Sutter Neuroscience Research Consortium

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Sutter Health offers its adult and pediatric patients some of the leading neurosurgery, neurology, and neuro-oncology specialists in Northern California, with state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical technologies. Sutter’s neuroscience experts are at the forefront of clinical research in essentially all areas of clinical neuroscience. Their coordinated efforts include research on new treatments, diagnostic tools, and disease biology; multidisciplinary teams with enhanced clinical expertise and personalized approaches to patient care, and; coordinated access to a large portfolio of clinical trials and other innovative clinical research studies. 

Find neuroscience clinical trials offered by Sutter Health throughout Northern California.

SNRC Governance:
Comprised of a 30-member Executive Committee, the SNRC is governed by Executive Committee Chair Michael Rowbotham, M.D. The Executive Committee has four Regional Leads ensuring representation and perspectives from all geographic areas of Sutter Health.
The SNRC is comprised of 16 disease areas, some with up to four Executive Committee members to better integrate longstanding individual affiliate research programs. The entire spectrum of neuroscience subspecialties are represented, including brain tumors and other cancers of the nervous system, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pain and peripheral nerve disorders, migraine and headache, multiple sclerosis, pediatric neurology and autism, movement disorders and Parkinson’s Disease, ALS and neuromuscular diseases, neuro-critical care, neuro-imaging, neuro-interventions (such as stents to prevent stroke and deep brain stimulation for movement disorders), epilepsy, neuro-trauma (including head injury and sports concussions), spine disorders, rehabilitation, and stroke.


Regional Leads
Michael Rowbotham, M.D.

  • Scientific Director of CPMCRI, SNRC Executive Committee Chair
  • Unraveling the mechanisms and improving management of chronic pain; advancing pain research

Nobl Barazangi, M.D., Ph.D., Stroke/Neurocritical Care Lead

  • Director of the Stroke/Neurocritical Care Research and Education Program at CPMC
  • Pioneering advances in stroke research and care, including neuroimaging, neurovascular disorders, and neuromonitoring


Shawn Kile, M.D., Dementia and Cognition Lead

  • Medical Director of Neurology, Sutter Medical Group Neurology Care Center; Medical Director, Sutter Neuroscience Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic; Co-Director, Sutter Neuroscience Memory Clinic
  • Leading research advances in the treatment of dementia, traumatic brain injury, autism, encephalopathy, and other neurocognitive illnesses; conducting physicianinitiated trials and phase 2-3 clinical studies assessing the efficacy of new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and adult autism


Joanna Cooper, M.D., Multiple Sclerosis Lead

  • Medical Director of the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Research Institute (REDI)
  • Developing new approaches to the treatment of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spasticity disorders, and other neurologic conditions


Disease Area Leads
Jonathan Katz, M.D., Neuromuscular/Peripheral Nerve Lead

  • Director of Neuromuscular Research at the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center at CPMC
  • Investigating treatments to delay the progression of motor neuron diseases including ALS and myasthenia gravis; initiating clinical trials for pain management, peripheral neuropathy, poliomyelitis, radiculopathies, and spinal muscular atrophy

Edie Zusman, M.D., F.A.C.S., Neurosurgery Lead

  • Medical Director, Sutter Health East Bay Neuroscience Institute at Eden Medical Center
  • Advancing the neurosurgical treatment of brain tumors, neurovascular conditions, epilepsy and spinal disorders

Michael Chez, M.D., Pediatric Neurology Lead

  • Director of Pediatric Neurology at Sutter Memorial Hospital, Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy and Autism Programs for the Sutter Neuroscience Group
  • Expertise in pediatric neurology; pioneering new treatments for childhood epilepsy, autism and autism spectrum disorders

Kenneth Laxer, M.D., Epilepsy Lead

  • Director of the Sutter Pacific Epilepsy Program
  • Leading research on neuroimaging techniques, cerebellar physiology, and pharmacologic approaches to treating epilepsy

Tyler Kang, M.D., Neuro-Oncology Lead

  • Hematologist and Medical Oncologist, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
  • Conducting research and clinical trials to advance the treatment of pediatric brain and spinal tumors; seeking new insights into the molecular and genetic mechanics underlying brain cancer metastasis

Lawrence Dickinson, M.D., Neuro-Trauma Lead

  • Medical Director, Intensive Care Unit, Sutter Health Eden Medical Center
  • Developing new approaches to the treatment of traumatic brain and spinal injuries; advancing the surgical management of stroke and cerebrovascular illnesses

Scott Rome, M.D., Rehabilitation Lead

  • Medical Director of Stroke and Brain Injury Rehabilitation Programs at CPMC
  • Pioneering research that facilitates patients’ rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury

Jennifer Ault, D.O., Pain Lead

  • Neurologist, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
  • Leading studies to advance the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries; pioneering new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders including disc herniations, spinal stenosis, and sciatica, as well as complex regional pain syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, and refractory pain after back surgery

Arshia Sadreddin, M.D., Movement Disorders Lead

  • Medical Director of Movement Disorders and Deep Brain Stimulation, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation at CPMC
  • Developing novel therapies for Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, and the treatment of dystonia; developing strategies to refine and improve the use of deep brain stimulation for movement disorders

David Tong, M.D., Stroke/Neuro-Intensive Care Lead

  • Director of the Center for Stroke Research at CMPC
  • Leading advances in early diagnosis, treatment and recovery of acute stroke; helping lead effective strategies for use of SMART (Simplified Management of Acute Stroke using Revised Treatment) criteria for IV rt-PA treatment; creating stroke telemedicine networks across Northern California

Alireza Atri, M.D., Dementia and Cognition Lead

  • Endowed Chair in Brain Health Research and Education, Ray Dolby Brain Health Center at CPMC
  • Improving the diagnosis and care of patients with memory disorders and dementia; leading clinical and discovery research into healthy brain aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders

David Chesak, M.D., Multiple Sclerosis Lead

  • Neurologist, Sutter Neuroscience Group, East Bay Region
  • Creating new approaches to the treatment of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and seizure disorders, headaches and migraines, and neuromuscular disease

Bradley Wrubel, M.D., Headache Lead

  • Neurologist, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation
  • Leading clinical research and trials to advance the treatment of migraine and other headaches

Joey English, M.D., Neuro-interventional Lead

  • Neurointerventional surgeon and Medical Director of Neurointerventional Services at CPMC
  • Developing novel neurointerventional approaches including endovascular therapies to treat acute ischemic stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases

David Seidenwurm, M.D., Neuroimaging Lead

  • Neuroradiologist, Sutter Medical Group, Sacramento
  • Pioneering appropriate use and performance measurement of leading-edge radiology techniques to advance the diagnosis of brain and spinal injuries