Neuromuscular Disorders

Our Team

Our team is comprised of various specialists with special expertise in neuromuscular disorders, including:

Neuromuscular Disorders Team

Physicians

S. Charles Cho, MD

Clinical Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Cho has more than a decade of experience in diagnostic electrophysiological testing and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. He has a special interest in novel emerging treatments for patients with neurological diseases, and in particular, bridging the gap in bringing translational research from industry to the clinic.




John W. Day, MD, PhD

Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Director, Stanford Neuromuscular Program

Dr. Day has more than 25 years of experience in diagnosing, treating and supporting patients with neuromuscular diseases. He is internationally recognized for his research defining cause and treatments of genetic neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Day is a leader in current national efforts to bring novel treatments to clinical trials in patients with genetic diseases.



Joanna Dearlove, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Dearlove has returned to Stanford Hospital & Clinics as a clinical assistant professor after first training here as a medical student. She specializes in the diagnosis, management and electrodiagnostic testing of children and adults with neuromuscular disorders and continues to develop her interest in diseases of muscle affecting both of these populations.

Dr. Dearlove’s clinical research interests include childhood muscular dystrophies, childhood and adult-onset motor neuron disease, and adult-onset myopathies.

Les Dorfman, MD

Professor Emeritus, Active, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Dorfman has been on staff at Stanford Hospital & Clinics for more than thirty years and has extensive experience in wide-ranging neurological diseases. He has particular interest in the application of digital signal processing techniques in clinical neurophysiology for diagnosis of neurological disorders and for neurological rehabilitation.




Neelam Goyal, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Goyal is a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. She specializes in the diagnosis, management and electrophysiological testing of neuromuscular diseases.

Dr. Goyal's research interests include ALS and sleep, hereditary neuropathies, and neuromuscular junction disorders.



Safwan Jaradeh, MD

Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Director, Autonomic Disorders Program

Dr. Jaradeh has more than 25 years of experience in neuromuscular diseases. He was Chairman of Neurology at the Medical College of Wisconsin before joining the Stanford faculty in 2011. His research and clinical interests encompass autonomic disorders, small fiber neuropathies and the development of effective methods of testing and treating these disorders. These diseases include painful and autonomic neuropathies, orthostatic intolerance and syncope, and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Additional areas of interest include the neurology of phonation and swallowing disorders, and peripheral nerve injury and repair.

Srikanth Muppidi, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Muppidi is a clinical assistant professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He specializes in clinical care and diagnostic testing for various autonomic disorders and neuromuscular disorders.

Dr. Muppidi’s clinical interests include various types of neuropathies, autonomic disorders and myasthenia gravis. His research interests include treatment and outcome measures in myasthenia gravis, methods to detect early autonomic impairment in diabetes, and diagnosis and management of immune/neurodegenerative causes of autonomic failure.

Sarada Sakamuri, MD

Neuromuscular Disease Fellow

Dr. Sakamuri is the neuromuscular disease fellow. She received her medical degree from UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Dr. Sakamuri completed her Neurology residency at Stanford, where she served as chief resident. She recently also completed her EMG/Clinical Neurophysiology fellowship at Stanford.

Her interests include research in respiratory dysfunction in ALS and community outreach for neuromuscular disorders. She has enjoyed teaching opportunities at medical schools in the United States and Poland.

Yuen So, MD, PhD

Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Director, Neurology Clinics

Dr. So has more than 25 years of experience in neuromuscular diseases. His research interests include emerging diagnostics and therapeutics in peripheral neuropathy, nerve injuries, myasthenia gravis, motor neuron diseases, and the application of clinical neurophysiology to disease diagnosis and monitoring. Dr. So has served in leadership roles in national organizations formulating practice guidelines in neurological diseases.


Carolina Tesi Rocha, MD

Pediatric Neurologist

After moving from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dr. Tesi Rocha trained at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she became Director of the Neuromuscular Program, Electrodiagnostic Laboratory and MDA Clinic before moving to Stanford in 2013.

Dr. Tesi Rocha specializes in pediatric neuromuscular disorders, particularly SMA, muscular dystrophies and congenital myopathies, and continues to care for these patients as they transition to adulthood.


Hannes Vogel, MD

Associate Chair for Neuropathology, Department of Pathology

Dr. Vogel has been the Associate Chair for Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, at Stanford Hospital &Clinics since 2005, and has more than 25 years of experience evaluating nerve and muscle biopsies. His research interests include nerve and muscle pathology, mitochondrial diseases, pediatric neurooncology, and transgenic mouse pathology.




Researchers

Katharine Hagerman, PhD

Research Associate

Dr. Hagerman is a research assistant that joined Stanford in 2013 to work under the supervision of Dr. John W. Day. She began her research career at the University of Toronto, obtaining a PhD in Molecular Genetics. It was there that she first became fascinated with the genetics of neuromuscular disorders. She continued to pursue this interest during her post-doctoral training at the University of Rochester, where she focused on myotonic dystrophy laboratory research while volunteering in the clinic performing community outreach and education.

Dr. Hagerman is currently establishing a laboratory at Stanford focusing on molecular and cellular aspects of myotonic dystrophy research, as well as helping with clinical research studies.

Shirley Paulose, MS

Research Coordinator

Shirley is the research coordinator for the Neuromuscular Program, coordinating research studies for adults and children. She has been a member of the team since 2005 and plays a critical role in testing and validating novel treatments for neuromuscular disease.


Thomas A. Rando, MD, PhD

Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Director, Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging

Dr. Rando has over 20 years of experience in research in muscle diseases and the diagnosis and management of neuromuscular diseases. He received his MD and PhD from Harvard University, after which he completed his neurology residency at UCSF and postdoctoral training at Stanford before joining the faculty in the Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences as an Assistant Professor. He was a founding director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at Stanford.

Dr. Rando is Chief of Neurology at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he also is Director of the Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of Excellence, whose focus is translational research and tissue engineering for neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders. His primary research interests are in muscle stem cell biology and therapeutics from muscular dystrophies, stem cell aging, and musculoskeletal tissue engineering.

Advanced Practice Providers

Roma Patel, PA

Physician Assistant

Roma is the Neuromuscular Division Physician Assistant, working with the team to ensure that our patients receive comprehensive care. She has been a physician assistant since 2007 and has a background in family medicine and pediatric critical care. Roma has been with the Neuromuscular Division at Stanford Hospital & Clinics since January 2012.



Carly Siskind, MS, LCGC

Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology (Affiliated)
Genetic Counselor

Before joining the team in 2011, Carly worked in neurogenetics at Wayne State University. She sees patients both at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Carly's main research focus is Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. She obtained her Master’s degree from Northwestern University and was board certified by the National Society of Genetic Counselors in 2009 and licensed by the state of California in 2011.

Karolina Watson, MS, NP, CNS, RN

Nurse Practitioner

Karolina is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who joined our Neuromuscular team in 2012. She graduated from University of California San Francisco's Advanced Practice Pediatric Nursing program in 2007, and has a background in pediatric critical care and pediatric oncology. Karolina works primarily with our pediatric neuromuscular patients to provide exemplary patient care and coordinate their transition to adulthood in the integrated MDA Clinic at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Connie Wolford, MSN, NP-C

Nurse Practitioner

Connie joined the Neuromuscular team in 2010. She previously worked in the Center for Memory Disorders at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. She earned a MS degree in nursing from San Francisco State University. She is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Connie's publications and presentations are in the area of transient ischemic attack evaluation.


Rehabilitation Specialists

The Neurologic Rehabilitation Team provides occupational, physical and speech therapy consultations for patients during clinic visits. Our therapists have extensive experience working with patients with neurological impairments using evidence-based treatment approaches and specialty equipment, such as driving simulation programs, robotic strengthening, body-weight support gait training, functional electrical stimulation devices, radiological swallow studies, computerized speech/voice programs and more.

Margaret Dougherty, MHA, MS, OTR/L, CPHQ Clinical Specialist

Occupational Therapist

Margaret has been practicing occupational therapy since 1986. She is a Clinical Specialist in the Outpatient NeuroRehabilitation program and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. She has a Masters in Healthcare Administration degree and holds advanced certifications in splinting, swallowing and modalities in the state of California. Specializing in neurologic rehabilitation, Margaret has worked in settings across the continuum of care, including hospitals, outpatient centers and in-home care.

She considers treatments involving energy conservation, work simplification, wheelchair assessments, environmental adaptations, pre-driving evaluations and home modifications essential to help patients maintain independence in their daily lives.

Judy Henderson, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech & Language Pathologist III

Judy specializes in adult and pediatric speech and language pathology research, augmentative communication and assistive technology. She works at both Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

Julie Mello, DPT

Physical Therapist

Julie received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2010. She has worked exclusively in the outpatient neurologic rehabilitation setting. Julie joined Stanford Hospital & Clinics Outpatient NeuroRehabilitation program in 2011. She has experience with the evaluation and treatment of gait abnormalities and decreased functional mobility skills arising from a variety of diagnoses. Julie is one of the physical therapists for the ALS/Muscular Dystrophy and the Huntington's/Ataxia clinics.

She is trained in the use of functional electrical stimulation to control foot drop and is knowledgeable in the treatment of vestibular disorders. Julie has a passion for neurological rehabilitation and feels that the neurological population is an extremely rewarding population to work with.

Pamela Triano, PT, NCS

Physical Therapist

Pam has been practicing physical therapy since 1992. She is APTA board certified in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Pam has experience working with patients with neurological disorders in a variety of settings, and is knowledgeable in the areas of balance and gait abnormalities, fall prevention, orthotics, functional electric stimulation for foot drop, use of body-weight support systems, flexibility and strengthening exercises, and wheelchair seating and positioning. She is one of the physical therapists for the ALS/Muscular Dystrophy and the Huntington’s/Ataxia clinics, and is currently involved in balance and vestibular rehabilitation program development.

Kristina Zekos-Ortiz, RRT, AE-C

Respiratory Therapist

Kristina Zekos-Ortiz, respiratory therapist for the adult neuromuscular program, joined the team in 2013. She received her degree in Respiratory Care in 2007 and belongs to the National Board of Respiratory Care and the California Society of Respiratory Care. Kristina enjoys working with the neuromuscular team because of the collaborative team approach to patient care.

She enjoys seeing patients in the clinic, answering questions and helping them find solutions that are in line with their goals of care. Kristina also works throughout the hospital and provides coverage in the intensive care units, Emergency Department, Cath Angio lab, and Cystic Fibrosis Clinic.

Support Services & Education Specialists

Jennifer Fisher

Community Liaison

Prior to joining Stanford Hospital & Clinics Neuromuscular Team in 2013, Jennifer worked for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), helping patients and their loved ones access resources and services to improve independence and quality of life. Prior to her work in the neuromuscular field, she was the Communications Coordinator at George Mark Children’s House, a pediatric palliative care center.

With a broad knowledge base in community resources, Jennifer is dedicated to building relationships with community partners, patients and their families. She will develop new avenues of patient support (like support groups, teen transitional support, educational seminars, webinars, etc.) and connect patients and their loved ones with resources and support services, help recruit for clinical trials, as well as oversee the Neuromuscular Program's social media presence.

Michileen Oberst, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Michileen is an advanced licensed clinical social worker, providing patient and family support services for more than 20 years at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Her role on the neuromuscular multidisciplinary team is to educate families regarding supportive services, assist them in accessing programs that enhance their independence and quality of life, and providing patients and families supportive counseling and advocacy.


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