Stanford ADRC Clinical Core

The Clinical Core of the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) recruits and follows patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and mild cognitive impairment; and healthy older volunteers 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. We refer to this strategy as “deep phenotyping.” Our research data come from neurological and neuropsychological assessments, brain imaging (PET scans and MRI scans), 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 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 biological specimens to the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (Indianapolis, IN).  We maintain strict confidentiality. The Clinical Core is led by Dr. Victor Henderson and by Dr. Kathleen Poston (Lewy body disease), Dr. Sharon Sha (clinical trials), and Dr. Maya Yutsis (neuropsychology).

Victor W. Henderson, MD, MS
Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Clinical Core Leader

Dr. Henderson directs the Stanford ADRC and co-directs the Stanford master degree program in epidemiology and clinical research. His research emphasizes risk factors for cognitive aging, Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, and therapeutic strategies to maintain and improve cognitive abilities affected by cognitive aging or dementia. Dr. Henderson obtained his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and master's degree in epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health. He trained at Duke University (internal medicine), Washington University (neurology), and Boston University (behavioral neurology). He has been a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visiting professor at the University of Melbourne (Australia), and is Honorary Skou Professor at the University of Aarhus (Denmark). He has served in leadership roles concerned with late-life cognitive disorders (chair of the Geriatric Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology) and midlife cognitive health (president of the North American Menopause Society; general secretary of the International Menopause Society). He serves on editorial boards and scientific advisory boards, and he has authored more than 300 scientific articles and chapters.

Kathleen Poston, MD, MS
Edward F. and Irene Thiele Pimley Professor of Neurology and the Neurological Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery
Associate Core Leader, Lewy Body Disease

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 Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Associate Core Leader, Clinical Trials

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 the director of the Huntington’s disease and Ataxia clinic.

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.

Kyan Younes, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Associate Core leader

Dr. Younes is a behavioral neurologist with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, Lewy body dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and related cognitive and behavioral impairments.  One aspect of his research focuses on degeneration that affects the right anterior temporal lobe of the brain. This disorder affects person-specific knowledge and the ability to process emotions.  His research encompasses multimodal brain imaging (magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography) and machine learning to improve the detection of neurodegenerative diseases.  He has also participated in clinical trials of new drug therapies.  Before Dr. Younes was recruited to Stanford University, he trained at Damascus University (medicine), Case Western Reserve University (epilepsy fellowship), the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (neurology residency), and the University of California San Francisco (cognitive and behavioral neurology fellowship).

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

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.

J. Wesson Ashford, MD, PhD
Clinical Professor (Affiliated), VAPAHCS

Dr. Ashford is the Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, California site, which he formed in 2007 at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and a Clinical Professor (affiliated) at Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.  Dr. Ashford received his undergraduate degree from University of California-Berkeley and his medical degree, psychiatry training, and PhD in neuroscience from the University of California-Los Angeles, and has served on the faculty of UCLA, Southern Illinois University, University of California-Davis, and the University of Kentucky, where he was Vice-Chair for research from 1992 – 2003.  Dr. Ashford has published more than 170 peer reviewed articles which address a wide range of topics, with more than 100 addressing Alzheimer’s disease, particularly issues of screening for cognitive impairment and dementia, clinical and research evaluation, and treatment (including the first double-blind study of a cholinesterase inhibitor in 1981, a treatment that is now standard for 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.

Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and of Genetics

Humans are now understood to live in complex symbiosis with microbes. While the majority of interactions between the host and microbiota are considered to be symbiotic, alterations of the microbiota are associated with various disease states. It is hypothesized that perhaps the patients most susceptible to adverse outcomes of microbiota dysbiosis are patients whose immune systems are challenged. The goal of the Bhatt lab is to understand the interplay between the microbial environment in immunocompromised patients, especially those with hematological malignancies (leukemia and lymphoma). The laboratory focuses on (1) the use of next generation sequencing to define the microbiome and host immunologic features in patients with hematological diseases and (2) developing custom computational tools for the identification of novel human commensals and pathogens in these immunosuppressed patient populations, and (3) using statistical and functional biological methods to understand the interplay between the human microbiome and the development of immunological diversity.

Steven Z. Chao MD, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) of Neurology and Neurological Science

Dr. Steven Chao received his combined MD/PhD degree from Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University. Following his neurology residency at Stanford University Hospital, he continued with behavior neurology fellowship training at UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where he started his research in dementia diagnosis and treatment and its related fields with special interest in ethnicity differences in dementia. In the past decade, he has been actively participating in Stanford neurology resident and medical school student education, providing clinical care, and conducting multiple clinical trials at Palo Alto VA. His current research interest is in early treatment/prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia, cognitive treatment in traumatic brain injury and non-pharmaceutical treatment for headache.

Henry (Hank) Greely, JD
Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and, Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics

Henry T. "Hank" Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University. He specializes in ethical, legal, and social issues arising from advances in the biosciences, particularly from genetics, neuroscience, and human stem cell research. He chairs the California Advisory Committee on Human Stem Cell Research and the steering committee of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, and directs the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences and the Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society. He serves as a member of the NAS Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; the NIGMS Advisory Council, the Institute of Medicine’s Neuroscience Forum, and the NIH Multi-Center Working Group on the BRAIN Initiative. Professor Greely graduated from Stanford in 1974 and from Yale Law School in 1977. He served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and for Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court. He began teaching at Stanford in 1985.

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

Irina Skylar-Scott, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Skylar-Scott received her medical degree from Yale University followed by postgraduate training at Yale (internship), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (neurology residency), and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (behavioral neurology fellowship).  She is a behavioral neurologist, whose clinical interests include the treatment of cognitive and behavioral impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, posterior cortical atrophy, primary progressive aphasia, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, primary age-related tauopathy, limbic-predominant age-associated TDP-43 encephalopathy, and other disorders of cognition and behavior.  Her research interests focus on clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and the investigation of how social and intellectual engagement can affect cognition.  She has received honors from the American Academy of Neurology and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Travis Urban, MD
Behavioral neurology fellow

Dr. Urban is a behavioral neurology fellow in the Department of Neurology and Neurological sciences at Stanford University. He received a BS in Bioengineering from Stanford University and then completed his MD at the University of Texas Medical Branch. In medical school, he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical Research Fellowship and studied mechanisms of neuronal proteostasis in the lab of Dr. Steve Finkbeiner at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. He then returned to Stanford to complete his internship and neurology residency, where he performed neuroimaging research in Dr. Beth Mormino’s lab studying mechanisms of connectivity change in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Urban is dedicated to the care of patients with cognitive disorders and is focused on developing the first disease modifying therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease.

Nicole Caceres, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Nicole Caceres graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is currently earning her Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology from Palo Alto University. Nicole previously assisted children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disorders, and emotional/behavioral disorders. In addition to working with children, she also volunteered as a sexual assault counselor and advocate at Rape Trauma Services.  

Maria-Lucia Campos, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Maria-Lucia Campos earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Rochester in upstate New York. Before joining us at the ADRC, she worked at Boston Children’s Hospital as Clinical Research Study Coordinator, where she collaborated with team members across thirty-two sites in North America to implement a comprehensive and robust handoff program proven to decrease medical errors. She was also a Research Data Specialist for Dana Farber Cancer Institute and was involved in the coordination of several clinical trials. She is very passionate about research and quality improvement projects.

Jennie Clark, MA, CPG, CAEd, CMC, CDP, CMDCP
Gerontologist, Memory Support Program Manager

Jennie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Master of Arts degree in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist, Board Certified in Alzheimer Education, a Certified Geriatric Care Manager, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional. Jennie manages the Memory Support Program of Aging Adult Services. She lectures and presents on the topics of person-centered dementia care and caregiving in dementia. She is published in academic journals and has co-authored clinical and research manuals.

Gabriel Hergenroeder, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator

Gabriel Hergenroeder received his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics from University of California Los Angeles in 2019. Before joining Stanford’s ADRC, he was part of a team of laboratory technicians that provided rapid COVID-19 PCR testing to help LAUSD students return to classrooms safely during the height of the pandemic. Within the ADRC, he works alongside faculty and staff in both the Clinical Core and the Neuropathology Core to coordinate autopsies that serve to prepare brain tissue for research. 

T’Lesa Meadowcroft, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

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
Clinical Research Manager

Veronica earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Orleans. She is currently earning her Master of Science in Neuroscience from Columbia University. Prior to joining Stanford ADRC, she worked as a neuropsychometrist and research assistant specializing in forensic neuropsychology. Her main area of interest includes statistical methodologies in neurodegenerative disease research.

Alejandra Romo, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Alejandra graduated from San José State University having received her bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders and Sciences. She is currently earning her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology to pursue a career around neurogenic disorders. Alejandra has previously worked in adult Aphasia treatment groups as a student clinician and has been a research assistant in communication disorders at San Jose State University

Nora Sakiz, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Nora Sakiz received her Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2018. She gained experience in psychometry with UCI Newport Neurology, an off-campus affiliate of the University of California, Irvine. She subsequently received a graduate certificate in medical neuroscience from Michigan State University before joining the Stanford ADRC. With interests in memory disorders, neuropsychiatry, and neuroethics, she hopes eventually to pursue a career in medicine.

Mohini Vaidya, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate

Mohini Vaidya earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biopsychology from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2020. Before the ADRC, she worked in behavioral neuroscience research at the UCSB Social Perception Lab and Keiflin Lab, and has published multiple literature reviews through the Stanford Autism Center. She also has experience as a medical assistant both in Santa Barbara and internationally and has worked in digital healthcare. Mohini is particularly interested in research related to neurocognition and hopes to eventually pursue a medical career within the field of neurology.

Research Programs