Stanford Neurosciences Clinical Trials Team

Maria Coburn
Clinical Research Manager

Maria has been in research operations at Stanford since 2006 and manages the Neurology and Neurosurgery Clinical Trials Team consisting of 25 coordinators running over 70 investigational drug, device and biologic clinical trials.  Maria serves as liaison to both internal/external agencies and works closely with senior management in both departments to oversee trial group finance, compliance, and resources.  Maria also works closely with faculty PIs for staffing, study start up and protocol development and with the trials team to facilitate efficient and safe implementation of clinical research projects with the goal of providing our patients with early access to cutting edge therapies.

Sharon Sha, MD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Dr. Sharon Sha is the medical director of the Clinical Trials group and Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the Neurology Department. She serves as the primary faculty liaison and is available to provide feedback to new investigators about how to approach Industry Sponsored Clinical Trials. Dr. Sha works closely with Maria to develop strategic mission & goals for the trials team as well as oversee administrative operations related to the group including trial feasibility. Dr. Sha has extensive experience as Principal Investigator and is currently spearheading several Alzheimer’s Disorders trials. 

Anthony Bet

Anthony Bet joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group in 2015 with a degree in medical biology. He currently coordinates several Neuroendocrine and Neurosurgery clinical trials. He also supports the Neuroscience and Neurosurgery group with IRB/ regulatory submissions and maintaining the laboratory spaces.

Viktoriya Bourakova

Viktoriya Bourakova joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group in 2019 with a degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Classical Studies. Prior to joining Stanford, Viktoriya has been involved with neuroimaging research in war veterans exposed to traumatic brain injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as explored the utility of PET imaging as a clinical biomarker in patients with atypical forms of Alzheimer’s Disease and other various neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, she is primarily coordinating for clinical trials in both the Neuroimmunology and Memory Disorders Clinic. She plans to pursue Physician Assistant programs in Neurology or Neurosurgery.

Alexander Cook

Alexander Cook joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group in 2019. He received his Bachelor of Science from the Evergreen State College with an emphasis in biology and his Masters in experimental psychology from San Francisco State University. He has previous experience as a research technologist in neurogenetics. His goal is to take the knowledge and skills he obtains in the research group to a PhD program in neuroscience.

Tricia Cunningham

Tricia Cunningham joined the Stanford Neuroscience Clinical Research Group in 2019. She received her MPH focused in Epidemiology from Boston University and MA in Psychology & Neuroscience from University of Richmond. Previous research experience includes public health genomics, infectious & chronic disease epidemiology, cognitive & behavioral neuroscience. She is currently working on NIH, investigator-initiated device trials in neurosurgery.

Yamuna Joseph

Yamuna Joseph joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group in 2016 as a clinical research coordinator.  She holds an MD degree in General Medicine from Vinnitsa National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, Ukraine.  Currently, she is the Senior CRC and the Supervisor for the Neuroimmunology clinical trials team and managing several ongoing Multiple Sclerosis clinical trials. She has previously worked on clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, migraine and cluster headache.

Mitra Kashanian

Mitra joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group in early 2020 and serves as the Regulatory Affairs Program Manager. She has over 15 years of experience in pharmacovigilance, clinical research, and regulatory affairs. Prior to her transition to Stanford, Mitra was the Regulatory Affairs Manager at Stanford Cancer Institute and Laboratory for Cell & Gene Medicine, and held positions in biopharmaceutical industry. During graduate school, she gained significant experience in computational biology methods, database design, and medical informatics.

Chris Leung

Chris joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Research Group as a clinical research coordinator in 2020 after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Biophysics. He currently coordinates the Apple Watch Study to track objective mobilization data after surgery to improve postoperative care for spine patients. He has experience coding in R, Java, SAS and MatLab.

Kathy McDonald

Kathy returned to the Neurology/Neurosurgery Clinical Research Department in 2021 where she worked as CRC in 2016-2018 managing Dr. Gary Steinberg’s SanBio Phase 2b Stem Cell Study as well as A Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Safety of ExAblate Transcranial MRgFUS Thalamotomy Trial for Essential Tremors with Dr. Casey Halpern.  In 2014-2016 she worked for Dr. Ronald Levy’s Lymphoma team implementing and managing Immunotherapy Clinical trials, including support and inclusion on two ASCO abstracts. Kathy came to Stanford from NYC in 2014S. She previously worked at ICAHN School of Medicine in Cardiology as Clinical Trial Manager (2012-2014),  NY Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical (2004-2012) in the Cardiac Cath Lab & Cardiothoracic Surgery. Kathy holds a B.A. in Music Performance from Stony Brook University, Early Music Performance at Mannes College of Music and has taken pre-med courses at CUNY Hunter College.  She splits her time between Clinical Research Coordinator and performing on baroque and modern flute, her other passion.

Amanda Ng, MA

Amanda Ng started with Stanford's Department of Neurology in April 2018. She received her Master of Arts in Mind, Brain, and Behavior from San Francisco State University in 2015. Her previous experience includes working in research for over 10 years in various Psychology research labs, investigating different clinical disorders, diverse age ranges, experience with coding in R and Matlab, and experience with both EEG and MRI modalities. She is currently interested in doing clinical research into the mind and brain that can be both impactful and translational.

 

Vyvian Ngo

Vyvian Ngo holds an MPH with an emphasis in epidemiology. Previous research experience includes projects in evolution and ecology, tobacco regulation, and nephrology. She joined the Stanford Department of Neurosurgery in April of 2018 and works various device trials in neurosurgery, including the focused ultrasound trials for essential tremor and Parkinson's disease. Other interests include yoga, traveling, and pretending she's still a rock climber.

Guiping Qin

Guiping Qin joined the Stanford Neurosurgery Research Group as clinical research coordinator in 2017. She is responsible for three neurosurgery projects.

Bharati Sanjanwala

Bharati Sanjanwala is a Clinical Research Coordinator, coordinating clinical trials for Neurology and Neurosurgery protocols. She is an SOCRA certified clinical research coordinator. She has been doing research work at Stanford since 2003.  She has a M.Sc. in Immunology. Prior to Clinical Research, she worked as a scientist doing basic research in immunology.

Jordan Seliger

Jordan Seliger is a clinical research coordinator in the Neurology Department working with Dr. Kimford Meador, conducting epilepsy studies. Before joining the Neurology Department in 2017, Jordan received his BA and MA in psychology at San Francisco State University, focusing on cognitive neuroscience.

Ruba Shaik

Ruba Shaik joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurosurgery research group in 2019 as a clinical research coordinator. She received a B.A in Cognitive Science with a focus in neuroscience and computer science from U.C Berkeley. She primarily works in data analytics with Dr. Safwan Jaradeh and also helps coordinate epilepsy and autonomic studies. She eventually plans to pursue graduate studies. She has a passion for thrifting, live music and free food.

Julia Sumera

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.

Anna Tomczak

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).

Stephanie Tran

Stephanie Tran joined the Stanford Neuroscience and Neurology Research Group as a clinical research coordinator in 2019. She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in human biology in 2018. She conducted research throughout her undergraduate career in the department of dermatology in the Khavari Lab, and shortly after graduation, she joined the Andreasson Lab in the department of neurology. There she conducted wet lab experiments to understand the relationship between cell metabolism and its role in producing Alzheimer Disease. Currently, she is involved in clinical trials at the Stanford Headache Clinic overseeing cluster headache and migraine studies as well as conducting clinical research in the fields of Parkinson’s Disease and multiple sclerosis. Stephanie plans to eventually pursue a career in medicine.

Jessica Yankulova, MA

Jessica obtained her Bachelors and Masters in Psychology from San Francisco State University where she specialized in understanding action selection and decision making on a mechanistic level.  Jessica is currently a clinical research coordinator associate working on non-invasive neuromodulation and neurofeedback for patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Jessica hopes to further her studies and one day pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience.