker providing patient and family support services for over twenty years at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. She has a Masters in Social Work from University of Michigan. Her role on the neuromuscular multi-disciplinary team is to educate families regarding supportive services, assist them in accessing programs that enhance their independence and quality of life, and provide patients and families supportive counseling and advocacy.
Prior to joining the Stanford Hospital and Clinics neuromuscular team in 2012, Ms. Fisher worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), helping patients and their loved ones access resources and services to improve independence and quality of life. She’s worked in the palliative care field when she was the communications coordinator at the pediatric hospice, George Mark Children’s House. With a broad knowledge base in community resources, Ms. Fisher is dedicated to building relationships with community partners, patients and their families. She will develop new avenues of patient support (like support groups, teen transitional support, educational seminars, webinars etc.) and will connect patients and their loved ones with resources and support services, help recruit for clinical trials, as well as oversee the neuromuscular program’s social media presence.