Dr. Kathleen Poston is the Edward F. and Irene Thiele Pimley Professor of Neurology and the Neurological Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery. Dr. Poston received her Bachelor’s of Science in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. She also obtained her medical degree from Vanderbilt University and then completed her Neurology residency training at UCSF, where she was Chief Resident. She completed a fellowship in clinical Movement Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University and post-doctoral training in Functional Neuroimaging with Dr. David Eidelberg at the Feinstein Institute.
When not at the lab, Dr. Poston enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She is an avid animal lover and, if not for her husband’s voice of reason, would adopt every stray who crosses her path. She currently shares her home with two loving cats. As a former competitive swimmer and synchronized swimmer, she is also an exercise enthusiast and is currently training for a triathlon.
Marian Shahid, MSc
Research Program Manager
Marian received her Bachelor's of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis and her Master's of Science in Clinical Research Organization and Management from Drexel University. Before joining the Poston Lab, Marian worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at UCSF in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology on various pharmacokinetic studies looking at nicotine metabolism and the effect on cognition in smokers, and the clinical pharmacology of electronic cigarettes. Marian is interested in learning more about cognitive decline and behavioral changes in individuals with Parkinson's disease. While not at work, Marian enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing volleyball and basketball, and watching her favorite Bay Area sports teams (go Warriors!).
If you are interested in participating in our research studies, please contact Marian at:
Phone: (650) 723-0060
Eva Müller-Oehring, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Eva M. Müller-Oehring is a Senior Research Scholar with a joint appointment in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, and at SRI International. Dr. Müller-Oehring received her undergraduate and graduate education in Germany, where she studied Psychology at the University of Trier and obtained her Ph.D. in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (OVGU). She did her Clinical Psychology postgraduate studies at the Institute of Behavioral Therapy Lübben (Germany) in accordance with the German Approbation Law for Clinical Psychology, and her internship in at the Department of Psychiatry at OVGU. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in neuroimaging, alcohol use disorder, and psychiatric diseases affecting the brain with Dr. Edith V. Sullivan at Stanford Psychiatry (USA).
Dr. Müller-Oehring's research interests aim to advance our understanding on ‘how the human brain works’ by studying the relationship between brain structure and function using multimodal imaging approaches in healthy and degraded brain systems. Her current studies focus on neurodegenerative processes, cognitive impairment, motor dysfunction, and modulators of disease severity in people aging with HIV infection, in Parkinson’s disease, and alcohol use disorder. In addition, she studies the dynamic neurodevelopmental plasticity in adolescents transitioning to adult cognitive maturity and emotional control as part of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA). At Dr. Poston’s laboratory, Dr. Müller-Oehring is expanding her neuroimaging research to PET/MR aiming to identify biomarkers underwriting the functional status in Parkinson’s disease.
Outside of work, Dr. Müller-Oehring enjoys nature, being around horses, running, hiking, and skiing in California and the Alps, and summitting Mount Whitney with her family.
Christina B. Young, PhD
Dr. Christina B. Young received her BS in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She then went on to graduate school at Northwestern University and obtained a MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Neuropsychology, as well as an additional MS in Statistics. During her graduate school training, she received two grants from the National Science Foundation, which promoted her research and allowed her to spend one year at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in the Netherlands. She completed her clinical internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and a post-doctoral fellowship in the Psychiatry Department at Stanford before joining the Poston Lab in January 2020.
Christina is interested in using multimodal imaging approaches, including fMRI, MRI and PET, to investigate neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases. She aims to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying these symptoms with the ultimate goal of identifying clinically applicable biomarkers. Outside of the lab, she loves dogs, especially her two dogs - Clark and Addison, is active in the shelter community, and plays basketball.
Kristen Wheeler, PT, DPT
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.
Alena graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and minor in Business Administration. During her time as an undergraduate research assistant at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, Alena learned to blend her experiences as an artist and scientist to investigate the neurological correlates of creativity. She is excited to apply these understandings and learn more about the cognitive changes associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Alena is passionate about empirically connecting PD pathology to patient anecdotes of sudden bursts of artistic creativity. Above all, she is driven to better understand the symptomatic and neurophysiological bases of PD to help develop more effective treatments. She hopes to pursue graduate education where she can obtain greater clarity in her role as a researcher and artist. Outside of research, Alena spends her time painting and drawing. She runs her own small art business and hosts annual art shows to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation.
Originally from Vilnius, Lithuania, Viktorija graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh where she completed her honor thesis exploring the development of working memory with Dr. Candice Morey. She then completed her MSc in Speech and Language Therapy in London and explored individual differences in the development of language processing networks under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Holland. She has worked as a speech and language pathologist specializing in adult neurological communication disorders across acute inpatient, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings. Viktorija joined the Mormino and Poston labs in February 2022 and hopes to use her specialist clinical knowledge to continue exploring language processing and features underlying speech comprehension and production. Outside of work, Viktorija enjoys exploring the outdoors and going hiking with her husband and dog, Alfie. She’s always up for trying creative hobbies from painting to learning the piano.
Elnaz received her B.A.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. During her undergraduate studies, she completed the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). She was also selected as one of the five international engineers/scientists to participate in a two-week simulated Mars mission as a crew engineer. After her engineering studies, she worked with different technology startups and in the film and theatre industry.
Her involvement in an artificial cognition project spiked her interest to learn about the neural basis of natural cognition that inspires AI. Since then, she has completed some neuroscience studies and has helped with several cognitive neuroscience projects at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Psychology Department to enhance her knowledge in the field. Her recent research topics include: neural basis of risky decision making, executive function deficits in children with genetic disorders, and the effects of attention lapsing on recognition memory. She is currently working as a Research Data Analyst in the Poston lab and is responsible for analyzing MR scans of patients with Parkinson’s disease.
When not analyzing brain data, she enjoys travelling and spending time with her family. Her hobbies include exploring nature, practicing yoga, skiing, swimming, oil painting and playing the piano.
Since Erin was young, she has carried around a notebook to jot down thoughts and observations about the world around her. As she aged, she learned to channel this curiosity into research. Past projects have ranged from developing a clean oil sand extraction method to investigating neuronal remodeling at the Weizmann Institute to determining visual attention strategies via eye tracking at Harvard Medical School. Most recently, she developed FacePrint, a tool to detect and monitor Parkinson’s disease using video technology and early-stage facial expression indicators. Erin’s research has been awarded at an international level, and she was recently recognized in Forbes 30 under 30. Erin is currently a freshman at Stanford. In her free time, Erin enjoys going hiking, finding creative ways to achieve her bucket list (most recently living in a treehouse in the Costa Rican jungle), and spending time with family and friends.
Clinical Research Manager
Veronica Ramirez is a research assistant for the Clinical Core of the Stanford ADRC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Orleans. As an undergraduate at the University of New Orleans, she worked as a lab assistant in the department of psychology. After receiving her bachelor’s, she worked as a psychometrist and Clinical Research Coordinator at a private neuropsychology practice in New Orleans. Much of her work has involved research in behavioral neurology and forensic neuropsychology.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Hannah Schmitz earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Biology from the University of California, Davis in 2020. Prior to joining the ADRC and PUC, she conducted research in molecular biology and genetics, most recently studying genetic retinal diseases in the Vollrath Lab at Stanford. Previously at UC Davis, she volunteered through the National Alzheimer’s Buddies program to provide companionship and social support to Alzheimer’s patients. She is excited to combine her passion for research with her joy of working with patients and to make progress towards better understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Nicole Caceres received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Notre Dame de Namur University in 2018. She is currently earning her Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology from Palo Alto University. Nicole previously assisted children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disorders, and emotional/behavioral disorders. In addition to working with children, she also volunteered as a sexual assault counselor and advocate at Rape Trauma Services. When not at work, Nicole enjoys reading, hiking, movies, and spending time with animals as she is an animal lover and advocate.
Clinical Research Coordinator
James received his Bachelor of Arts in both Neuroscience and Spanish from Pomona College in 2020. He has contributed to research with UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and UC Davis’ Department of Emergency Medicine. James’ role with the ADRC specifically focuses on the coordination of the Stanford Brain Bank Program in conjunction with the ADRC Neuropathology core.
Clinical Research Coordinator
T’Lesa Meadowcroft earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in neuroscience from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. She worked as a research assistant in psychology and, after graduation in 2010, as a neuropsychometrist at the University of Utah Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research. In 2015, she became a Certified Specialist in Psychometry and moved to Stanford Health Care as a clinical psychometrist, before joining us at the ADRC and Pacific Udall Center.
Carla Abdelnour, MD, PhD
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Carla Abdelnour received her medical degree at the Central University of Venezuela, and then completed her neurology residency training at the University Hospital Príncipe de Asturias in Madrid, Spain. She conducted her doctorate in Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona working with Drs. Dag Aarsland, Javier Pagonabarraga and Jaime Kulisevsky. Her thesis focused on the influence of Alzheimer´s disease copathology in atrophy patterns, longitudinal cognitive decline, and heterogeneity of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies.
Carla's main interest is the study of neurodegenerative diseases, especially Lewy body disease. As a Sue Berghoff LBD Research Fellow, her plan is to investigate the impact of different comorbidities in the clinical presentation, cognitive profile, and disease progression of Lewy body disease. Additionally, she wants to study the biological underpinnings of prodromal Lewy body disease to identify potential biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis. She was member of the steering committee of the European dementia with Lewy bodies consortium (E-DLB), and is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
Outside the lab, you will find Carla learning new things and adding hobbies to her list. In particular, she likes travelling, making her own clothes, and is currently learning to play the guitar.
Melanie Plastini, PhD
Originally from Northern California, Dr. Melanie Plastini obtained her BS in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) before matriculating at the University of Miami (UM), Miller School of Medicine to receive her PhD in Neuroscience. She carried out her dissertation research with Dr. Roberta Brambilla studying the cause of multiple sclerosis. Specifically, she studied the role of neuroinflammation and whether intrinsic dysfunction of the myelin forming cells of the central nervous system (oligodendrocytes) plays a role in disease pathogenesis. From her scholarship, leadership efforts, and community outreach, Melanie received various awards during graduate school including the 2019 Lois Pope LIFE Fellowship Award for her dissertation research, the 2020 Edward J. Green Memorial Award from her graduate program, the 2021 UM Toppel Career Center’s ‘Graduate Student of the Year’, and the 2021 Graduate Award for Excellence from the UM Butler Center for Service and Leadership. She continues her passion for studying neurogenerative diseases in the Poston Lab by researching Lewy body dementia biomarkers for earlier diagnosis and tracking the progression of the disease.
Outside of lab, Melanie’s favorite experiences include hiking to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, plunging 134 meters while bungy jumping in New Zealand, and acquiring her scuba certification. When not seeking an adrenaline rush, Melanie also enjoys playing guitar and piano and practicing yoga.
Joe Winer, PhD
Joe Winer completed his PhD in Psychology at UC Berkeley working with Drs. Matthew Walker and William Jagust. During his PhD, Joe combined objective and subjective sleep assessment with PET imaging to investigate connections between sleep disruption and Alzheimer's disease in the context of healthy aging. In the Poston Lab, Joe plans to examine biomarkers of Lewy Body Dementia that may allow for earlier detection of disease-related changes in the brain. He also hopes to explore how tracking sleep and other factors can provide information about brain health and cognitive trajectories in aging and Lewy body disease. When he is not doing research, Joe can be found outside looking at birds and seals.
Research Coordinator (AAV2-Neuturin)
Matthew A.I. Ua Cruadhlaoich
Ho Bin Kim
Jeehyun (Jee) Kim
MD/PhD Student at University of Rochester
Graduate Student at Rice University
Graduate Student at USC
Medical Student at University of Utah
Assistant Professor at the Mind Research Network
Deep Learning Engineer at Nines AI
MD/PhD Student at UCLA
PhD Student, Washington University, St. Louis
Brain Imaging, Behavior and Aging Lab
University of Arizona
Medical Student, University of Pennsylvania
Medical Student, UCSD
King’s College London Masters Student
UNC-Chapel Hill Medical Student
Fadi M. Tayim, PhD
Principal Investigator at the Neuropsychology Lab at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute
Will Shirer, MD
Anesthesiology Resident, Stanford
PhD Student, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, CU Boulder
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology, UCLA
Technion American Medical School
Medical Student, UCLA