Stanford Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Team
Lawrence Steinman, MD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Dr. Steinman’s research focuses on what provokes relapses and remissions in MS and the nature of the genes that serve as a brake on brain inflammation in his quest for a vaccine against multiple sclerosis. He has taken several therapies from the bench to the bedside, including work directly related to the development of natalizumab, and two experimental therapies, statins and DNA vaccines, are in trials. An antigen specific approach to treating neuromyelitis optica with a DNA vaccine is advancing to the clinic. He received the John M. Dystel Prize in 2004, and the Charcot Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2011. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. A graduate of Harvard School of Medicine, Dr. Steinman has been on the Stanford faculty since 1980. He served as Chair of the Immunology Program from 2002 to 2011.
Jeffrey Dunn, MD, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Neurology
Chief, Division of Neuroimmunology
Dr. Dunn specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and research of immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system, including Multiple Sclerosis, transverse myelitis, and Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders. He has served as Principal Investigator for more than 30 MS clinical research trials, and maintains an active interdisciplinary research collaborative with Stanford scientists to identify biomarkers and candidate therapeutic targets within the paradigm of precision medicine. Dr. Dunn has co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts and holds a US patent for a biomarker of MS treatment response. He majored in French Literature at Haverford College, earned his medical degree from Temple University, and did his Neurology residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Dunn has been recognized for excellence in clinical teaching, for which his name is given to the eponymous Fishers-Dunn Prize, awarded annually to best medical student teaching among active Neurology residents. His formative contributions to medical education are recognized by the inaugural Oscar Salvatierra Award for exceptional service to Stanford medical students and the Stanford University School of Medicine.
May Han, MD
Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Director, Stanford NMO Center
Dr. Han is a Clinician-Scientist whose research focuses on identification of biomarkers and therapeutic targets in Multiple Sclerosis and demyelinating diseases. She utilizes Systems Biology approach such as proteomics and transcriptomics. She received her medical degree in Myanmar and completed Neurology residency at University of Washington in Seattle. She did a Translational Fellowship in Neuroimmunology at Stanford with Dr. Steinman. She joined the Neurology department and MS Center in 2009.
Lucas B. Kipp, MD, FRCPC
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Director, MS/Clinical Neuroimmunology Fellowship Program
Dr. Kipp specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neuroimmunological disorders, particularly demyelinating conditions such as MS, NMO and MOGAD. His research interests include clinical trials and translational paradigms connecting the MS Clinic with Stanford's world-renown immunology laboratories. Dr. Kipp has a strong interest in medical education with formal roles in the preclerkship, clerkship, residency and fellowship curriculums and has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards. Dr. Kipp completed a clinical research fellowship at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK testing innovative MRI techniques to predict disability in MS patients and a clinical neuroimmunology fellowship at Stanford. He trained in neurology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and received his BSc and MD from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
Christopher Lock, MBBS, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr. Lock studied medicine at King’s College London and Westminster Hospital Medical School. He worked in the Neurology Department at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital, and at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratory (now Cancer Research UK), in London. After coming to Stanford, he did immunology research with Dr. Hugh McDevitt, neurology residency, and then a fellowship under the supervision of Dr. Lawrence Steinman. Dr. Lock is interested in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological conditions, and in providing comprehensive care for general neurology patients.
Keith P. Van Haren, MD
Assistant Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Dr. Van Haren is a Clinician-Scientist dedicated to advancing care for children and adults affected by myelin-based disorders. He runs two multidisciplinary clinic at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital dedicated to patients with leukodystrophies and neuroimmunological disorders ranging from multiple sclerosis to autoimmune encephalitis. His laboratory research focuses on the role of myelin lipids, macrophages, and microglia in immune demyelination. His primary disease model is X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. His clinical research is dedicated to improving the quality and efficiency of complex care delivery to leukodystrophy patients. Dr. Van Haren completed his medical degree at the University of Rochester, his pediatric neurology training at Mass General Hospital and Stanford, and his post-doctoral training in the Stanford labs of Bill Robinson and Larry Steinman. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2010.
Y. Joyce Liao, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Director of Neuro-Opthalmology
Dr. Liao is an associate professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford. She played a key role in the creation of the Stanford Center for Vision and Blindness Prevention—a group of vision scientists spanning a range of disciplines. The center’s goal is to develop practical solutions for restoring vision and precluding blindness.
Dr. Liao attended Harvard for her undergraduate studies and the University of California, San Francisco, for her MD and PhD. She completed neurology training at Stanford and then specialized in neuroophthalmology because she wanted to attack challenging clinical problems that lack effective treatments.
Jamie McDonald, MD, MSc
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. McDonald specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, including neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD). Dr. McDonald also provides comprehensive neurological care to general neurology patients.
Dr. McDonald received the National MS Society’s Sylvia Lawry Physician Fellowship and completed her two-year clinical MS/neuroimmunology fellowship at Stanford Multiple Sclerosis Center. Prior to her MS fellowship, Dr. McDonald completed her adult neurology residency at the University of Utah. Dr. McDonald trained in clinical trial methodology as part of her master’s in epidemiology and clinical research and has an interest in disease biomarkers and clinical trials.
Raymond A. Sobel, MD
Dr. Sobel is a board certified neuropathologist with a longstanding research interest in immune responses in the brain. He received his MD from the University of California San Francisco and was trained in Anatomic and Neuropathology at UCSF, UC Davis and Stanford. Following a fellowship in Immunopathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital he served on the faculty at MGH and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sobel came to Stanford in 1992 and is the neuropathologist at the Palo Alto Veterans’ Affairs Health Care System. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology and is the current President of the American Association of Neuropathologists (2011-2012). His research focuses on mechanisms of MS pathogenesis and studying the animal model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, with many collaborators.
Les Dorfman, MD
Emeritus (Active) Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences Director, Residency Program in Clinical Neurophysiology Director, Stanford Neurodiagnostic Laboratories Director, SHC/LPCH Evoked Potential Laboratories and Electromyography Laboratories Director, Stanford Multiple Sclerosis
Dr. Dorfman has served as director of Stanford’s MS Center for more than 25 years and is the medical director of the Stanford Neurodiagnostic Labs. He is past president of the American Association for Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and of the Association of California Neurologists, and he served on the clinical advisory board of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National MS Society. He has published more than 50 scholarly papers on topics in neurology and neurophysiology. Dr. Dorfman received his medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, his neurology residency at Stanford and his fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology at the National Hospital for Neurological Diseases in London and at the Mayo Clinic.
Esther Nie, MD, PhD
Dr. Nie is a Neuroimmunology fellow with investigational interests in the neurological effects following CAR T-cell/BITE immuno-oncologic therapies, as well as clinical interests in diagnosing and treating autoimmune and inflammatory disease of the nervous system. Dr. Nie completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale College, and her MD/PhD training at UCLA.
During Neurology Residency at Stanford, Dr. Nie served as Education Chief and was awarded a Resident teaching award. She also funded through the NIH R25 research fellowship to investigate mechanisms of ICANS in CAR T-cell therapy. Since 2019, she has also been actively working with the Stanford Neuro-Cancer Cell Therapy on multidisciplinary collaborations to optimize neurologic care for CAR T patients. After training, Dr. Nie aims to build a translational research group working at the intersection of Neuroimmunology and Oncology to help develop new therapeutics for neuroimmunologic patients.
Danwei Wu, MD
Dr. Danwei Wu is a Neuroimmunology Fellow with translational interests in cell-based therapies for neuroimmunological diseases. Dr. Wu completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Duke University and her medical degree at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. While in medical training, she also completed a research fellowship with the mentorship of Dr. Vann Bennett through the Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Medical Research Fellows Program.
During her adult neurology residency at Stanford, she completed a Neuroscience Scholars Track with the mentorship of Dr. Marius Wernig. She was awarded the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Brain Foundation Clinician-Scientist Development Award to continue her research investigating the effects of bone marrow transplantation on myeloid cells in the central nervous system. As an aspiring physician-scientist, Dr. Wu is interested in developing the next generation of cell-based therapies for the treatment of neurologic disorders.
Advanced Practice Providers
Jong-Mi Lee, NP
Nurse Practitioner for the Multiple Sclerosis Center
Jong-Mi Lee is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and management of multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and other demyelinating diseases. She is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care through medical and complementary therapies. She has a special interest in international research for nursing care of patients with multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica disorders. She is a long-standing member of the International Organization of MS Nurses. She takes an active role in serving patients in the community and received the 2010 Community Partner Award from the National MS Society for dedicated service on behalf of persons living with MS. She has taken the lead to initiate MS patient support programs and to participate in MS community fundraising events. She completed her Master of Science in Nursing (family nurse practitioner program) at Samuel Merritt University. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from University of California at Berkeley. She joined Stanford Hospital and Clinics in 2005.
Eun-Hye (Grace) Kim, RN, LAc, MS
Clinical RN Coordinator
Eun-Hye (Grace) joined Stanford Neuro-Immunology Clinic in 2016 as a clinical R.N. coordinator. She holds both licenses as an R.N. and an acupuncturist/herbalist in the state of California and is a board-certified multiple sclerosis R.N. Prior to her current role, she practiced as a clinical R.N. and a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist in the spine and joint center for about 10 years. She has a strong interest in comprehensive therapy, including acupuncture for patients with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, and others. She participated in the Korean Medicine Globalization Project by Korean Welfare and Health Ministry in 2014, publishing the guidebook. She is a member of the International Organization of M.S. Nurses (IOMSN) and a member of the Board of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the U.S. She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing at Kyung-Hee University in Seoul, Korea, and master's degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine at South Baylo University in California, U.S.
Clinical Research Manager
Anna Tomczak obtained her Master of Science in Health: Science, Technology and Policy at Carleton University before joining Stanford in March 2017. Throughout her graduate studies, she worked as a research assistant in the Department of Health Sciences at Carleton, performing research on various health related issues, including aging, and air pollution. She is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Stanford Neurology Department working on several studies on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD).
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate
Safiyyah Bachar joined the Stanford Neuroscience Clinical Research Group as a Clinical Research Coordinator in 2023. Before joining, she was a Clinical Research Coordinator at Stanford’s Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research, carrying out pediatric neuroimaging studies focused on neurodevelopmental disorders. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of San Francisco and a MSc. in Human Neuroscience from the University of Turku in Finland. Safiyyah is excited to incorporate her interest in the brain with her goal of pursuing work in clinical trials and clinical operations. She is currently supporting clinical trials focused on Multiple Sclerosis.
Clinical Research Coordinator 2
Julia Sumera joined the Stanford Neuroscience Clinical Research Group as a clinical research coordinator in 2020. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2020, receiving a B.A. in Public Health. Prior to joining Stanford, Julia has been involved with clinical research in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at UCSF. Currently, she is primarily coordinating for Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials in the Neuroimmunology Clinic. She plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on epidemiology in the future.
Clinical Research Coordinator 2
Crystal joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group in 2023 as a clinical research coordinator. She received a B.S. in Public Health with a focus on healthcare informatics from UC Irvine in 2015. Prior to joining Stanford, she has worked on several PI-initiated and sponsored studies in the medical device industry. She is currently coordinating for Multiple Sclerosis trials in the Neuroimmunology Clinic.
Tara Tripathi Sarkar
Clinical Research Coordinator Associate
Tara Tripathi Sarkar joined the Stanford Neuroscience Clinical Research Group as a clinical research coordinator in 2022. She graduated from U.C. San Diego in 2022, with a B.Sc. in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience and Business Psychology. During her undergraduate years, Tara was part of the Cognitive Science Honors program, in which she designed and conducted her own research focusing on circadian rhythms and feeding behavior and its impacts in animal models. Currently, she is primarily coordinating for Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials in the Neuroimmunology Clinic. She has a strong interest in neuropsychology and neuro-metabolic disorders and plans on pursuing a graduate degree in one of these fields.
Outpatient Neurologic Rehabilitation Program
The Outpatient Neurologic Rehabilitation Program at Stanford Health Care provides occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology services. Our therapists have extensive experience and expertise in working exclusively with patients who have neurological impairments.