Clinical Focus

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neurology

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Clinical Trials Director, Stanford Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Program (2015 - Present)
  • Member, SHC Pharmacy and Therapeutics Specialty Drug Sub-Committee (2016 - 2017)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, American Academy of Neurology (1994 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurology (2020)
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship (2000) CA
  • Residency: Stanford University Neurology Residency (1997) CA
  • Internship: Stanford University Internal Medicine Residency (1994) CA
  • Medical Education: Westminster Medical School (1980) England

Clinical Trials

  • Safety and Efficacy of Repeated Administration of NurOwn (MSC-NTF Cells) in Participants With Progressive MS Recruiting

    A multidose open-label study with autologous Mesenchymal Stromal Stem Cells Secreting Neurotrophic Factors (MSC-NTF cells) involving 20 participants with progressive MS at multiple investigational study sites.

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  • A Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Elezanumab When Added to Standard of Care in Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of elezanumab in participants with progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PMS).

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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  • Study to Explore the Mechanism of Action of Ocrelizumab and B-Cell Biology in Participants With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (RMS) or Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) Not Recruiting

    This is an open-label, multicenter, biomarker study designed to be hypothesis-generating in order to better understand the mechanism of action of ocrelizumab and B-cell biology in RMS or PPMS. The study will be conducted in two cohorts i.e. RMS cohort (4 arm group) and PPMS cohort (one arm group). RMS cohort: Ocrelizumab will be administered as two intravenous (IV) infusions of 300 milligrams (mg) on Days 1 and 15. Subsequent doses will be given as single 600-mg infusions at Weeks 24 and 48. Participants will be randomized in 1:1:1 ratio to receive lumbar puncture (LP) post-treatment at Week 12, 24, or 52 following the first dose of ocrelizumab in three arm groups. A fourth RMS arm with delayed treatment start (Arm 4 [control group]) will not be a part of the randomization and will be recruited separately, wherein treatment with ocrelizumab will be delayed for 12 weeks from pre-treatment baseline. PPMS cohort: Ocrelizumab 600 mg will be administered as two 300-mg IV infusions separated by 14 days at a scheduled interval of every 24 weeks. Participants will receive a LP at the start of the study before dosing with ocrelizumab and second LP at Week 52 following the first dose of ocrelizumab. A long-term extension will be conducted for participants that complete the study and continue to receive ocrelizumab. Treatment with ocrelizumab in the entire study will continue for approximately 4.5 years after the first infusion.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.

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All Publications

  • Progression of Mycosis Fungoides After Fingolimod Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis and Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing Demonstrating Potential Links Between the Two Diseases. JCO precision oncology Narala, S., Che, Y., Saleem, A., Lock, C. B., Kim, Y. H., Rieger, K. E. 2023; 7: e2200501

    View details for DOI 10.1200/PO.22.00501

    View details for PubMedID 36724412

  • Differential effects of anti-CD20 therapy on CD4 and CD8 T cells and implication of CD20-expressing CD8 T cells in MS disease activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Shinoda, K., Li, R., Rezk, A., Mexhitaj, I., Patterson, K. R., Kakara, M., Zuroff, L., Bennett, J. L., von Büdingen, H. C., Carruthers, R., Edwards, K. R., Fallis, R., Giacomini, P. S., Greenberg, B. M., Hafler, D. A., Ionete, C., Kaunzner, U. W., Lock, C. B., Longbrake, E. E., Pardo, G., Piehl, F., Weber, M. S., Ziemssen, T., Jacobs, D., Gelfand, J. M., Cross, A. H., Cameron, B., Musch, B., Winger, R. C., Jia, X., Harp, C. T., Herman, A., Bar-Or, A. 2023; 120 (3): e2207291120


    A small proportion of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients develop new disease activity soon after starting anti-CD20 therapy. This activity does not recur with further dosing, possibly reflecting deeper depletion of CD20-expressing cells with repeat infusions. We assessed cellular immune profiles and their association with transient disease activity following anti-CD20 initiation as a window into relapsing disease biology. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from independent discovery and validation cohorts of MS patients initiating ocrelizumab were assessed for phenotypic and functional profiles using multiparametric flow cytometry. Pretreatment CD20-expressing T cells, especially CD20dimCD8+ T cells with a highly inflammatory and central nervous system (CNS)-homing phenotype, were significantly inversely correlated with pretreatment MRI gadolinium-lesion counts, and also predictive of early disease activity observed after anti-CD20 initiation. Direct removal of pretreatment proinflammatory CD20dimCD8+ T cells had a greater contribution to treatment-associated changes in the CD8+ T cell pool than was the case for CD4+ T cells. Early disease activity following anti-CD20 initiation was not associated with reconstituting CD20dimCD8+ T cells, which were less proinflammatory compared with pretreatment. Similarly, this disease activity did not correlate with early reconstituting B cells, which were predominantly transitional CD19+CD24highCD38high with a more anti-inflammatory profile. We provide insights into the mode-of-action of anti-CD20 and highlight a potential role for CD20dimCD8+ T cells in MS relapse biology; their strong inverse correlation with both pretreatment and early posttreatment disease activity suggests that CD20-expressing CD8+ T cells leaving the circulation (possibly to the CNS) play a particularly early role in the immune cascades involved in relapse development.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2207291120

    View details for PubMedID 36634138

  • Protein-Ligand Binding Free-Energy Calculations with ARROW─A Purely First-Principles Parameterized Polarizable Force Field. Journal of chemical theory and computation Nawrocki, G., Leontyev, I., Sakipov, S., Darkhovskiy, M., Kurnikov, I., Pereyaslavets, L., Kamath, G., Voronina, E., Butin, O., Illarionov, A., Olevanov, M., Kostikov, A., Ivahnenko, I., Patel, D. S., Sankaranarayanan, S. K., Kurnikova, M. G., Lock, C., Crooks, G. E., Levitt, M., Kornberg, R. D., Fain, B. 2022


    Protein-ligand binding free-energy calculations using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have emerged as a powerful tool for in silico drug design. Here, we present results obtained with the ARROW force field (FF)─a multipolar polarizable and physics-based model with all parameters fitted entirely to high-level ab initio quantum mechanical (QM) calculations. ARROW has already proven its ability to determine solvation free energy of arbitrary neutral compounds with unprecedented accuracy. The ARROW FF parameterization is now extended to include coverage of all amino acids including charged groups, allowing molecular simulations of a series of protein-ligand systems and prediction of their relative binding free energies. We ensure adequate sampling by applying a novel technique that is based on coupling the Hamiltonian Replica exchange (HREX) with a conformation reservoir generated via potential softening and nonequilibrium MD. ARROW provides predictions with near chemical accuracy (mean absolute error of 0.5 kcal/mol) for two of the three protein systems studied here (MCL1 and Thrombin). The third protein system (CDK2) reveals the difficulty in accurately describing dimer interaction energies involving polar and charged species. Overall, for all of the three protein systems studied here, ARROW FF predicts relative binding free energies of ligands with a similar accuracy level as leading nonpolarizable force fields.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.jctc.2c00930

    View details for PubMedID 36459593

  • Evaluation of neurotrophic factor secreting mesenchymal stem cells in progressive multiple sclerosis MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS JOURNAL Cohen, J. A., Lublin, F. D., Lock, C., Pelletier, D., Chitnis, T., Mehra, M., Gothelf, Y., Aricha, R., Lindborg, S., Lebovits, C., Levy, Y., Motamed Khorasani, A., Kern, R. 2022: 13524585221122156


    Autologous mesenchymal stem cell neurotrophic factor-secreting cells (NurOwn®) have the potential to modify underlying disease mechanisms in progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS).This open-label phase II study was conducted to evaluate safety/efficacy of three intrathecal cell treatments.Eighteen participants with non-relapsing PMS were treated. The primary endpoint was safety. Secondary endpoints included: cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers; timed 25-foot walk speed, nine-hole peg test (9-HPT), low-contrast letter acuity, symbol digit modalities test, and 12-item multiple sclerosis (MS) walking scale. Seventeen participants received all treatments.No deaths/adverse events related to worsening of MS, clinical/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence of disease activation, and clinically significant changes in safety lab results were reported. Two participants developed symptoms of low back and leg pain, consistent with a diagnosis of arachnoiditis, occurring in one of three intrathecal treatments in both participants. Nineteen percent of treated participants achieved pre-specified ⩾ 25% improvements in timed 25-foot walk speed/nine-HPT at 28 weeks compared to baseline, along with consistent efficacy signals for pre-specified response criteria across other secondary efficacy outcomes. CSF neuroprotective factors increased, and inflammatory biomarkers decreased after treatment, consistent with the proposed mechanism of action.Based on these encouraging preliminary findings, further confirmation in a randomized study is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/13524585221122156

    View details for Web of Science ID 000853962400001

    View details for PubMedID 36113170

  • Clonally Expanded B Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Bind EBV EBNA1 and GlialCAM. Nature Lanz, T. V., Brewer, R. C., Ho, P. P., Moon, J. S., Jude, K. M., Fernandez, D., Fernandes, R. A., Gomez, A. M., Nadj, G. S., Bartley, C. M., Schubert, R. D., Hawes, I. A., Vazquez, S. E., Iyer, M., Zuchero, J. B., Teegen, B., Dunn, J. E., Lock, C. B., Kipp, L. B., Cotham, V. C., Ueberheide, B. M., Aftab, B. T., Anderson, M. S., DeRisi, J. L., Wilson, M. R., Bashford-Rogers, R. J., Platten, M., Garcia, K. C., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2022


    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a heterogenous autoimmune disease in which autoreactive lymphocytes attack the myelin sheath of the central nervous system (CNS). B lymphocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients contribute to inflammation and secrete oligoclonal immunoglobulins1,2. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection has been linked to MS epidemiologically, but its pathological role remains unclear3. Here we demonstrate high-affinity molecular mimicry between the EBV transcription factor EBNA1 and the CNS protein GlialCAM, and provide structural and in-vivo functional evidence for its relevance. A cross-reactive CSF-derived antibody was initially identified by single-cell sequencing of the paired-chain B cell repertoire of MS blood and CSF, followed by protein microarray-based testing of recombinantly expressed CSF-derived antibodies against MS-associated viruses. Sequence analysis, affinity measurements, and the crystal structure of the EBNA1-peptide epitope in complex with the autoreactive Fab fragment allowed for tracking the development of the naïve EBNA1-restricted antibody to a mature EBNA1/GlialCAM cross-reactive antibody. Molecular mimicry is facilitated by a post-translational modification of GlialCAM. EBNA1 immunization exacerbates the mouse model of MS and anti-EBNA1/GlialCAM antibodies are prevalent in MS patients. Our results provide a mechanistic link for the association between MS and EBV, and could guide the development of novel MS therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-022-04432-7

    View details for PubMedID 35073561

  • MR susceptibility contrast imaging using a 2D simultaneous multi-slice gradient-echo sequence at 7T. PloS one Bian, W., Kerr, A. B., Tranvinh, E., Parivash, S., Zahneisen, B., Han, M. H., Lock, C. B., Goubran, M., Zhu, K., Rutt, B. K., Zeineh, M. M. 2019; 14 (7): e0219705


    PURPOSE: To develop a 7T simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) 2D gradient-echo sequence for susceptibility contrast imaging, and to compare its quality to 3D imaging.METHODS: A frequency modulated and phase cycled RF pulse was designed to simultaneously excite multiple slices in multi-echo 2D gradient-echo imaging. The imaging parameters were chosen to generate images with susceptibility contrast, including T2*-weighted magnitude/phase images, susceptibility-weighted images and quantitative susceptibility/R2* maps. To compare their image quality with 3D gradient-echo imaging, both 2D and 3D imaging were performed on 11 healthy volunteers and 4 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The signal to noise ratio (SNR) in gray and white matter and their contrast to noise ratio (CNR) was simulated for the 2D and 3D magnitude images using parameters from the imaging. The experimental SNRs and CNRs were measured in gray/white matter and deep gray matter structures on magnitude, phase, R2* and QSM images from volunteers and the visibility of MS lesions on these images from patients was visually rated. All SNRs and CNRs were compared between the 2D and 3D imaging using a paired t-test.RESULTS: Although the 3D magnitude images still had significantly higher SNRs (by 13.0~17.6%), the 2D magnitude and QSM images generated significantly higher gray/white matter or globus pallidus/putamen contrast (by 13.3~87.5%) and significantly higher MS lesion contrast (by 5.9~17.3%).CONCLUSION: 2D SMS gradient-echo imaging can serve as an alternative to often used 3D imaging to obtain susceptibility-contrast-weighted images, with an advantage of providing better image contrast and MS lesion sensitivity.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0219705

    View details for PubMedID 31314813

  • Autoimmune Hepatitis During Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis with Alemtuzumab Carlson, A., Bozinov, N., Kipp, L., Dunn, J., Lock, C. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2018
  • A Multi-scale Multiple Sclerosis Lesion Change Detection in a Multi-sequence MRI Cheng, M., Galimzianova, A., Lesjak, Z., Spiclin, Z., Lock, C. B., Rubin, D. L., Stoyanov, D., Taylor, Z., Carneiro, G., SyedaMahmood, T. SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG. 2018: 353–60
  • Janus-like opposing roles of CD47 in autoimmune brain inflammation in humans and mice JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE Han, M. H., Lundgren, D. H., Jaiswal, S., Chao, M., Graham, K. L., Garris, C. S., Axtell, R. C., Ho, P. P., Lock, C. B., Woodard, J. I., Brownell, S. E., Zoudilova, M., Hunt, J. F., Baranzini, S. E., Butcher, E. C., Raine, C. S., Sobel, R. A., Han, D. K., Weissman, I., Steinman, L. 2012; 209 (7): 1325-1334


    Comparison of transcriptomic and proteomic data from pathologically similar multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions reveals down-regulation of CD47 at the messenger RNA level and low abundance at the protein level. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrate that CD47 is expressed in normal myelin and in foamy macrophages and reactive astrocytes within active MS lesions. We demonstrate that CD47(-/-) mice are refractory to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), primarily as the result of failure of immune cell activation after immunization with myelin antigen. In contrast, blocking with a monoclonal antibody against CD47 in mice at the peak of paralysis worsens EAE severity and enhances immune activation in the peripheral immune system. In vitro assays demonstrate that blocking CD47 also promotes phagocytosis of myelin and that this effect is dependent on signal regulatory protein α (SIRP-α). Immune regulation and phagocytosis are mechanisms for CD47 signaling in autoimmune neuroinflammation. Depending on the cell type, location, and disease stage, CD47 has Janus-like roles, with opposing effects on EAE pathogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20101974

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306174300008

    View details for PubMedID 22734047

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3405500

  • Inhibitory role for GABA in autoimmune inflammation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Bhat, R., Axtell, R., Mitra, A., Miranda, M., Lock, C., Tsien, R. W., Steinman, L. 2010; 107 (6): 2580-2585


    GABA, the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, has a parallel inhibitory role in the immune system. We demonstrate that immune cells synthesize GABA and have the machinery for GABA catabolism. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) express functional GABA receptors and respond electrophysiologically to GABA. Thus, the immune system harbors all of the necessary constituents for GABA signaling, and GABA itself may function as a paracrine or autocrine factor. These observations led us to ask further whether manipulation of the GABA pathway influences an animal model of multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Increasing GABAergic activity ameliorates ongoing paralysis in EAE via inhibition of inflammation. GABAergic agents act directly on APCs, decreasing MAPK signals and diminishing subsequent adaptive inflammatory responses to myelin proteins.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0915139107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274408100041

    View details for PubMedID 20133656

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2823917

  • Gene-microarray analysis of multiple sclerosis lesions yields new targets validated in autoimmune encephalomyelitis NATURE MEDICINE Lock, C., Hermans, G., Pedotti, R., Brendolan, A., Schadt, E., Garren, H., Langer-Gould, A., Strober, S., Cannella, B., Allard, J., Klonowski, P., Austin, A., Lad, N., Kaminski, N., GALLI, S. J., Oksenberg, J. R., Raine, C. S., Heller, R., Steinman, L. 2002; 8 (5): 500-508


    Microarray analysis of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions obtained at autopsy revealed increased transcripts of genes encoding inflammatory cytokines, particularly interleukin-6 and -17, interferon-gamma and associated downstream pathways. Comparison of two poles of MS pathology--acute lesions with inflammation versus 'silent' lesions without inflammation--revealed differentially transcribed genes. Some products of these genes were chosen as targets for therapy of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is upregulated in acute, but not in chronic, MS lesions, and the effect on ameliorating EAE is more pronounced in the acute phase, in contrast to knocking out the immunoglobulin Fc receptor common gamma chain where the effect is greatest on chronic disease. These results in EAE corroborate the microarray studies on MS lesions. Large-scale analysis of transcripts in MS lesions elucidates new aspects of pathology and opens possibilities for therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm0502-500

    View details for PubMedID 11984595

  • The influence of the proinflammatory cytokine, osteopontin, on autoimmune demyelinating disease SCIENCE Chabas, D., Baranzini, S. E., Mitchell, D., Bernard, C. C., Rittling, S. R., Denhardt, D. T., Sobel, R. A., Lock, C., Karpuj, M., Pedotti, R., Heller, R., Oksenberg, J. R., Steinman, L. 2001; 294 (5547): 1731-1735


    Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating disease, characterized by inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, possibly due to autoimmunity. Large-scale sequencing of cDNA libraries, derived from plaques dissected from brains of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), indicated an abundance of transcripts for osteopontin (OPN). Microarray analysis of spinal cords from rats paralyzed by experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of MS, also revealed increased OPN transcripts. Osteopontin-deficient mice were resistant to progressive EAE and had frequent remissions, and myelin-reactive T cells in OPN-/- mice produced more interleukin 10 and less interferon-gamma than in OPN+/+ mice. Osteopontin thus appears to regulate T helper cell-1 (TH1)-mediated demyelinating disease, and it may offer a potential target in blocking development of progressive MS.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000172307400049

    View details for PubMedID 11721059

  • The role of TNF alpha and lymphotoxin in demyelinating disease ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES Lock, C., Oksenberg, J., Steinman, L. 1999; 58: 121-128
  • The role of TNFalpha and lymphotoxin in demyelinating disease. Annals of the rheumatic diseases Lock, C., Oksenberg, J., Steinman, L. 1999; 58: I121-8

    View details for PubMedID 10577988



    Inherited susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis is associated with genes encoding the human major histocompatibility complex class II molecule HLA-DR4. To study the immune function of HLA-DR4 and attempt to generate a murine model of rheumatoid arthritis we have produced triple transgenic mice expressing HLA-DRA*0101, -DRB1*0401, and human CD4. The expression of the HLA transgenes is driven by the promoter of the murine major histocompatibility complex class II I-E alpha gene and was found on murine cells that normally display major histocompatibility complex class II molecules. The expression of the human CD4 transgene is driven by the murine CD3 delta-promoter, and therefore its gene product was found on cells that express murine CD3. In contrast to other HLA-DR and HLA-DQ transgenic mouse lines, the transgenes are functional in our mice. In H-2 I-E-negative transgenic mice, T cells expressing variable region beta chain (V beta) 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, or 13 were either absent or significantly reduced, in contrast to H-2 I-E-negative nontransgenic littermates. In addition, the peptide antigen influenza A virus hemagglutinin 307-319, which binds to the HLA-DRA*0101/-DRB1*0401 heterodimer with high affinity and induces an HLA-DR-restricted and CD4+ T-cell response in humans, also induced a T-cell response in the triple transgenic mice but not in nontransgenic littermates. Thus, these transgenic mice should permit extensive testing of the antigen-presentation capabilities of the HLA-DRA*0101/-DRB1*0401 molecule.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NT46100086

    View details for PubMedID 8016129



    The precise mechanisms of failure of immunological tolerance to self proteins are not known. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) susceptibility alleles, the target peptides, and T cells with anti-self reactivity must be present to cause autoimmune diseases. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a murine model of a human autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis. In EAE, residues 1-11 of myelin basic protein (MBP) are the dominant disease-inducing determinants in PL/J and (PL/J x SJL/J)F1 mice. Here we report that a six-residue peptide (five of them native) of MBP can induce EAE. Using peptide analogues of the MBP-(1-11) peptide, we demonstrate that only four native MBP residues are required to stimulate MBP-specific T cells. Therefore, this study demonstrates lower minimum structural requirements for effective antigen presentation by MHC class II molecules. Many viral and bacterial proteins share short runs of amino acid similarity with host self proteins, a phenomenon known as molecular mimicry. Since a six-residue peptide can sensitize MBP-specific T cells to cause EAE, these results define a minimum sequence identity for molecular mimicry in autoimmunity.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994MR98900070

    View details for PubMedID 7507253


    View details for Web of Science ID A1990EU70000003

    View details for PubMedID 1706681