Research Education Component
The Stanford ADRC Research Education Component (REC) will provide a formalized training program to prepare the next generation of researchers for careers in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease-related disorders.
Stanford ADRC REC Leadership Team
Kathleen Poston, MD, MS
Dr. Poston is Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences and (by courtesy) Neurosurgery in the Stanford University School of Medicine. She has subspecialty training in engineering, clinical movement disorders (formal fellowship) and dementia, as part of her NIH Career Development Award. She was the Principal Investigator for one of the Projects within the Stanford inaugural P50 ADRC and has been the Principal Investigator for multiple Michael J. Fox foundation awards, all studying cognition and dementia in patients with Lewy Body-spectrum diseases. She is also the Co-Director for the Stanford Lewy Body Dementia Research Center of Excellence.
Kaci Fairchild, PhD, ABPP
Associate Program Leader
Dr. Fairchild is the Associate Director of the Sierra Pacific MIRECC and the Fellowship Training Director for the Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at Sierra Pacific MIRECC. She also holds an affiliate appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a board-certified Geropsychologist with an active research program focused on the improving the lives of people affected by late life cognitive impairment through lifestyle interventions. Her work has been funded by the VA Office of Rehabilitation Research and Development and VA Cooperative Studies program, the Department of Defense, the National Institute on Aging, and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Thomas Rando, MD, PhD
Dr. Rando is Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is the Director of the Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging. He is also Chief of Neurology and Director of the Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of Excellence at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Research in the Rando laboratory focuses on tissue-specific stem cells in aging and disease. He is a former Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar in Aging awarded by the American Federation for Aging Research and a former Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging. In 2005, he received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for his groundbreaking research in stem cell biology. Dr. Rando is also the PI of the Stanford Training Program in Aging Research.
Kristen Wheeler, DPT, PT
Kristen graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University where she studied Exercise Science. Following her undergraduate training, she received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University in 2014. She worked as a physical therapist primarily with the geriatric population in home health and skilled nursing facilities. After working in healthcare for several years, Kristen realized that there is a need for major improvements in diagnosing and treating various conditions. This led to her desire to become involved in research. Kristen hopes to bring her clinical background into the research world to help discover ways of making a greater impact in the lives of the patients she has treated. She recently moved from Colorado to California and joined the Poston Lab in August 2020. Outside of work, she enjoys running, hiking and going on adventures with her husband and golden retriever.
Stanford ADRC REC Fellows
Tammy Tran, PhD
Dr. Tammy Tran is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology working with Dr. Anthony Wagner and Dr. Elizabeth Mormino on the Stanford Aging and Memory Study. She received her PhD at Johns Hopkins University in 2019 and received training in neuropsychology and high-resolution functional and structural neuroimaging, studying cognitively normal older adults and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. She was a fellow on a T31 Aging and Age-Related Disorders Training Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Public health and awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.
Molecular and imaging biomarkers underlying neurodegeneration in aging
Neuropathological changes emerge decades prior to clinical manifestation in Alzheimer’s disease. Extant data suggests that early cognitive decline may be predicted by several pathophysiological abnormalities, detectable by in vivo biomarkers early in the disease trajectory including the presence of molecular and imaging biomarkers for tau and amyloid. There is emerging evidence that cognitive decline is also predicted by cortical thinning across medial temporal lobe (MTL) regions, particularly in entorhinal cortex and CA1-SRLM, a sublayer that serves as an interface between entorhinal cortex and other hippocampal subfields. Using high-precision metrics (high resolution 3T and ultra-high resolution 7T MRI), I will examine neurodegeneration (including subregion-specific cortical thickness and hippocampal volume) in relation to examine imaging biomarkers (Tau PET(F-PI2620)) and molecular biomarkers (e.g., Ab42/Ab40 ratio, pTau181, t-tau) and investigate how these promising biomarkers correspond to cognitive function in putatively healthy older adults.
Ehsan Adeli, PhD
Data-Driven Stratification of Neurodegenerative Disorders Using Video-MRI Analysis
Video recordings of patient movements are commonly used to assess the physical impact of disease by performing the Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) or the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Traditionally, the videos are reviewed by medical experts, which coarsely categorize the movement. In this project, we propose to automatically quantify movements from videos for extracting video-based digital biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases. These digital biomarkers will then be related to neural systems obtained from MRIs (imaging phenotypes). This procedure can then automatically relate movement patterns with brain circuitry.
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