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.

Alperen Aslan, MD

Alperen received his medical degree from Ankara University School of Medicine in Turkey. During the last year of medical school, he was a visiting medical student at Johns Hopkins University. There, Alperen focused on stroke and perfusion imaging abnormalities and thrombectomies. His interests are stroke imaging, treatment and rehabilitation. After finishing medical school, he joined Buckwalter lab in 2023 to study the MRI of the blood-brain barrier and the relationship between neuroinflammation and cognition. Alperen aspires to be a neurologist-scientist in the future.

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.

Jordan Moore, PhD

Jordan completed his undergraduate and graduate training at The Ohio State University, majoring in Applied Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering, respectively. During his graduate studies, he conducted research in the field of tissue nano-transfection, specifically focusing on reprogramming cells in injured nerves to aid in their recovery. His groundbreaking work highlighted the significance of early vascular repair in facilitating the restoration of limb function, as evidenced by in vivo electrophysiology experiments.

An important aspect of Jordan's academic journey is his receipt of support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the prestigious DSPAN F99/K00 grant. This recognition underscores the significance and potential impact of his research in the field of tissue nano-transfection.

In January 2023, Jordan commenced his postdoctoral position at Stanford University, where he is co-mentored by esteemed researchers Drs. Marion Buckwalter and Sarah Heilshorn. His current research endeavors revolve around the development of biomaterials capable of delivering genes to promote the repair of the blood-brain barrier and regulate the immune response subsequent to a stroke. Jordan’s work has the potential to extend beyond stroke and develop into therapeutics for many disorders associated with blood-brain-barrier dysfunction.

Jack Wang, MD, PhD

Dr. Jack Wang is a physician-scientist and a neurointensivist at Stanford, where he currently cares for critically ill patients with neurological illnesses in the ICU. He obtained his undergraduate and MD/PhD degrees at Stanford, where he studied the molecular basis of Wallerian axon degeneration in the laboratory of the late Dr. Ben Barres. He then completed residency training in Neurology at UCLA, where he further pursed NIH-funded research with Dr. Jason Hinman in determining the mechanisms of white matter pathologies in ischemic stroke. He returned to Stanford to complete a clinical fellowship in Neurocritical Care, and joined the Buckwalter lab after his medical training in July 2020.

His research interest is in understanding how acute CNS injuries give rise to chronic motor and/or cognitive morbidities even long after the initial onset of injury. In particular, he is investigating how axon-glial and axon-immune responses after ischemia critically impacts and modulates the development of post-stroke cognitive impairment (pSCI). He hopes to translate these findings into novel therapeutics to promote neuroprotection and/or augment long term functional recovery after acute CNS injuries such as stroke.

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 aging endothelial cells in neuroinflammation following stroke, and their contribution to chronic cognitive decline. Ultimately, understanding the role of the inflammatory response in chronic stroke may identify novel therapeutic targets to prevent cognitive decline.