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Dr. Kathleen Poston is Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences and (by courtesy) Neurosurgery at Stanford University Medical Center. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, her Master's Degree in Biomedical Engineering and her MD at Vanderbilt University. She completed her Neurology residency training at UCSF, where she was Co-Chief Resident. She also completed a fellowship in clinical Movement Disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University and post-doctoral research training in Functional Neuroimaging with Dr. David Eidelberg at the Feinstein Institute.Dr. Poston's research focuses on develop imaging and biological biomarkers to advance our understanding of the pathophysiology underlying the cognitive, behavioral, and motor symptoms characteristic of Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders. Her current studies focus on cognitive and memory problems in people with Parkinson’s disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. She has been awarded grant funding by the NIH and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease research. She is Co-Director for the Pacific Udall Center, which is an NINDS funded Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s disease Research. She serves on the Executive Steering Committee for the Michael J Fox Foundation sponsored Parkinsons Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI). She is also the Research Education Component (REC) Leader for the Stanford Alzheimer’s disease Center (ADRC), which is funded by the National Institute for Aging and focuses on early cognitive problems in both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Poston's research applies multi-modal neuroimaging to study cognitive impairment and dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), and other parkinsonian disorders. Dementia is a highly prevalent and grievous consequences of PD, but it is an essentially untreatable symptom that has multiple, evasive etiologies. Dr. Poston's lab uses neuroimaging to unravel these etiologies by studying brain regions vulnerable to various co-pathologies that develop in PD patients, and then determining the associated changes in clinical progression and symptom evolution. She integrates genetic, biospecimen, and pathological data into these studies, which aid in understanding the biological underpinnings of these neuroimaging studies.