School of Medicine


Showing 1-10 of 32 Results

  • Daniel A. Abrams

    Daniel A. Abrams

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAutism spectrum disorders (ASD) are among the most pervasive neurodevelopmental disorders and are characterized by significant deficits in social communication. A common observation in children with ASD is that affected individuals often “tune out” from social interactions, which likely impacts the development of social, communication, and language skills. My primary research goals are to understand why children with ASD often tune out from the social world and how this impacts social skill and brain development, and to identify remediation strategies that motivate children with ASD to engage in social interactions. The theoretical framework that guides my work is that social impairments in ASD stem from a primary deficit in identifying social stimuli, such as human voices and faces, as rewarding and salient stimuli, thereby precluding children with ASD from engaging with these stimuli.

    My program of research has provided important information regarding the brain circuits underlying social deficits in ASD. Importantly, these findings have consistently implicated key structures of the brain’s reward and salience processing systems, and support the hypothesis that impaired reward attribution to social stimuli is a critical aspect of social difficulties in ASD.

    My lab is currently conducting three research studies:

    Speaker-Listener Coupling and Brain Dynamics During Naturalistic Verbal Communication in Children with Autism
    We have a new study investigating how the brain processes and understands speech in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as typically developing children. We are interested in understanding speech comprehension in children through anticipating incoming speech and accumulating speech information over a period of time.

    Speaker-Listener Coupling and Brain Dynamics During Naturalistic Verbal Communication in Alzheimer’s Disease
    In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, our new study is exploring how the brain enables us to understand speech, with a focus on both healthy older adults and adults with Alzheimer’s Disease. We also aim to understand how the brain measures seen while we listen and understand a story are linked to language skills in these individuals.

    Pivotal Response Treatment for Adolescents with High Functioning Autism Intervention Study
    This is a 9-week intervention focusing on key social skills for autistic adolescents, while exploring brain plasticity using fMRI imaging. Your child will receive 1:1 sessions with our clinician, with parent training in clinic. Topics include: Greetings, Departures, Question Asking, Talking the Right Amount, Empathy, Sarcasm, and Eating and Drinking. We also coordinate with the school for additional support and opportunities to practice the targeted social skills in a club of interest.

  • Teddy J. Akiki, MD

    Teddy J. Akiki, MD

    Clinical Scholar, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    Postdoctoral Medical Fellow, Psychiatry

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDepression, PTSD, Glutamatergic Antidepressants (e.g., ketamine), Psychedelics, Multimodal Neuroimaging, Network Neuroscience, Machine Learning/Predictive Modeling, Morphometry

  • Helen M. Blau

    Helen M. Blau

    Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Professor, Director, Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Professor, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProf. Helen Blau's research area is regenerative medicine with a focus on stem cells. Her research on nuclear reprogramming and demonstrating the plasticity of cell fate using cell fusion is well known and her laboratory has also pioneered the design of biomaterials to mimic the in vivo microenvironment and direct stem cell fate. Current findings are leading to more efficient iPS generation, cell based therapies by dedifferentiation a la newts, and discovery of novel molecules and therapies.

  • Dan Bowling, PhD

    Dan Bowling, PhD

    Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    BioMy research aims to translate progress in the speech and music sciences into improved diagnostics and treatments for affective and social dimensions of mental health, including disorders of mood, anxiety, and sociality. See https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-023-02671-4 and https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01515-9

    My doctoral research in Neurobiology at Duke University School of Medicine focused on the biology of emotional expression in speech and music. My postdoctoral work at the University of Vienna focused on bioacoustics, interpersonal synchrony, and social bonding. I have completed certificate courses in Cognitive Neuroscience and Translational Medicine, as well as undergraduate degrees in Biological Psychology and Neurophilosophy.

    I have authored 40 scientific articles in top journals including Science, PNAS, Molecular Psychiatry, Translational Psychiatry, PLoS Biology, Trends in Cognitive Science, and Physics of Life Reviews. My work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Austrian Science Foundation, the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna, and the Wu Tsai Neuroscience Institute at Stanford University.

  • Weidong Cai

    Weidong Cai

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    BioMy research focuses on brain mechanisms underlying cognitive deficits in two distinct populations: children with neurodevelopmental disorders, especially kids with ADHD, and elders with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease. By integrating cognitive, neuroscience, and computational models with advanced functional neuroimaging techniques, my goal is to understand the neurocognitive factors that contribute to typical and atypical brain development and aging.

  • Victor G. Carrión

    Victor G. Carrión

    John A. Turner Endowed Professor for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsExamines the interplay between brain development and stress vulnerability via a multi-method approach that includes psychophysiology, neuroimaging, neuroendocrinology and phenomenology. Treatment development that focuses on individual and community-based interventions for stress related conditions in children and adolescents that experience traumatic stress.

  • Luis de Lecea

    Luis de Lecea

    Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical and Translational Neurosciences Incubator)

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab uses molecular, optogenetic, anatomical and behavioral methods to identify and manipulate the neuronal circuits underlying brain arousal, with particular attention to sleep and wakefulness transitions. We are also interested in the changes that occur in neuronal circuits in conditions of hyperarousal such as stress and drug addiction.

  • Karl Deisseroth

    Karl Deisseroth

    D. H. Chen Professor, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsKarl Deisseroth's laboratory created and developed optogenetics, hydrogel-tissue chemistry (beginning with CLARITY), and a broad range of enabling methods. He also has employed his technologies to discover the neural cell types and connections that cause adaptive and maladaptive behaviors.

  • Laramie Duncan

    Laramie Duncan

    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator)

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study genetic and environmental effects on mental health. Much of our work is computational and it relies upon genetic data, collected from millions of individuals, from around the world. We use genetic approaches because the overall goal of the lab is to discover fundamental information about psychiatric disorders, and ultimately to build more rational approaches to classification, prevention, and treatment.

  • Neir Eshel, MD, PhD

    Neir Eshel, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories & Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator)

    BioDr. Eshel (he/him/his) is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.

    His clinical focus is the full-spectrum mental health care of sexual and gender minorities, with particular interest in depression, anxiety, and the complex effects of trauma in this population. He works in collaboration with other primary care and mental health providers at the Stanford LGBTQ+ program.

    His research interests (www.staarlab.com) include the use of optogenetic, electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and behavioral approaches to probe the neural circuits of reward processing, decision making, and social behavior. He has won multi-year grants from the National Institutes of Health, Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and Simons Foundation to further his research.

    Dr. Eshel has published articles on dopamine and motivation, the neuroscience of irritability, LGBTQ health, reward and punishment processing in depression, behavioral predictors of substance use among adolescents, and the mechanism of transcranial magnetic stimulation. His work has appeared in Nature, Science, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Annual Review of Neuroscience, JAMA, JAMA Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Journal of Neuroscience. He is a co-inventor on a patent pending for a new class of drugs for addiction, and also the author of the book Learning: The Science Inside, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    He has delivered presentations on the neural circuits of motivated behavior, anger expression in patients with PTSD, how dopamine facilitates learning, and LGBTQ-related topics at departmental seminars in London, Zurich, and Tel Aviv, and at the meetings of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Society of Biological Psychiatry, and Association of American Medical Colleges, among others. He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, and an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous publications including Nature, Science, JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, and Current Biology.

    Dr. Eshel has won honors for his scholarship and advocacy, including the Marshall Scholarship, the Outstanding Resident Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Science and SciLifeLab Grand Prize for Young Scientists, the Freedman Award (honorable mention) from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Polymath Award from Stanford's psychiatry department, and the National LGBT Health Achievement Award.

    He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Society of Biological Psychiatry, Association of Gay & Lesbian Psychiatrists, Society for Neuroscience, and other professional associations. He is also an advocate for LGBTQ rights, recently serving as the chair of Stanford's LGBTQ+ Benefits Advocacy Committee.

    Prior to Stanford, Dr. Eshel trained and conducted research at the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University, the World Health Organization, University College London, and Harvard University.