Stanford Stroke Center

Our Team

The Stanford Stroke Center brings together physicians from multiple specialties, including neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, internal medicine and emergency medicine to provide comprehensive evaluation and management of patients with cerebrovascular diseases.

Neurology and Neurocritical Care

Stroke Center neurologists focus their efforts on treating and preventing ischemic stroke.

Greg Albers, MDGregory W. Albers, MD

Director, Stanford Stroke Center
Coyote Foundation Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Albers has been the Director of the Stanford Stroke Center since its inception in 1992. He is a leader in the clinical care of stroke patients, as well as cerebrovascular research and education. Dr. Albers has published over 150 articles in medical literature and has been the principal investigator of more than 50 clinical studies. He has chaired multiple consensus panels that have published national and international guidelines for stroke treatment and prevention. Under his guidance, the Stroke Center has trained over two dozen clinical stroke specialists; many of these individuals are directing stroke centers at academic institutions thoughout the country.

Dr. Albers' current research focus is the use of new MRI techniques to expand the treatment window for reperfusion therapy. He is also a leader in the effort to redefine TIA, as well as clarify its prognosis and optimal management.

Marion S. Buckwalter, MD, PhD Marion S. Buckwalter, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery

Dr. Buckwalter joined the Stroke Center in 2002 after her fellowship training at University of California San Francisco. Specialty-trained in both neurocritical care and stroke, she oversees the care of patients who are neurologically critically ill. She also maintains a basic science laboratory at Stanford. Her lab focuses on how inflammatory responses after brain injury affect neurological recovery.

Anna Finley-Caulfield, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Finley-Caulfield joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2004 from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is specialty-trained both in stroke and neurocritical care. She cares for acute stroke patients and other neurologically critical ill patients in the intensive care unit. Currently, her research interests include hypothermia after cardiac arrest and comparing health care provider's predications of future neurological function in neurologically critical ill patients to their six-month outcome.

Karen G. Hirsch, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Hirsch joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2012 after completing her neurology residency at the Johns Hopkins University and fellowship in neurocritical care at the University of California San Francisco. She cares for critically ill patients with neurologic disorders in the intensive care unit and for patients with cerebrovascular disease in the inpatient stroke unit. In the outpatient clinic, she sees patients with head injury, stroke and other neurovascular diseases in addition to patients who have been discharged from the neurological intensive care unit.

Dr. Hirschís research focuses on novel imaging techniques such as functional brain imaging in patients with cardiac arrest and traumatic brain injury. She also studies methods of non-invasive measurement of cerebral blood flow, oxygenation, and cerebrovascular autoregulation, and how these parameters might be targeted to improve outcome in patients with neurologic injury.

Maarten Lansberg, MDMaarten Lansberg, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Lansberg joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 1997. His main clinical and research interest is the acute treatment of stroke patients. His research has focused on defining the utility of modern imaging techniques for the evaluation of acute stroke. These techniques include diffusion-weighted MRI, perfusion-weighted MRI and Xenon CT perfusion. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop more effective treatment strategies for stroke patients.

Dr. Lansberg is currently leading a National Institutes of Health funded multicenter clinical trial investigating the role of CT Perfusion in identifying patients who are most likely to benefit from stroke therapies.

Neil Schwartz, MD, PhDNeil Schwartz, MD, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Schwartz joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2004 as a fellow in Vascular Neurology. Currently, his primary focus is the care of patients with cerebrovascular disease in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. His expertise extends to critically ill patients in the Neurointensive Care Unit with ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Dr. Schwartz is a national leader in neurological education and is the Program Director for the Stanford Neurology Residency Program.

Amy Tai, MDAmy Tai, MD

Clinical Instructor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Tai is a clinical instructor at the Stanford Stroke Center. She joined the group in 2011 to complete a vascular neurology fellowship. Her prior research focused on use of blood biomarkers and perfusion imaging for rapid assessment of stroke. She is evaluating the use of simulation stroke codes for resident training. Her current work at the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford, is focused on quality improvement and cost savings in stroke and TIA care. She is working in a multi-disciplinary team in designing a new healthcare delivery model in TIA/stroke care.

Chitra Venkatasubramanian, MBBS, MDChitra Venkatasubramanian, MBBS, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Venkatasubramanian joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2005 as a fellow in vascular neurology and neurocritical care after completing successive residency training in internal medicine and neurology at Stanford University Medical Center. She cares for neurologically critically ill patients in the intensive care unit and patients with acute stroke and TIA in the inpatient stroke unit. She also sees outpatients in a stroke clinic and conducts follow-up of patients discharged from the neurological ICU in the outcomes clinic.

Her research focuses on the study of the natural history and clinical significance of brain swelling that occurs after a hemorrhagic stroke using MRI techniques and biomarkers. Her other research interest is the study of cerebral microbleeds in patients with TIA and ischemic stroke.


Neurosurgery

Stanford Stroke Center neurosurgeons continue to develop and refine innovative surgical therapies for stroke treatment and prevention.

Gary Steinberg, MD, PhDGary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD

Co-Director, Stanford Stroke Center
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Bernard and Ronni Lacroute-William Randolph Hearst Professor of Neurosurgery and the Neurosciences

A founding director of the Stanford Stroke Center, Dr. Steinberg has practiced medicine at Stanford for more than 25 years. He has pioneered stereotactic microsurgical techniques to repair intracranial vascular malformations and certain aneurysms that were previously considered untreatable. He has also refined revascularization techniques for patients with cerebrovascular occlusions, as well as Moyamoya disease. Dr. Steinberg is currently investigating an innovative approach to improve stroke recovery by transplanting neural cells into damaged brain tissue.

Steven Chang, MDSteve Chang, MD

Director, Cyberknife Radiosurgery
Professor of Neurosurgery

Dr. Chang completed a cerebrovascular surgery fellowship at Stanford and has been recognized with numerous clinical research awards. He has published extensively on the use of radiosurgery for treatment of arteriovenous malformations and cavernous malformations, multi-modality treatments for arteriovenous malformations, and surgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms. Dr. Chang is also the Director of the Cyberknife Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program.

Robert Dodd, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology

Dr. Dodd received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also earned a PhD in Neurosciences from the Department of Neurobiology. His neurosurgery training also took place at Stanford, where he recently completed an endovascular fellowship. His research interests have been in cerebral blood vessel reactivity and stroke. Dr. Dodd's clinical interests include endovascular and microsurgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations; percutaneous and surgical interventions for both extracranial and intracranial carotid artery occlusive disease; and minimally invasive neurosurgery though the use of neuroendoscopy and keyhole approaches.


Neuroradiology

Stanford Stroke Center's interventional neuroradiologists treat both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke through endovascular techniques. Stanford's radiologists have also been on the forefront of developing new imaging techniques to improve stroke diagnosis.

Michael Marks, MDMichael P. Marks, MD

Director, Stanford Stroke Center Neuroradiology
Professor of Neuroradiology

As a founding director of the Stanford Stroke Center, Dr. Marks oversees the endovascular treatment program. Using catheter-based approaches, he has pioneered techniques to effectively cure cerebral aneurysms by inserting platinum coils and using special glues to obliterate arteriovenous malformations. Dr. Marks is also a national leader in the use of endovascular techniques to treat ischemic cerebrovascular disorders.

Huy Do, MDHuy M. Do, MD

Associate Professor of Neuroradiology and Neurosurgery

Dr. Do focuses his efforts on interventional neuroradiologic approaches to treat both ischemic and hemorrhagic cerebrovascular disorders. He has developed expertise in cerebral angioplasty and intra-arterial thrombolysis, as well as the treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and cerebral vasospasm.

Dr. Do's current research focuses on evaluation of neuroprotectants for ischemic strokes, development of novel laser microdevices for emulsification of intracranial clots, stenting of carotid and vertebral arterial stenosis, evaluation of new liquid embolic agents for arteriovenous malformations, neuroimaging of strokes, vascular malformations, and aneurysms with advanced MRI techniques, and treatment of painful compression fractures with acrylic cement.

Robert Dodd, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology

Dr. Dodd received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also earned a PhD in Neurosciences from the Department of Neurobiology. His neurosurgery training also took place at Stanford, where he recently completed an endovascular fellowship. His research interests have been in cerebral blood vessel reactivity and stroke. Dr. Dodd's clinical interests include endovascular and microsurgical treatment of intracranial aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations; percutaneous and surgical interventions for both extracranial and intracranial carotid artery occlusive disease; and minimally invasive neurosurgery though the use of neuroendoscopy and keyhole approaches.


Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring

The Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring Program consists of a core group of neurologists and electrodiagnostic technicians who use different neurophysiologic techniques to assess the functional state of the nervous system. These techniques allow for improved safety and aide in the prevention of stroke and other injuries during surgery and other procedures.

S. Charles Cho, MDS. Charles Cho, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Cho's interests are in the neurophysiology and electrical functions of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. He is currently involved in recognizing reversible ischemia and preventing strokes during surgical and interventional neuroradiology procedures.



Leslie H. Lee, MDLeslie H. Lee, MD

Clinical Associate Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Lee uses neurophysiologic techniques to assess the functional state of the nervous system. These techniques allow for improved safety and aide in the prevention of stroke and other injuries during surgery and other procedures.





Jaime Lopez, MDJaime R. Lopez, MD

Director, Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring Program

Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery

Dr. Lopez completed his residency in Neurology and fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Diseases at Stanford. In 1994, Dr. Lopez established the Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring Program at Stanford. The program has expanded to more than 500 cases annually. Dr. Lopez continues to research the use of innovative techniques for monitoring different regions of the nervous system during a variety of neurovascular surgical procedures, endovascular embolizations, and spinal cord and orthopedic surgeries.

Viet Nguyen, MD Viet Nguyen, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Nguyen is the newest member of the Intraoperative Monitoring program. He completed a Neurology residency and Intraoperative Monitoring fellowship at Stanford. He uses neurophysiologic techniques to assess the nervous system during surgical procedures.


Neuroanasthesia

The Stanford Stroke Center neuroanesthesiologists continue to develop and refine ways to protect the brain from ischemia during neurosurgical and neuroradiological procedures to reduce the incidence of perioperative stroke. 

Richard Jaffe, MDRichard A. Jaffe, MD, PhD

Chief, Neurosurgical Anesthesia
Professor of Anesthesia and Neurosurgery

Dr. Jaffe's research interests include the development and characterization of electrophysiologic monitoring techniques for the early detection of intraoperative cerebral ischemia. Using these techniques he is also able to study the effects of anesthetics and related drugs on the brain's sensitivity to transient ischemic events. The results of these studies can be used to improve the anesthetic management of patients undergoing a wide variety of neurosurgical procedures.

Rona Giffard, MD, PhDRona Giffard, MD, PhD

Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Anesthesia
Professor of Anesthesia and by courtesy, Neurosurgery

Dr. Giffard works to develop novel treatments to reduce brain vulnerability to stroke. Using gene therapy she is probing the mechanisms of injury and protection to develop treatments to improve outcomes of both surgical patients and others suffering a stroke. She studies the susceptibility of individual brain cell types to target mechanisms that are important in each cell type to provide the best overall protection.


Nurses

J.J. Baumann, RN, MS, CNSJ.J. Baumann, RN, MS, CNS

After finishing her masters in critical care/trauma nursing at UCSF, JJ joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2005. In collaboration with the attending physicians in the Emergency Department, the Neurocritical Care Unit, and Stroke Center, JJ provides expert and complex nursing care to patients and their families, including evaluation, monitoring of treatment plans, and patient and family education. In addition to her work at the hospital, JJ takes a special interest in community education of stroke. Her passion for this is rooted in her past experience as an EMT/firefighter.

Teresa Bell-Stephens, RN, CNRNTeresa Bell-Stephens, RN, CNRN

Teresa has worked as a cerebrovascular nurse coordinator since 1990. Prior to working in Neurosurgery, Teresa worked in critical care nursing. Her current focus is on coordinating the cerebrovascular surgery program, with an emphasis on moyamoya disease, vascular malformations and intracranial aneurysms. She is also part of the Stanford Stroke Centerís Comprehensive Stroke Center leadership team. Teresa is a frequent lecturer at the local and national level for nurses on neuroscience nursing topics. Her goals include educating patients and other health care professionals through publishing and lecturing.

Stephanie Casal, RN, MS, CNSStephanie Casal, RN, MS, CNS

Stephanieís career as an advanced practice nurse began 12 years ago after she earned her masterís degree from UCSF. She started working with the Stroke Center in 2008 as the Program Manager for the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trial Network. She managed a number of clinical trials, focused on the acute treatment of neurological disorders including stroke. She joined the Comprehensive Stroke Center in 2011 first collaborating with Neurocritical Care and now with the Stroke team. Stephanie is most passionate about the quality and continuity of care we deliver, one patient at a time.

Mary Marcellus, RN
Mary Marcellus, RN

Originally from Connecticut, Mary came to Stanford in 1980. She began as a staff nurse in the ICU and then went on to become an Assistant Nurse Manager for several years before taking on the role of Interventional Neuroradiology Nurse Coordinator in 1993. She has lectured on various cerebrovascular topics, as well as published several articles in her area of expertise. Patient advocacy remains the most important part of her daily patient care responsibilities.


Joli Vavao, MSN, ACNP, CNRN
Joli Vavao, MSN, ACNP, CNRN

Joli joined the Stroke Center 2004. She obtained her master's degree as an acute care nurse practitioner from the University of California Los Angeles. She has worked as a nurse for over 15 years specializing in neurosurgery and stroke neurology. Joli has received national certification in neuroscience nursing. She plays an active role coordinating the care of cerebrovascular patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. She participates in lectures to hospital staff and local health care professionals regarding the care of neuroscience patients.

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