Scientific Minds



Principal Investigator

Dr. Adamson completed her undergraduate degrees in neurobiology and women studies at University of California, Irvine. She completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Southern California and a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Adamson served as Director for Research and PhD Fellowships at War Related Illness and Injury Center (WRIISC) for seven years at the VA Palo Alto. During this time Dr. Adamson developed expertise in employing translational neuroscience methodologies for diagnostic and therapeutic treatments in mild and moderate TBI, including structural and functional changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease and TBI, especially in the Veteran population.

Dr. Adamson's dual roles at Stanford Medical School, DOD and VA Palo Alto allow her to make strong collaborations with the VA and Stanford faculty and nourish her translational research interests. She develops new and innovative techniques to diagnose mild and moderate brain injury related deficits through state-of-the art neuroimaging, genetic analysis, and cognitive and neuropsychological testing. She currently serves as PI or Co-I on several Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense funded grants. Dr. Adamson has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications on cognitive and neural basis of Alzheimer’s disease and TBI, has received recognition in national and international settings and is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. She is also intricately involved in mentoring research fellows in the psychiatry department at Stanford and is the Director of Research Fellowship for Polytruama Systems of Care at VA Palo Alto. She serves on the Board of Directors for Brain Injury Association of California and is a senior editor for Journal of Alzheimer's disease.



Dr Kang received his PhD in Physics and MS in Computer Science from Indiana University Bloomington. He joined the Diagnostic Imaging Science Center at University of Washington in Seattle for postdoctoral research. He worked as an MR Physicist in the Human Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory in the Department of Neurology at the University of California at Davis. His tasks were to maintain and modify the sequences for MR research on a 3 T Siemens Verio scanner and a 1.5 T Philips Eclipse scanner and develop new procedures for MR data analysis, statistics, and visualization. He has published 20+ papers to introduce the innovative methods for MR data analysis, including the local landmark method, high-resolution space method, and cortical surface projection mapping method, and automated method to detect brain abnormalities.

In 2017, he joined as an MR Physicist in Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) and the Adamson Brain Stimulation Lab in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University. His main tasks are to support the research projects funded by Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, and administration of windows and linux servers for neuroimaging studies.


Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Phillips is a postdoctoral fellow with Stanford Psychiatry and VA, Palo Alto, and a private psychotherapist.  She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina in Clinical Psychology, followed by her Master of Social Work in Mental Health Practice and PhD from the University of Washington.  Angela has worked in clinical psychiatry for over 10 years, with clinical and research interests surrounding mental health treatments and outcomes, and psychiatric interventions including novel neuromodulation techniques such as non-invasive brain stimulation for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.  Angela currently has a dual postdoctoral role at both the Stanford Brain Stimulation Lab with Nolan Williams, MD, and Maheen Adamson, PhD at the Adamson Brain Stimulation Lab and the Department of VA Rehab, Palo Alto.


Post-Doctoral Fellow

John obtained his BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, where he worked in a sleep and psychopathology lab. He then worked in a depression lab at UCSF before entering a PhD program at UCLA, where he conducted research on the relationship between language and thought under the guidance of Dr. Martin Monti. After completing his doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience, he returned to the Bay Area where he currently is a postdoctoral researcher at the Palo Alto VA in the lab of Dr. Maheen Adamson, where he is developing new treatments for traumatic brain injury, and at Stanford in the Brain Stimulation Lab, where he is developing new treatments for depression. His current focus in both labs is on noninvasive neuromodulation.

Mark Greenhalgh PhD, MPH

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Mark completed his PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences and MPH in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. His work, under the tutelage of Dr. Rory Cooper of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, focused on advancing the quality of healthcare services provided to people with disabilities. Mark specifically worked on projects that applied robotics to essential activities of daily living, consumer driven wheelchair development and research, and quality of life in OIF/OEF Combat Veterans recovering from a combat injury. This is in addition to his prior research on High Definition Fiber Tracking to develop comprehensive rehabilitation plans for symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Mark’s passions include assistive technology (i.e. wheelchairs, prosthetics), polytrauma/TBI, under-served communities, health equity, health outcomes, and quality of care delivery. His work at ABS includes virtual/augmented reality, TMS, and robotic applications for polytrauma/TBI rehabilitation.

Haleh Karbasforoushan, PhD, MS

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Haleh Karbasforoushan received her Master’s in Computer Science and Brain Modeling at University of Southern California. She then worked at UCLA and Vanderbilt University for a few years, studying brain morphological and functional changes in patients with Schizophrenia and children with Autism, using brain imaging methods. She then joined Northwestern University for her PhD studies in Neuroscience with a specialization in movement disorders. Her PhD research, funded by an NIH NRSA pre-doctoral grant, used brain and spinal cord structural and functional MRI to investigate altered sensorimotor pathways involved in hand impairment post stroke. Haleh’s research in stroke and psychiatric disorders have been published in top journals such as Nature Communications and American Journal of Psychiatry. She currently is a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University in the Brain Stimulation Lab, and Palo Alto VA in the lab of Dr. Maheen Adamson. Her postdoctoral research uses advanced MRI and TMS techniques to investigate how brain stimulation can modulate brain functional activity and connectivity in treatment of traumatic brain injury, depression and fibromyalgia.

Ryan Thompson, MS, MEd

Neuropsychological Assessor 

Ryan is an Adjunct Professor and a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University. He aims to become a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and researcher specializing in traumatic brain injury across the lifespan. Ryan began working with Dr. Adamson in 2017 through the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. In 2020, he co-authored a manuscript on sex differences in symptom presentation and functional outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury with Dr. Adamson. Currently, Ryan is the lead neuropsychological assessor on a project looking to determine the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treating symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. In addition to his work with the Adamson Brain Stimulation Lab, Ryan is a doctoral research assistant in the Department of Psychology at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and a neuropsychology practicum student at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and Stanford Cognitive Systems and Neuroscience Lab.


Research Assistant

Harlene is an experienced neuroscience research professional with a passion for mindfulness and mission to serve well-being.
Her future goals include pursuing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience so that she may one day inform policy on education and healthcare.
Her mission is to quantify the well-being experience and help introduce a new standard of care for family-medicine.
She believes the best part of the ABSLab are staff members and participants; they  inspire and move her towards action.


Research Assistant

Srija graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Plan II Honors and a BSA in Biochemistry in May 2019. After working in consulting and traveling South America, she decided to pursue her dreams in medicine. Srija joined the Adamson Brain Stimulation Lab as a Clinical Research Assistant in December 2019. She is interested in learning more about pain and psychiatric illnesses and novel treatments for them using brain stimulation. Srija aspires to be accepted to a choice MD program.



Biomedical Research Assistant Volunteer

A highly motivated Biomedical Engineer, Huy’s academy research project is in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) focus on the force-sensitive resistor (FSR) application in a helmet to monitor head trauma and reduce TBI. His past research at the University of California, Davis, applied the groundbreaking gene-editing method CRISPR/Cas 9 to gene-edit Arabidopsis’s antiporter DNA. Since 2011, Huy has served in the US Army Medical Service Corps. From 2018-2019, Huy directs a multi-profession team to provide health/medical training for thousands of U.S military personnel and local nationals in Central America. In community service, since 2016, Huy is the Event General Director for Miss Vietnam North California and the Director for the Golden Heart Charity Organization since 2012.


Sohrab Sami

Research Assistant Volunteer

I completed my B.S in psychology with a clinical concentration. My goal is to get my PhD in clinical psychology and study neuroplasticity of the brain and its role in the therapy setting and rehabilitation. I am currently coordinating a study that aims to understand the neurological and neuropsychological effects of mild TBI in collegiate athletes.

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Ines Luttenbacher

Research Assistant Volunteer

Ines is originally from Germany but has had the opportunity to live abroad for several years, developing invaluable interpersonal skills. She is part of the honors association at the University of Amsterdam where she will be finishing her B.S degree in Psychology with a clinical concentration. Ines is actively seeking opportunities to broaden her horizon. In doing so, she has obtained an internship position in the research department of her university. After graduation, she will be pursuing her dream of becoming a psychotherapist with a background in both clinical neuropsychology and research. She aspires to be accepted into Ph.D. or Psy.D programs.


Research Assistant Volunteer

Julian Martinez is originally from Mexico City, and he moved to the US to pursue higher education. He graduated from UCSC with a B.A. degree in Intensive Psychology; while there he worked with professor Maureen Callanan in a developmental lab. Julian joined the Brain Stimulation Lab in February of 2020 as a Research Assistant. This upcoming fall he will be attending PAU to pursue his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. His main interests are Neuropsychology and non-invasive procedures to treat psychiatric conditions.

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