Meet the Senior Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Ruth O’Hara

As Senior Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Ruth O’Hara oversees research infrastructure and services, spanning the research enterprise from discovery to population and precision health. Programs and units within the Research Office include Clinical Research Units, Clinical and Translational Research Unit, Conflicts of Interest Review Program, Research Informatics Center, Research Participant Engagement, Scientific Service Centers, and the Stanford Biobank. She also oversees offices that support the research enterprise, including Clinical Research Quality, Community Engagement, and Research Development. In addition, she is the faculty director of Spectrum, Stanford’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education.

Dr. O’Hara has spent decades conducting clinical research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Her main research focus is on the mechanisms by which medical disorders, (e.g., breast cancer, sleep disorders), impact brain circuitry and function, leading to significant neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms. One line of her research focuses on the impact of medical disorders on clinical trial outcomes. She’s the recipient of numerous NIH and foundation grants that support her work.

A long proponent for career development education and mentorship in clinical research, Dr. O’Hara has also served as national director of the 28-site, VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Health Research and Treatment, which has graduated over 300 MD and PhD scholars—with more than 70 percent entering independent clinical research careers in academic medicine. This program is the largest of its kind, with sites at Stanford, Yale, Duke, Mount Sinai, UC San Francisco, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, Baylor, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Pennsylvania, among others.


Associate Deans for Research


  • Assistant Dean & Executive Director of Spectrum
    Rajnesh “Raj” Prasad
    Director of Finance & Administration
  • Administrative Services
    Namita Dalal, Administrative Manager
  • Finance
    Liang Li, Assistant Director of Finance
  • Human Resources
    Jackie Ponce, Human Resources Administrator