School of Medicine


Showing 1-29 of 29 Results

  • Daniel Arthur Abrams

    Daniel Arthur 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. The first study produced by this program of research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and showed that children with ASD have weak brain connectivity between voice processing regions of cortex and the distributed reward circuit and amygdala. Moreover, the strength of these speech-reward brain connections predicted social communication abilities in these children. A second study, which was recently published in eLife, examined neural processing of mother’s voice, a biologically salient and implicitly rewarding sound which is associated with cognitive and social development, in children with ASD. Results from this study identified a relationship between social communication abilities in children with ASD and brain activation in reward and salience processing regions during mother’s voice processing. A third study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that mother’s voice activates an extended voice processing network, including reward and salience processing regions, in typically developing children. Moreover, the strength of brain connectivity between voice-selective and reward and salience processing regions predicted social communication abilities in these neurotypical children. Together, results provide novel support for the hypothesis that deficits in representing the reward value of social stimuli, including the human voice, impede children with ASD from actively engaging with these stimuli and consequently impair social skill development.

    My future research will leverage these findings by examining several important questions related to social information processing in children with ASD. First, we aim to study longitudinal development of social brain circuitry in minimally verbal children with ASD, a severely affected subpopulation that has been vastly underrepresented in the ASD literature. Second, we aim to examine the efficacy of naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions, such as Pivotal Response Treatment, for children with ASD and their relation to changes in social brain and reward circuitry. Third, we aim to examine distinct neural profiles in female children with ASD who, on average, have better social communication abilities compared to their male counterparts.

  • Ehsan Adeli

    Ehsan Adeli

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research lies in the intersection of Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Healthcare, and Computational Neuroscience.

  • 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.

  • Daniel Bowling, PhD

    Daniel Bowling, PhD

    Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    BioDr. Bowling is an instructor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of medicine. His research is focused on auditory-vocal communication in social functioning and mental health.

    Dr. Bowling earned his PhD in Neurobiology from Duke University School of Medicine, going on to complete postdoctoral and fellowship work at the University of Vienna in Austria. He holds graduate certificates in Cognitive Neuroscience and Translational Medicine, and undergraduate degrees in Biological Psychology and Neurophilosophy. He joined Stanford in December of 2018.

    Dr. Bowling has published over 30 scientific articles in journals such as Science, PNAS, Trends in Cognitive Science, Scientific Reports, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, and PLoS Biology. His work has been recognized with plaudits including an innovation award from the Social and Affective Neuroscience society, a young investigator award from the faculty of life science at the University of Vienna, and awards for best talk and best poster at international conferences. He has received funding at institutional and federal levels in the United States and in Austria.

  • 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.

  • Lawrence Fung MD PhD

    Lawrence Fung MD PhD

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

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Lawrence Fung is a scientist and psychiatrist specialized in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the father of a neurodiverse teenager with ASD. He is the director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, which strives to uncover the strengths of neurodiverse individuals and utilize their talents to increase innovation and productivity of the society as a whole. He directs the Neurodiverse Student Support Program, Neurodiversity at Work Program (recently funded by Autism Speaks), and Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic at Stanford. Dr. Fung is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His lab advances the understanding of neural bases of human socio-communicative and cognitive functions by using novel neuroimaging and technologies. His team devise and implement novel interventions to improve the lives of neurodiverse individuals by maximizing their potential and productivity. For example, he is conducting a study to demonstrate that specialized employment programs such as Neurodiversity at Work program will result in higher retention rates and quality of life.

  • Andrew D. Huberman

    Andrew D. Huberman

    Associate Professor of Neurobiology and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests1) We study neural regeneration with the goal of developing treatments to prevent and reverse vision loss. (e.g., Huberman, Nature 2020; Laha and Huberman, Science, 2017; Lim et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2016).

    2) We are parsing the neural circuits for anxiety, and visually-driven autonomic arousal, (e.g., Salay et al., Nature, 2018; Yilmaz-Balban et al., Current Biology, 2021).

  • Robert Malenka

    Robert Malenka

    Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLong-lasting changes in synaptic strength are important for the modification of neural circuits by experience. A major goal of my laboratory is to elucidate the molecular events that trigger various forms of synaptic plasticity and the modifications in synaptic proteins that are responsible for the changes in synaptic efficacy.

  • Ryan Matlow

    Ryan Matlow

    Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    BioRyan Matlow, Ph.D., is a child clinical psychologist who serves as Director of Community Programs for Stanford’s Early Life Stress and Resilience Program, and is a faculty member in Stanford's Human Rights and Trauma Mental Health Program. His clinical and research efforts focus on understanding and addressing the impact of stress, adversity, and trauma in children, families, and communities. In particular, Dr. Matlow seeks to apply current scientific knowledge of the neurobiological and developmental impact of stress, trauma, and adversity in shaping interventions and systems of care. Dr. Matlow is focused on engaging diverse populations and providing evidence-based individual, family, and systems interventions for posttraumatic stress following interpersonal trauma, with an emphasis on efforts in school, community, and integrated care settings. He is engaged in clinical service, program development, and interdisciplinary collaboration efforts that address childhood trauma exposure in communities that have been historically marginalized, under-resourced, and/or experienced human rights violations. He has worked extensively in providing trauma-focused psychological evaluation, treatment, and advocacy services with immigrant youth and families, with a focus on immigrants from Latin American countries. Dr. Matlow is involved in the training and dissemination of Stanford's Cue Centered Therapy (Carrion, 2015), a flexible, manualized intervention addressing childhood experiences of chronic trauma.

  • Vinod Menon

    Vinod Menon

    Rachael L. and Walter F. Nichols, MD, Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Education and of Neurology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEXPERIMENTAL, CLINICAL AND THEORETICAL SYSTEMS NEUROSCIENCE

    Cognitive neuroscience; Systems neuroscience; Cognitive development; Psychiatric neuroscience; Functional brain imaging; Dynamical basis of brain function; Nonlinear dynamics of neural systems.

  • Philippe Mourrain

    Philippe Mourrain

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

    BioExpertise: Neurobiology, Sleep sciences, Molecular Genetics, Developmental Biology, Gene Silencing/Epigenetics

    Methodology: Synapse Imaging (Two photon microscopy, Array Tomography), Calcium Imaging (Light Sheet Microscopy/SPIM, Light Field Microscopy), Optogenetics, CLARITY, Tol2 transgenesis, TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9, Video tracking and behavior computation.

  • Karen J. Parker, PhD

    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.

  • Kilian M Pohl

    Kilian M Pohl

    Associate Professor (Research) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Public Mental Health and Population Sciences)

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe foundation of the laboratory of Associate Professor Kilian M. Pohl, PhD, is computational science aimed at identifying biomedical phenotypes improving the mechanistic understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. The biomedical phenotypes are discovered by unbiased, machine learning-based searches across biological, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological data. This data-driven discovery currently supports the adolescent brain research of the NIH-funded National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) and the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD), the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the US. The laboratory also investigates brain patterns specific to alcohol use disorder and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) across the adult age range, and have advanced the understanding of a variety of brain diseases including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, glioma, and aging.

  • Nirao Shah

    Nirao Shah

    Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator), of Neurobiology and, by courtesy, of Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study how our brains generate social interactions that differ between the sexes. Such gender differences in behavior are regulated by sex hormones, experience, and social cues. Accordingly, we are characterizing how these internal and external factors control gene expression and neuronal physiology in the two sexes to generate behavior. We are also interested in understanding how such sex differences in the healthy brain translate to sex differences in many neuro-psychiatric illnesses.

  • David Spiegel

    David Spiegel

    Jack, Lulu and Sam Willson Professor of Medicine

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Spiegel's research program involves mind/body interactions, including cancer progression, the response to traumatic stress, and the effect of hypnosis on the perception of pain and anxiety.

  • Edith Vioni Sullivan

    Edith Vioni Sullivan

    Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator)
    On Leave from 07/11/2022 To 10/10/2022

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsApplication of neuroimaging modalities and component process analysis of cognitive, sensory, and motor functions to identify brain structural and functional mechanisms disrupted in diseases affecting the brain: alcohol use disorder, HIV infection, dementia, and normal aging from adolescence to senescence.

  • Alexander Eckehart Urban

    Alexander Eckehart Urban

    Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator) and of Genetics
    On Leave from 10/01/2021 To 08/31/2022

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsComplex behavioral and neuropsychiatric phenotypes often have a strong genetic component. This genetic component is often extremely complex and difficult to dissect. The current revolution in genome technology means that we can avail ourselves to tools that make it possible for the first time to begin understanding the complex genetic and epigenetic interactions at the basis of the human mind.

  • Leanne Williams

    Leanne Williams

    Vincent V.C. Woo Professor, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories and Clinical Translational Neurosciences Incubator) and, by courtesy, of Psychology

    Current Research and Scholarly InterestsA revolution is under way in psychiatry. We can now understand mental illness as an expression of underlying brain circuit disruptions, shaped by experience and genetics. Our lab is defining precision brain circuit types for depression, anxiety and attention deficit. We apply computational models to large amounts of brain imaging, behavior and other data. These precision brain types inform our translational intervention studies. To close the loop, field ready insights are applied in practice.

  • Natalie M. Zahr

    Natalie M. Zahr

    Assistant Professor (Research) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Major Laboratories)

    BioNatalie M. Zahr received a graduate education in the basic sciences including the study of neuro- pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy. After completing her graduate training in electrophysiology, she began a postdoctoral fellowship as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scientist. Her work focuses on translational approaches using in vivo MR imaging and spectroscopy in studies of human alcoholics and rodent models of alcoholism with the goal of identifying fundamental mechanisms of alcohol effects on the brain. Her human studies include participants with HIV, those comorbid for HIV and alcoholism and recently, aging individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Her position allows her to explore emerging MR technologies and apply them to test relevant hypotheses. Before joining Stanford, she taught at several local institutions including UC Berkeley extension and Santa Clara University enjoying sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for learning with her students.

  • Qingyu Zhao

    Qingyu Zhao

    Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

    BioI am interested in using machine learning and computational approaches to analyze longitudinal and multi-modal MRI to characterize how the white-matter architecture develops to support coordinated neural activity for developing higher-order executive functions. My research also extends to characterize the impact of alcohol and substance use on structure-function remodeling. My general interest lies in image analysis and machine learning for the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.