Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute
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Cholawat Pacharinsak, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine
BioCholawat Pacharinsak, DVM, PhD Associate Professor and Director of Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Surgery, at Stanford University’s Department of Comparative Medicine; he is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (DACVAA). He received his DVM from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and trained in an Anesthesiology/Pain Management residency program and received his Master's degree at Washington State University. He completed his PhD in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences from the University of Minnesota. Prior to arriving at Stanford, Dr. Pacharinsak was a faculty member in Anesthesiology and Pain Management at Michigan State University and Purdue University; and served as a Clinical Specialist at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding the neurobiology of cancer pain, chemotherapeutic-induced peripheral neuropathy, acute surgical pain models, and methods to improve clinical pain management e.g. sustained release analgesics supporting refinement. Research methodology includes electrophysiologic and behavioral techniques.
Daniel Palanker, PhD
Professor of Ophthalmology and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsInteractions of electric field and light with biological cells and tissues and their applications to imaging, diagnostics, therapeutics and prosthetics, primarily in ophthalmology.
Specific fields of interest:
Electronic retinal prosthesis;
Electronic enhancement of tear secretion;
Electronic control of blood vessels;
Non-damaging retinal laser therapy;
Ultrafast laser surgery;
Interferometric imaging of neural signals;
Cell transplantation and retinal plasticity.
Professor of Neurosurgery, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMembers of the Palmer Lab study the biology of neural stem cells in brain development and in the adult. Our primary goal is to understand how genes and environment synergize in influencing stem cell behavior during development and how mild genetic or environmental risk factors for disease may synergize in their detrimental effects on brain development or in the risk of neuronal loss in age-related degenerative disease.
David Jaehyun Park
Clinical Instructor, Neurosurgery
BioDavid Park, MD, PhD, is a neurosurgeon who graduated medical school from the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea. He then completed his internship and residency training in the Department of Neurosurgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital. He became a board-certified neurosurgeon in South Korea in 2014 and then completed his 2-year fellowship in the same hospital in the fields of brain tumor surgery and skull base surgery. During his residency training, he attended graduate school while practicing neurosurgery as a trainee. He successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis titled “Combination therapy for gliomas using temozolomide and interferon-beta secreting human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.” in 2015.
After completing his fellowship in South Korea, Dr. Park moved to Singapore in 2016. He worked as a clinical fellow (clinical associate) for one year at the National Neuroscience Institute, focusing on Neurosurgical Oncology and Skull base surgery.
In 2017, Dr. Park joined Dr. Christian Badr’s lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, as a postdoctoral research fellow to perform translational research on glioblastoma to complement his clinical expertise. His research focused on the role of fatty acids and lipid metabolism in glioblastoma.
During this period, in addition to his work in the lab, Dr. Park launched his own start-up business based on his invention. He came up with the idea of an intraoperative diagnostic tool for tumor detection during glioma surgery, collaborated with bioengineers at M.I.T. to develop a prototype, and received seed funding from the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund. As an MIT Sandbox program alumnus, he continues to work on this project.
In 2020, Dr. Park joined the North Shore University Hospital, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Long Island, New York, as a Neurosurgical Oncology and Radiosurgery Fellow (Teaching Associate). During this one-year fellowship, he worked with Dr. Michael Schulder focusing on brain tumor surgery including laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).
From July 2021 to June 2022, Dr. Park completed a Neurosurgical Oncology and Radiosurgery Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. He devoted his efforts to minimally invasive neurosurgical techniques such as LITT and Gamma Knife SRS, as well as awake brain tumor surgery under the guidance of Drs. Gene Barnett, Lilyana Angelov, and Ali Mohammadi.
In July 2022, Dr. Park joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University as a Clinical Instructor. Dr. Park now works with Drs. Steven D. Chang and Antonio Meola in the field of Cyberknife stereotactic radiosurgery and Neurosurgical oncology.
Karen J. Parker, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator) and, by courtesy, of Comparative Medicine
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Parker Lab conducts research on the biology of social functioning in monkeys, typically developing humans, and patients with social impairments.
Josef Parvizi, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery
BioDr Parvizi completed his medical internship at Mayo Clinic and Neurology Residency at BIDMC Harvard Medical School before joining the UCLA for fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy. He has worked at Stanford University Medical Center since 2007 and specializes in treating patients with uncontrollable seizures. Dr. Parvizi is the principal investigator in the Laboratory of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience whose research activities have been supported by National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and private foundations. To find out more about Dr Parvizi's scholarly activities please visit http://med.stanford.edu/parvizi-lab.html.
Anca M. Pasca, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe research focus of the lab is to understand molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders associated with premature birth, neonatal and fetal brain injury with the long-term goal of translating the lab’s findings into therapeutics. The research team employs a multidisciplinary approach involving genetics, molecular and developmental neurobiology, animal models and neural cells differentiated from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In particular, the lab is using a powerful 3D human brain-region specific organoid system developed at Stanford (Nature Methods, 2015; Nature Protocols, 2018) to ask questions about brain injury during development.
Sergiu P. Pasca
Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Bonnie Uytengsu and Family Director of the Stanford Brain Organogenesis Program
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsA critical challenge in understanding the intricate programs underlying development, assembly and dysfunction of the human brain is the lack of direct access to intact, functioning human brain tissue for detailed investigation by imaging, recording, and stimulation.
To address this, we are developing bottom-up approaches to generate and assemble, from multi-cellular components, human neural circuits in vitro and in vivo.
We introduced the use of instructive signals for deriving from human pluripotent stem cells self-organizing 3D cellular structures named brain region-specific spheroids/organoids. We demonstrated that these cultures, such as the ones resembling the cerebral cortex, can be reliably derived across many lines and experiments, contain synaptically connected neurons and non-reactive astrocytes, and can be used to gain mechanistic insights into genetic and environmental brain disorders. Moreover, when maintained as long-term cultures, they recapitulate an intrinsic program of maturation that progresses towards postnatal stages.
We also pioneered a modular system to integrate 3D brain region-specific organoids and study human neuronal migration and neural circuit formation in functional preparations that we named assembloids. We have actively applied these models in combination with studies in long-term ex vivo brain preparations to acquire a deeper understanding of human physiology, evolution and disease mechanisms.
We have carved a unique research program that combines rigorous in vivo and in vitro neuroscience, stem cell and molecular biology approaches to construct and deconstruct previously inaccessible stages of human brain development and function in health and disease.
We believe science is a community effort, and accordingly, we have been advancing the field by broadly and openly sharing our technologies with numerous laboratories around the world and organizing the primary research conference and the training courses in the area of cellular models of the human brain.
Chirag Patel, MD, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Radiology - Rad/Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsNeuro-oncology, Clinical Trials, Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), Molecular/PET Imaging, Neuroimaging, Immunotherapy, Big Data Analysis
Zara Patel, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS)
BioDr. Zara M. Patel is Director of Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery and a Professor of Otolaryngology and, by courtesy, of Neurosurgery at Stanford. She was born and raised in St. Louis, completed her MD at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and completed her residency training in otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY. After pursuing fellowship training in rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery at Stanford University, she was recruited to join the Emory University faculty in Atlanta in 2011. After four years, the rhinology division recruited her back to the West coast to rejoin the department here at Stanford University in 2015.
Dr. Patel is an expert in advanced endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery. She treats patients with a wide variety of rhinologic complaints, including chronic sinus infection or inflammation, sinus disease that has failed medical therapy, sinus disease that has failed prior surgical therapy, cerebrospinal fluid leaks, benign and and malignant sinus and skull base tumors, as well as olfactory disorders.
She has served as Chair of the Education Committee and Member of the Board of Directors for the American Rhinologic Society and has developed a multitude of educational materials for both physicians and patients to help them better understand rhinologic disorders. She is passionate about educating patients to allow them to make the best decisions about their own care, leading to better outcomes.
Dr. Patel has published widely in topics such as avoiding complications in endoscopic sinus surgery, chronic rhinosinusitis in the immunosuppressed patient population, new devices and techniques for endoscopic skull base surgery, and olfactory dysfunction. She continues to perform research in these areas, and is currently collaborating with neuroscientists and engineers to develop technology that she hopes will eventually help cure patients with olfactory loss.