About Us

Principal Investigator

Dr. Leanne Williams

Professor

Associate Chair for Research Strategy and Oversight
Stanford University School of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director, PTSD Education
VA Palo Alto Sierra-Pacific MIRECC

Over the past 13 years my research program has been motivated by the need for a new model of mental disorder, one that integrates two complex systems: human brain function and human behavior. 

In 2013 I commenced my faculty position as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. I also hold a position at the VA Palo Alto MIRECC, and have the leadership role of Director of PTSD Education. Prior to this, I was the Director of the Brain Dynamics Center for 12 years (2001 to 2013) and on faculty at the University of Sydney. In Sydney I was first a member of the tenured faculty in Psychology (1999-2004) and, subsequently, the Sydney Medical School, where I became foundation Professor of Cognitive Psychiatry in 2007, and where I continue to hold an active, honorary position. My PhD was awarded in 1996, and it was completed with a British Council scholarship for study at Oxford University.

My lab - the PanLab - was launched with an R01 project, funded under the NIMH "RDoC" initiative to develop a new understanding of mental disorder based on neurobiology. With this project as the foundation, we are forming at Stanford an interdisciplinary collaboration to advance personalized neuroscience for mental disorder.

PanLab Faculty

Andrea Goldstein-Piekarski, PhD

Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Andrea earned her PhD in psychology/neuroscience in 2014 from UC Berkeley. There she examined the impact of sleep loss on emotional brain function using high density EEG sleep recording, advanced MRI methods and emotion reactivity paradigms.

Her current research in the PANLab focuses on: (1) using big data methodologies to develop a data-driven taxonomy of depression and anxiety from multiple neurobiological measures of brain function, physiology, and behavior; (2) characterizing how physiological stress contributes to amygdala-anterior cingulate-medial prefrontal dysfunctions in anxiety and depression; (3) identifying objective biomarkers that predict general and medication-specific responses to antidepressant treatment. Andrea was awarded a post-doctoral NRSA fellowship to continue this research. Looking towards the future, Andrea aims to build a program of translational clinical research that utilizes advanced computational modeling, big data principles, human neuroimaging techniques and sleep physiology to develop a precision medicine approach for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Link to recent publications in the press: PNAS article featured in Time


Claudia Padula, PhD

Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Claudia Padula, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University. Dr. Padula completed her undergraduate work and research assistant positions at the University of California San Diego and received her masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Cincinnati in psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology. Claudia enjoys traveling the world, gardening, and cooking. She is most proud of her daughter, Daniella.

Claudia is the prinicipal investigator of the BRAVE Study.

PanLab Postdocs

Tali Manber Ball, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Tali is a T32-funded postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Williams.  Her primary research aim is to translate neuroscience models of anxiety into improved treatment outcomes.  She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California San Diego in 2015 under the mentorship of Drs. Murray Stein and Martin Paulus.  Her dissertation established relationships between brain activation during fear extinction learning and anxiety reduction following a brief exposure intervention.  Within the PanLab, her areas of research include (1) developing clinically useful metrics of brain circuit function (using data from iSPOT-DTWIN-E, and RAD), (2) incorporating neuroscience-based assessments into clinical practice (Precision Psychiatry Continuity Clinic), and (3) evaluating an online CBT intervention for transdiagnostic anxiety and depression symptoms (RADCAT).  She is also a therapist in Stanford’s Psychosocial Treatment Clinic, specializing in CBT and ACT for anxiety and depression.  Outside of work she enjoys dancing and bad puns.


Adina Fischer, MD, PhD

Psychiatry Resident Physician


John Leikauf, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Postdoctoral Fellow

John is a recent graduate of the Stanford Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship, Research Track. Previously, he served as Chief Resident of the General Psychiatry residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he also attended medical school. His clinical interests are many and include working with young people with disruptive behaviors, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and family conflict. His research interests are complimentary and he has been working with Prof. Leanne Williams in developing personalized approaches to treatment of ADHD and anxiety by understanding the relationships between measures of impulsivity, inattention, and arousal across different levels of organization. Some of this work has benefitted from collaboration and the incredible expertise in statistics and computer science here at Stanford, and he is currently working on a project involving the Apple Watch for deep phenotyping via passive data collection. He has greatly enjoyed his time at Stanford so far and is excited to be joining the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division as a junior faculty member. In his personal life, he enjoys spending relaxing time with family and friends, yoga, and exploring the natural beauty of the Bay Area on foot.


Michelle Madore, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist


Matthew Sacchet, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Matthew D. Sacchet is the Stanford School of Medicine Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In his research he uses clinical, computational, and neuroimaging methods to study individuals with mood and anxiety disorders. Since 2012, he has authored over 40 publications and his work has been presented over 100 times. Dr. Sacchet has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and Stanford University. His work has received coverage by major media outlets including CBSNBCNPRTIME, and The Wall Street Journal, and in 2017, Forbes Magazine named him as one of its “30 Under 30”. Dr. Sacchet received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a doctorate from Stanford University. Please see his website for more information.

 


Zoe Samara, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Zoe earned her Research Master from Leiden University (NL) in the context of which she studied the effect of horizontal saccadic eye movements used in EMDR on episodic memory and interhemispheric EEG coherence. She received her PhD in 2015 from Maastricht University where she examined: 1) the basic functional organization of the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex using MRI functional connectivity and graph-theory parcellation methods and 2) functional connectivity and reactivity alterations in currently depressed individuals and people with familial susceptibility to major depression. At the PANLab, she is studying connectivity aberrations of the reward network in depressed and anhedonic patients, and ways to tailor anti-depressant treatments to individuals according to MRI markers. Outside of work, Zoe loves crossfit, watching movies and theater plays, and the sea.

Zoe was named as a 2017 Stanford Neurosciences Interdisciplinary Scholar Award Receipent.  

PanLab Staff

Sarah Chang

Neuroimaging Research Assistant

Sarah earned her BSc in Psychobiology from UCLA, where she researched at UCLA Neuromodulation and the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. In these labs, she investigated the clinical outcomes of depression and how we inform impressions of others. She is currently a research coordinator for the RAINBOW-ENGAGE study in the Panlab. In the future, she aspires to attend graduate school for clinical psychology. Outside of lab, you can find Sarah taking hiphop dance classes and scouting the area for cute cafes. 


Carlos Correa

Research Software Engineer

Carlos studied computer science for his undergraduate degree at University of Texas at Austin. He was a programmer for several years. Carlos works with the PanLab to streamline data management and analysis processes. He hopes to become a neuroscientist when he grows up. Carlos likes to read and take long walks in urban areas.


Druthi Ghanta

Neuroimaging Research Assistant


Katherine Grisanzio

Neuroscience Research Lab Manager

Katherine received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Boston College, where her research involved studying the quantification of attention allocation, as well as examining memory and emotion in the aging population. In the PanLab, Katherine is the Research Lab Manager across studies, including the RAD, RAD-AT, and Connectome studies. Her research in the PanLab has focused on using data driven approaches to examine brain-behavior subtypes in transdiagnostic samples. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue her interest in cognitive and affective neuroscience and neuroimaging. Outside of work, she likes to surf, be outdoors, and spend time with family.


Bailey Holt-Gosselin

Neuroimaging Research Assistant

Bailey received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Vermont in May 2017. When she was an undergrad, she interned in a child psychiatry research lab wherein she conducted her honors thesis on various environmental factors that promote child emotional-behavioral well-being. Additionally, she participated in the 2016 Summer Neuroscience Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SNURF) at the University of Vermont, where she studied the relations between inflammation in utero of pregnant female rats and brain damage in the offspring. After graduating, she had the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in Life and Biomedical Sciences (SPUR-LABS) at UCLA, where she investigated dopaminergic mechanisms underlying effort-based decision making in adolescents. In the PanLab, Bailey is a research coordinator for the Connectomes for Emotional Disorders Project. When she's not in the lab, she likes to spend her time exploring nature, playing volleyball, and reading.


Catherine Kircos

Clinical Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Research Associate

Catherine is the Research Coordinator for the Precision Psychiatry Continuity Clinic project in the PanLab. Catherine joined the PanLab in 2017 after completing her Master of Arts degree in Psychology (Mind, Brain, and Behavior) from San Francisco State University. At SFSU, Catherine's research focused on utilizing smartphone technology to measure feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression in everyday life. Before moving to the Bay Area, Catherine grew up in Detroit, Michigan and completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2015 at Glendon College, York University in Toronto. In her free time, Catherine enjoys mountain biking and cycling in new places.


Monica Kullar

Clinical Research Coordinator

Monica received her BSc in Psychology from University of California, San Diego. Before coming to the PanLab, Monica worked in Dr. Jamil Zaki's Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. While there, she worked on projects investigating the effects of stress on empathy & the neural representation of social networks. In the PanLab, Monica is working on the RAD-S and ENGAGE projects. She is hoping to later attend graduate school to continue researching in the field. In her free time, you can find Monica painting, watching live jazz, and exploring nearby nature.


Celestine Navarro

Program Specialist for TMS and Precision Medicine

Celestine joined the PanLab in 2016 with the aim of focusing her effort toward neuroscience research after having worked a number of years conducting forensic autopsies and pathology research with the Sacramento County Coroners.  Previous research was focused in neurological disorders at UC Davis and neurotrauma with UCSF/SF General Trauma Center and Midwestern University.  She completed her education in biochemistry and biomedical sciences at Sacramento State University and Midwestern University.  Time permitting, she prefers to explore places that lack phone reception, tactical items and gadgets, snowblading.


Brooke Staveland

Neuroimaging Research Assistant

Brooke Staveland graduated from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Mind/Brain Studies. Brooke is a Neuroimaging Research Associate on the Connectomes for Emotional Disorders Project which seeks to characterize how connectome disorganization gives rise to disordered emotional states at the level of the individual patient. Prior to her role in the Connectomes for Emotional Disorders Project, Brooke utilized graph theoretical analysis to parse differences in functional networks in MDD subjects from the International Study to Predict Optimized Treatment – Depression (iSPOT-D). When not in the lab, Brooke could be found playing capoeira, supporting overly-trendy coffee shops, or swimming in the bay.


Serena Tally

Neuroscience Research Assistant

Serena received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh.  While there, she worked in a basic science laboratory investigating the effects of statin drugs on the developing brain, by looking at their role in the growth and migration of neural stem cells.  Fascinated by reproduction and the development of the human nervous system, she hopes to go into medicine and women's health in the future.  At the PanLab, she is a research coordinator for the RAD-AT study.  Outside of work she enjoys playing guitar and piano, and attempting to be athletic.

PanLab Students

Persephone Crittenden

Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Persephone is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.  She is a graduate research assistant for the RAD study. Her current research interests are examining the relationships between anxiety and cannabis use on neurocognition; aspects of healthy cognitive aging; the manifestations of trauma in individuals and communities in Central African Republic (CAR); and trauma healing program evaluation in CAR.

Persephone earned a master of science in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium and a master of arts in counseling psychology from University of San Francisco. Her undergraduate work was completed at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Consistent with her experience in international aid, development, and global mental health work, Persephone still loves to travel and explore as much as possible.


Scott Fleming

Graduate Student, Biomedical Informatics Training Program

Scott is a graduate student in the Biomedical Informatics Training Program at Stanford University's School of Medicine. He graduated with a BS in Mathematical and Computational Science from Stanford in Spring 2017. Scott's primary interests involve data-driven approaches to understanding the patterns of neural activity that govern behavioral dimensions of mental health disorders. Recently, he has been working on the Research on Anxiety and Depression (RAD) study, trying to discover subtypes of anxiety and depression in the data by employing machine learning techniques like regularized feature selection, dimension reduction, and clustering. Scott also enjoys classical music, listening to podcasts on politics, and playing with his adorable nieces and nephews.

 


Arielle Keller

Graduate Student, Neuroscience PhD Program

Arielle earned her M.S. in Neuroscience, B.S. in Neuroscience and Psychology, and minor in English from Brandeis University. In her previous research with Dr. Robert Sekuler, she explored neural oscillations associated with selective and divided attention and developed models of audio-visual sequence integration in trained musicians. As a graduate student in the PanLab funded by the Department of Defense NDSEG fellowship, Arielle is investigating the neural correlates of attention impairments in depression and anxiety, and is involved in the design and implementation of the RAD-AT study. She is also conducting research as a Stanford Mind, Brain and Computation trainee, developing computational fMRI methods for understanding neural mechanisms of attention. Outside of lab, Arielle is involved in science communication projects with NeuWrite West, leading outreach activities as the VP of Stanford Science Penpals, and loves teaching kids about the brain. 

 


Emily Livermore

Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology

Emily is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium. Emily received her B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 2012. After undergrad, she worked as a research coordinator in the Carstensen Life-span Development Lab for a year as well as in Ian Gotlib’s Stanford Mood and Anxiety Disorders Lab for three years. In her free time, Emily enjoys cooking and walking her dog.

Emily is currently the research coordinator for the RADCAT study, examining how online self-guided programs and applications can improve mood and anxiety symptoms.

Collaborators

Alan Schatzberg, MD

Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Jerome Yesavage, MD

Associate Chair for Veterans Affairs

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Ruth O'Hara, PhD

Associate Chair for Scientific & Academic Development, Stanford University School of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Nancy Haug, PhD

Professor, Palo Alto University
Research Director, The Gronowski Center

Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Patricia Suppes, MD, PhD

Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Caroyln Rodriguez, MD, PhD 

Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Max Wintermark, MD

Neuroradiologist and Neuroimaging Specialist

Professor, Radiology, and Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Mayuresh Korgaonkar, PhD

Senior Research Fellow
Psychiatry, Westmead Clinical School
The Westmead Institute for Medical Research

Nolan Williams, MD

Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Jun Ma, MD, PhD

Director, Center for Health Behavior Research, Institute for Health Research and Policy

Lisa Goldman Rosas, PhD, MPH

Research Director, Stanford Prevention Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine

Assistant Scientist, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute