Stanford ADRC Neuropathology Core

In support of research on Alzheimer disease and related disorders, the Neuropathology Core analyzes tissues and other biological samples from volunteers in the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). Core faculty provide state of the art neuropathology diagnoses of ADRC participants according to consensus diagnostic criteria.  They contribute anonymous autopsy data to the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center, and prepare a brain autopsy report for a participant’s next of kin.  The Neuropathology Core maintains an archive of research tissues from ADRC brain autopsies. 

Maria Inmaculada Cobos Sillero MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Neuropathology Core Leader

Inma received her medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Murcia in Spain and completed post-doctoral training in Developmental Neurobiology at the University of California, San Francisco. She then pursued a clinical residency and fellowship in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Before joining Stanford, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Neuropathology at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

Her research program combines her background in diagnostic neuropathology, knowledge of developmental neuroscience, and state-of-the-art cellular and molecular technologies to advance the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. She is currently applying single-cell methods to human brain to dissect the contributions of distinct cell types to Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis and investigate the mechanisms of tau-mediated neurodegeneration in human brain. Her work is supported by the NIH National Institute of Aging (R01), the Alzheimer’s Association, and BrightFocus. She recently received the Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

Birgitt Schüle, MD
Associate Professor of Pathology
Neuropathology Core Associate Leader

Birgitt Schüle, MD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on medical genetics and stem cell modeling to unlock disease mechanisms and pathways leading to neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, and to develop new therapeutic strategies to advance precision medicine.

She received her medical training from the Georg-August University Göttingen and Medical University Lübeck, Germany (1993 - 2001) and completed doctoral degree in medicine (Dr. med.) in neurophysiology at the Georg-August University Göttingen (2001). During her neurology internship from 2001 to 2002 at Medical University of Lübeck with Prof. Christine Klein, Dr. Schüle studied genes for inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. From 2003 to 2005, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in human genetics with Prof. Uta Francke at Stanford University School of Medicine. From 2005-2019, Dr. Schüle led key clinical research programs and biospecimen repositories for neurogenetics, translational stem cell and brain donation at the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center.

Hannes Vogel, MD
Professor of Pathology and of Pediatrics (Pediatric Genetics)

Dr. Vogel is associate chair for neuropathology in the Department of Pathology.  His research interests include mitochondrial diseases, nerve and muscle pathology, pediatric neuro-oncology, and transgenic mouse pathology.  He received his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine and completed residency and fellowship training in pediatrics, anatomic pathology, and neuropathology at Baylor, UCSF, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Stanford University, and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Gabriel Hergenroeder, BS
Autopsy 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. 

Kristen Vallejo
Neuropathology Coordinator

Kristen graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. She currently works under Dr. Inma Cobos within Stanford's Neuropathology Department.

Faria Zafar, MS
Life Science Research Professional II

Faria Zafar works in the Schuele lab and has more than nine years of experience in patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Her passion for science and research escalated by understanding that research with stem cells can be a valuable guide to exploring diseases like Parkinson’s in vitro. She has broad tissue culture experience in iPSCs, neuronal differentiation, MEA, Immunofluorescence, q-PCR, CRISPR, and mouse in-vivo surgery. She received her Master of Science (M.S.) in Stem Cell Biology from San Jose State University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley with a major in Cell & Developmental Biology.

Research Programs