Buckwalter Lab Team

Marion Buckwalter, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery

Dr. Buckwalter is a stroke clinician and basic scientist, and her laboratory focuses on how inflammation after stroke affects outcomes. They utilize complementary mouse models of stroke, and use transgenic, viral, and pharmacological techniques to alter inflammation so they can understand its effects on outcome. She also co-directs the Stanford Stroke Recovery Program, and runs a prospective cohort study called StrokeCog that is studying how inflammation predicts and affects cognitive outcomes in stroke survivors.

Elizabeth Mayne MD, PhD

Elizabeth earned her B.S. in biological sciences at Stanford and her Ph.D. in physiology at Oxford University, where she studied diffuse neuromodulatory regulation of cortical network oscillations. After her PhD, she moved to Boston for medical school at the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. She returned to Stanford for her clinical training in child neurology, followed by a pediatric neurocritical care fellowship at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She returned to Stanford to join the Buckwalter lab in late 2020.

Elizabeth is interested in the long-term cognitive consequences of pediatric stroke. Strokes increase the birth of new brain cells (neurogenesis), but also result in long-term inflammation in the brain. In adults, this stroke-induced chronic inflammation increases the risk of dementia, but its consequences in children are unknown. Using animal models of pediatric stroke, Elizabeth wants to determine how neurogenesis and inflammation interact to affect cognitive development after stroke in childhood. In addition to pediatric stroke, Dr. Mayne’s clinical interests include neuroprotection and prognostication after cardiac arrest, multimodal neuromonitoring, and neurologic care of children with congenital cardiac disease.


Kristy Zera, PhD

Kristy did her undergraduate work at Bates College in Lewiston, ME where she received a BA in Biology in 2012. She then moved to Athens, GA where she obtained a PhD in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Georgia in 2017. Her research investigated the role of the transcription factor HIF-1a in thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency-induced neurological damage. She joined the Buckwalter lab in late 2017 to continue researching mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. She is interested in investigating the role of astrocytes in neuroinflammation following stroke. Ultimately, understanding how astrocytes mediate neuroinflammation in the context of disease and neurological injury may identify therapeutic targets to protect the brain following injury.