The Van Haren Lab Research Team

Keith Van Haren, MD

Principal Investigator
Director, Pediatric Neuroimmunology Program
Co-Director, Pediatric Neurogenetics Program

Keith joined the Stanford faculty in 2015 as an Assistant Professor of Neurology. He was born and raised in Michigan, obtained an undergraduate degree in chemistry at the College of the Holy Cross, an MD at the University of Rochester, and clinical training at Harvard and Stanford. As a post-doc in the Stanford labs of Dr Larry Steinman and Bill Robinson, Keith studied the role of autoantibodies in neurologic disorders. He is grateful for the superb clinical and scientific mentorship he received throughout his training; he now thoroughly enjoys helping more young scientists build their careers in translational medicine.

Julianne Jorgensen, BS, MA

Lab Manager

Julianne Jorgensen joined the Van Haren lab in July 2017 as a life science researcher and later became the lab manager. She received her BS in Bioengineering from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA in 2015. She came to Stanford from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where she studied neutrophil function with microfluidics to better understand inflammatory diseases. She is excited to focus on neurological immune diseases and to find novel treatments.

Nicole Rossi, BA

Life Science Research Professional

Nicole Rossi joined the Van Haren lab in September 2018 after graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Integrative Biology and a minor in Molecular Toxicology. During her undergraduate career, she served as a researcher in Karsten Gronert's lab at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry investigating how lipid mediators coordinate immune responses in uveitis and dry eye disease. She is excited to study immunometabolism in the context of neurodegenerative diseases and looks forward to witnessing advancements within this field that lead to the development of new treatments. 

Harika Kottakota

Undergraduate Student

Harika (’20) is a Stanford sophomore majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with two minors in Human Rights and Global Studies. Previously, Harika worked in the Margaret Fuller Lab studying transcriptional regulation underlying developmental and reproductive biology in Drosophila melanogaster models. In the Van Haren Lab, Harika hopes to learn more about translational science and understanding how Vitamin D may provide essential functions for neuro-development, neuro-immunity, and metabolism regulation. Outside of the lab, Harika works with the Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Program to help survivors of human rights abuses receive mental healthcare around the world (including in the USA, Kenya, and Uganda) through international courts. Harika is also an avid poet intersecting creative writing, arts, and the medical humanities alongside the Pegasus Physicians Writers Group at Stanford Medical School. Harika is now committed to creating new creative arts programming for autistic children and teens in the local community through Kids with Dreams.

Kendrick Shen

Genetics and Bioinformatics Intern

Kendrick ('21) joined the Van Haren lab in January 2018 as a genetics and bioinformatics intern. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in computer science while also studying the biological fields in relation to medicine. In conducting research at the Van Haren lab, he hopes to discover the underlying connections between immunometabolic phenomena and neurodegenerative disease.

Elli Brimble MSc, MS, CGC

Genetic Counselor

Elli started working with the Van Haren lab in 2016 to facilitate patient involvement in on-going clinical trials. She is currently a genetic counselor in Child Neurology at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Elli completed her undergraduate training in genetics at Western University in Ontario, and Masters degrees in molecular genetics and genetic counseling at the University of Toronto and Boston University, respectively. Her research interests include characterizing the genetic etiology and pathology of neurologic disorders. Elli is grateful (and excited) to be part of a team that employs innovative clinical research to drive precision therapeutics.

Sweta Patnaik

Clinical Research Coordinator

Sweta Patnaik joined the Division of Child Neurology May 2016. She comes with over 13 years of experience working with both pediatric and adult population on various clinical research studies in the departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery. As a clinical researcher, Sweta enjoys contributing to the advancement of healthcare and working closely with Principal Investigators, sponsors, and clinical research staff who are committed and motivated towards patient care.

 In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and listening to music.

Dalia Peña

Clinical Research Coordinator

Dalia Peña joined the Van Haren lab in July 2017 as a clinical research coordinator.She received her B.S in Public Health from San Francisco State. As a clinical researcher, Dalia is excited to be a part of innovative research that is contributing to improved healthcare and patient outcomes. She looks forward to gaining experience in clinical research and aspires to advocate for underserved populations through innovative research that will help reduce health disparities for all.

Fe Gibbons

Research Administrator

Fe Gibbons joined the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences in August 2015. She is a seasoned administrator with more than twenty-five years of experience managing regulatory compliance, purchasing, payroll, accounting, import/export, and customer support. She attended university in the Philippines, and has worked in the technology, logistics and manufacturing sectors in Asia, Europe and the US. Although she is new to clinical research support, she finds the work she does with the Van Haren lab challenging, meaningful and motivating, and she is thrilled to be part of the team.