California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Cultured, stained astrocyte

Pictured here is a cultured astrocyte (a type of brain neuron) stained for the intermediate filament protein GFAP. The image was processed using the lens-flare filter in Adobe Photoshop. Courtesy of Dr. Dmitri Leonoudakis.



With a large and diverse neuroscience programs, clinical research at CPMC is focused on epilepsy, stroke, chronic pain, neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and brain illnesses including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Sutter Pacific Epilepsy Program maintains a comprehensive research program with approximately 13 active approved protocols for studies of neuromodulation devices, new anti-epileptic drugs, and brain pathology in epilepsy patients.

Researchers at the CPMC Center for Stroke Research are using telemedicine to rapidly and remotely evaluate and treat patients with acute stroke, and to study neurovascular techniques such as stents and vascular reconstruction devices. Several researchers in the stroke group are involved in industry-sponsored trials of new therapies.

CPMC neuroscience research into chronic neuropathic pain (including pain following cancer chemotherapy, pain following herpes zoster, and the transition from acute to chronic pain) is led by Drs. Michael Rowbotham and Karin L. Petersen. Their group is actively involved in the design, implementation and interpretation of large-scale clinical trials of new analgesics and human experimental pain models.

The Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center at CPMC—one of the largest clinical research centers worldwide—has been integral to essentially every significant study of ALS treatment conducted over the past 15 years. The Center’s physicians are active in many ALS research consortia, and lead research into myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, and peripheral neuropathies.

CPMC's Brain Health Center is a new collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California developed to provide patient care, education and research in the area of memory loss. Employing a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, the Brain Health Center provides a variety of services for individuals with early memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, and to support patients’ caregivers.



Brain Health Center

Alireza Atri, M.D., Ph.D.
Catherine Madison, M.D.

Kendra Peterson, M.D.


David King-Stephens, M.D.
Kenneth Laxer, M.D., Ph.D.
Peter Weber, M.D.

Stroke/Neurocritical Care

Nobl Barazangi, M.D.
Joey English, M.D.
Lewis Leng, M.D.
Nicholas Telischak, M.D.
David Tong, M.D.

Pain Management, Neuropathic Pain, and Novel Models for Pain

Conor W. O'Neill, M.D.
Michael Rowbotham, M.D.

Movement Disorders

Arshia Sadreddin, M.D.
Peter Weber, M.D.

Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center

Jonathan Katz, M.D.
Robert G. Miller, M.D.
Susan Woolley-Levine, Ph.D.

Clinical Trials at CPMC

Memory trials

ALS trials

Epilepsy trials

Neuropathic pain trials

Stroke trials

Related Programs at CPMC

Brain Health Center/CPMC Neurosciences Institute

Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research & Treatment

The Sutter Pacific Epilepsy Program

CPMC Comprehensive Stroke Care Center