Stanford ADRC Biomarker Core
Biomarkers have enormous value for the detection, management, and treatment of disease, but also for the development of novel therapeutics. The utility of biomarkers is most evident in the management of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but biomarkers, especially predictive, easily obtainable ones, are still largely absent with respect to neurodegenerative diseases. The best fluid biomarkers currently available for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) include; Aβ, tau, and neurofilament in CSF, a biofluid which is difficult to collect in healthy, at-risk populations or on a repeated basis. Other biomarkers for AD include imaging modalities which are often very expensive or have low sensitivity and specificity at the individual level. The members of this core have considerable experience in unbiased multi-omic screens and data analysis and, over the years, have published numerous studies towards developing new biomarkers for neurodegenerative and other diseases. Enabled by the current ADRC, the core leaders and collaborators have used biospecimens from Stanford ADRC participants and generated extensive preliminary data with unbiased deep immune phenotyping, proteomics, and transcriptomics of human CSF resident cells, and discovered novel Parkinson’s disease (PD) biomarkers.
Based on this expertise, the mission of this Biomarker Core is to facilitate the discovery of novel biomarkers for AD and PD, as well as new biology underlying the pathological processes that lead to dementia in line with the core mission of the NAPA. This will be achieved by pursuing the collection of genetic and molecular measurements from a broad source of tissues from ADRC participants; the processing and dissemination of this information in useable formats through web portals and other means (i.e., “Deep Phenotyping Database”); the analysis and bioinformatics integration of the collected information with clinical and imaging data, as well as information from public databases; and the development and dissemination of new data analysis algorithms and pipelines.
Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD
D.H. Chen Professor II of Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Biomarker Core Leader
The Wyss-Coray laboratory seeks to understand how immune responses and systemic aging affect the brain and may contribute to neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past few years the lab has been particularly intrigued by the observation that brain aging can be altered by changes in the systemic environment and we have shown that blood-derived factors are sufficient to modulate brain physiology at the molecular, cellular, and functional level. We have developed focused proteomic tools to measure hundreds of secreted signaling proteins with the goal to identify key factors involved in brain aging and neurodegeneration.
Katrin Andreasson, MD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Biomarker Core Associate Leader
Dr. Andreasson is Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and is a neurologist who treats patients with dementia and who is also engaged in basic research in neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Andreasson received her M.D. degree at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, completed her residency in Neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and carried out her postdoctoral training in the Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience, where she began her research studies on the function of brain inflammation in development of neurodegenerative disease. The objectives of her laboratory research are to identify specific inflammatory pathways that may be targeted to prevent and treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Nima Aghaeepour, PhD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Pain, and Perioperative Medicine
Nima Aghaeepour is an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. His laboratory develops machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to study clinical and biological modalities in translational settings. He is primarily interested in leveraging multiomics studies and wearable devices to address global health challenges. His work is recognized by awards from numerous national and international organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the March of Dimes Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
Edward N. Wilson, PhD
Instructor, Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr. Wilson received his PhD degree in neuroscience from McGill University. His research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and he has particular interests in identifying new pathways for therapeutic targeting and the development of precision biomarkers. His recent work involves translating preclinical findings on mechanisms of immune system activation into biomarker tools for use in clinical research. Dr. Wilson is responsible for implementing Biomarker Core Alzheimer’s disease biomarker measurements as well as the development of novel biofluid biomarkers of neurodegeneration.
Divya Channappa, MS
ADRC Biomarker Core Project Coordinator
Divya Channappa received her BS degree in industrial biotechnology from Anna University (India) and her MS degree in molecular microbiology and immunology from the University of Southern California. Before coming to Stanford, she was a research associate at the Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope in Duarte, California. Within the Stanford ADRC, she processes blood and spinal fluid samples; inventories, stores, and distributes brain tissues and other biological specimens; and assists researchers with laboratory procedures requiring expertise in techniques of molecular biology.
Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
As a Bay Area native, Kelly started at De Anza Community College and thereafter pursued a B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience at UC San Diego. During her time at UCSD, she volunteered in an illusion lab on-campus which gave her hands-on behavioral analysis and research article writing experience. After graduating in 2021, completing her undergraduate career during COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, she decided she wanted to move into a position where learning is encouraged and where she would have the opportunity to learn from great minds from around the world, thus leading her here to Stanford University.
Patricia Losada Moran, PhD
Senior research scientist, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Patricia is a bioinformatician interested in studying genetics and proteomics and its implications in human health. She obtained her PhD from Hannover Medical School in January 2016. She continued her research career as a postdoc in UC San Diego where she studied the impact of autism mutations in human brain organoids and mice. She joined the Wyss-Coray lab in March 2019 where she is part of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) contributing to the understanding and discovery of novel biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Amanda Nicole Smith
Assistant Clinical Research Coordinator
Amanda is a 2020 graduate of Smith College, with a BA in Environmental Science and Policy, and a minor in Geosciences. She volunteered with Smith College’s Aqueous Geochemistry Lab, where she focused primarily on processing groundwater water samples from a nearby rural community for potential contaminants from wastewater injected underground from a nearby factory. Her first research opportunity post-grad was as a research coordinator at the University of Alabama, Birmingham where she worked with Head and Neck Cancer Survivors to determine the long-term impacts of radiation therapy on cognition, brain age, motor skills, and overall quality of life. In addition, she helped conduct a Phase II Clinical Trial for prostate cancer patients experiencing erectile dysfunction while receiving Androgen Suppression Therapy.