Stanford ADRC Clinical Core

The Clinical Core of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) recruits and follows patients with mild changes of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Lewy Body Disease; older volunteers with mild cognitive impairment; and healthy older controls without neurological disease or cognitive impairment.  Information that we collect supports innovative research on understanding fundamental causes of neurodegenerative disease and enabling early identification, effective treatment, and prevention.

We believe that research is most efficient when each volunteer is able to contribute multiple types of information.  Our research data come from neurological and neuropsychological assessments, brain imaging, and molecular and genetic markers derived from blood, spinal fluid, skin fibroblasts, and stool.  All of these are ultimately tied to crucial diagnostic information obtained by brain autopsy through the ADRC Neuropathology and Biospecimens Core.  Anonymous research data and some specimens and tissues are shared with researchers at Stanford and other universities.  Like other ADRCs, we provide Uniform Data Set measures to the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (Seattle, WA) and specimens to the National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease (Indianapolis, IN).  We maintain strict confidentiality.

Victor W. Henderson, MD, MS
Professor of Health Research and Policy
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Clinical Core leader

Dr. Henderson trained in neurology, behavioral neurology and epidemiology, and he is UCNS subspecialty-certified in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry.  His research interests emphasize risk factors for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease, and therapeutic strategies to maintain and improve cognitive abilities affected by age.  He serves as a steering committee member for the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center.  He is past chair of the Geriatric Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology and past president of the Los Angeles Society of Neurological Sciences. 

Kathleen Poston, MD, MS
Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Clinical Core co-leader

Dr. Poston received her Bachelor's of Science in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, her Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering and her MD at Vanderbilt University. She completed her Neurology residency training at UCSF, where she was Chief Resident. She also completed a fellowship in clinical Movement Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University and post-doctoral training in Functional Neuroimaging with Dr. David Eidelberg at the Feinstein Institute.

Dr. Poston's clinical expertise include Parkinson's Disease, atypical Parkinsonian disorders, Essential Tremor, Huntington's Disease, and tics. She also has interest in the treatment of dystonia and blepharospasm with botulinum toxin.

Dr. Poston's research focuses on the development of novel neuroimaging biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy and monitor the efficacy of investigational treatments for Parkinson's Disease and other movement disorders. She is also the Principle Investigator for clinical trials in movement disorders, such as Gene Therapy in Parkinson's disease.

Sharon Sha, MD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Clinical Core co-leader

Dr. Sha received her Bachelor’s degrees in Cognitive Science and Molecular Cell Biology emphasizing in Neurobiology from UC Berkeley. She went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Physiology and MD from Georgetown University. She trained in Neurology at UCLA and Stanford University and completed a clinical and research fellowship in behavioral neurology at UCSF where she focused on identifying biomarkers for genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia and caring for patients with movement disorders and cognitive impairment.

Dr. Sha’s clinical expertise include Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy Body disease, corticobasal syndrome, progressive supranuclear palsy, Huntington’s disease, ataxia, multiple system atrophy, and other dementias. She is currently co-director of the Huntington’s disease and Ataxia clinic with Dr. Veronica Santini.

Dr. Sha’s non-clinical time is spent conducting clinical trials as the Director of the Memory Disorders Clinical Trials Program in order to identify disease modifying treatments for dementia. She has a special interest in genetic forms of dementia and the cognitive impairment in parkinsonian-related disorders. She is also director of the Stanford Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Clinical Fellowship.

Jacob Hall, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Dr. Hall graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience and behavior.  He received his MD degree from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.  He completed residency training in Neurology at Stanford University as well as a fellowship in Behavioral Neurology. He studies novel imaging techniques for neurodegenerative disorders and is involved in clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Veronica E. Santini, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Santini received her BS degree in chemistry at the University of Miami and MA and MD degrees from Boston University. She trained there as a Resident in Neurology, becoming chief resident in her final year. She undertook fellowship in Movement Disorders under Dr. Saint Hilaire at Boston University. Dr. Santini specializes in the diagnosis and management of Parkinson's disease and atypical parkinsonism, and she has a special interest in disorders of the autonomic nervous system. Dr. Santini has assumed leadership roles in medical student and resident education. To help advance global health, she started an initiative that brought multidisciplinary teams of health care providers and trainees to Haiti to provide essential neurologic care. She serves as ambassador to the St. Luke Foundation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Laurice Yang, MHA, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Laurice Yang is a movement disorders specialist, with clinical and research interests in Parkinson’s disease, other parkinsonian disorders, dystonia, essential tremor, and Huntington’s disease.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cell Biology at the University of California in Berkeley, master’s degree in Health Administration at the University of Southern California,  and medical degree from the University of Vermont.  Dr. Yang completed neurology residency training at the University of Southern California and completed a movement disorders fellowship at the University of California in Los Angeles.  She is particularly interested in rehabilitation techniques to improve motor symptoms and motor performance of movement disorders patients.

Maya V. Yutsis, PhD, ABPP-CN
Clinical Assistant Professor (Affiliated) of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Dr. Yutsis received her bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Palo Alto University, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. She completed a clinical internship in neuropsychology at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and a post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  Prior to coming to Stanford, she was the lead neuropsychologist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System for the Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program and for the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center Telehealth Neuropsychology clinic. Dr. Yutsis's research interests are in cognitive aging and dementia and traumatic brain injury.

Katrin Andreasson, MD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

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.  

John Barry, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences (by courtesy)

Dr. Barry, director of the Neuropsychiatry and Psychotherapy Clinics, has a special interest in neuropsychiatric problems of people with dementia. He directs the UCNS-accredited Stanford Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Program and is consultant to the Stanford Center on Memory Disorders and the Stanford Movement Disorders Center.

Michael Greicius, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Greicius is the medical director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders, ADRC Imaging Core leader, and director of the Functional Imaging in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (FIND) Lab. His research involves the use of imaging to identify and characterize the large array of brain networks whose actions and interactions support normal human behavior. His lab also uses network-based imaging approaches and genetics to gain insights into Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. Recent work has focused on sex-based differences in the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Frank M. Longo, MD, PhD
George E. and Lucy Becker Professor in Medicine
Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Dr. Longo is chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, the George E. and Lucy Becker Professor of Medicine, and director of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Translational Research Center. His clinical interest include Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.  His research team is developing new drugs that are focused on the modulation of fundamental cell signaling pathways that are involved in neurodegeneration. These pathways can be regulated by known protein growth factors but such proteins cannot be used as drugs. Dr. Longo’s team has pioneered the development of the first small molecule, drug-type compounds that can mimic key parts of growth factor proteins and achieve their potent effects on preventing or reversing degeneration. Work in Alzheimer’s mice has been extremely promising and efforts are now underway to bring the first of these compounds to human trials.

Allyson C. Rosen, PhD, ABPP-CN
Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Rosen is Director of Dementia Education at the Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the Palo Alto VAMC. She completed college at Brown University, a clinical psychology Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, clinical neuropsychology internship at the Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York, clinical neuropsychology fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin and research fellowships at National Institute on Aging and Stanford. For the past decade Dr. Rosen provided dementia education in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and other community organizations. Dr. Rosen’s funded research has focused on applying cognitive neuroscience of aging to improve clinical practice in older adults by using cognitive measures, brain imaging, and noninvasive brain stimulation. Studies include using fMRI as an outcome measure for cognitive training, adapting transcranial magnetic stimulation to brain atrophy using fMRI, and using structural MRI to avoid postoperative cognitive decline and improve outcome from carotid vascular procedures

J. Wesson Ashford, Jr., MD, PhD
Clinical Professor (Affiliated) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Ashford received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his doctorate degree in neuroscience from the same institution.  He trained in psychiatry at UCLA and completed fellowship training in mental health at the UCLA Brain Research Institute.  Dr. Ashford has long-standing interests in Alzheimer's disease.  Prior to coming to Stanford University in 2003, he made important contributions to Alzheimer's disease therapeutics and to an understanding of mechanisms of cognitive loss in this disorder.  Dr. Ashford directs the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and conducts research on the early detection and measurement of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease.

Christina Wyss-Coray, RN
Clinical Coordinator

Christina completed her nursing degree in Switzerland in the Evangelischen Krankenpflege Schule in Chur and a BSN from Holy Names University in Oakland. Christina started her nursing career as a registered nurse and nurse manager at the Inselspital in Bern, Switzerland before she moved to the United States with her family.

In 1999, after receiving her California nursing license (RN) she started working at UCSF Memory and Aging Center as a clinical nurse and was involved in the coordination of several research trials. In 2009 she moved to Stanford Neuroscience Clinics and has been working there ever since as a nurse coordinator for the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders. She has been involved in coordination of clinical trials and longitudinal studies for the Center.

T’Lesa Meadowcroft, BS
ADRC Clinical Core Research Assistant

T’Lesa Meadowcroft earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She worked as a research assistant in psychology and, after graduation in 2010, as a neuropsychometrist at the University of Utah Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research.  In 2015, she became a Certified Specialist in Psychometry and moved to Stanford Health Care as a clinical psychometrist, before joining us at the ADRC.

Veronica Ramirez, BS
ADRC Clinical Core Research Assistant

Veronica Ramirez is a research assistant for the Clinical Core of the Stanford ADRC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Orleans. As an undergraduate at the University of New Orleans, she worked as a lab assistant in the department of psychology. After receiving her bachelor’s, she worked as a psychometrist and Clinical Research Coordinator at a private neuropsychology practice in New Orleans. Much of her work has involved research in behavioral neurology and forensic neuropsychology.

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