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Marion Buckwalter, M.D., Ph.D.

Stanford School of Medicine


Marion Buckwalter, MD, PhD is a neurointensivist and basic scientist whose lab focuses on how inflammation triggered by ischemic stroke affects long term outcomes and brain health. She is a Professor at Stanford School of Medicine and a Deputy Director of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute at Stanford. She trained in mouse genetics as an MD PhD student at University of Michigan, and then completed neurology residency and a two-year clinical fellowship in neurocritical care and stroke at UCSF, where she was also chief resident. Since completing her medical training, she has worked as an ICU neurologist at Stanford, taking care of stroke patients and serving as a co-Investigator on over 50 clinical stroke studies. In addition, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Tony Wyss-Coray, where she investigated the role of inflammation in neurogenesis. She established her independent laboratory in 2007 and has focused on neuroinflammation and recovery from stroke, with a particular interest in how inflammation after brain ischemia impairs recovery and causes post-stroke dementia. She discovered that brain ischemia triggers a long-lasting adaptive immune response in mice and people, and that it causes post-stroke cognitive decline in mice. In 2017 she co-founded the Stanford Stroke Recovery Program, which she leads with Dr. Maarten Lansberg, also an Investigator on the Stanford Brain Health Team. The Stanford Stroke Recovery Program runs clinical studies to understand stroke recovery and to develop new treatments. One major study, StrokeCog, is an integral part of Stanford’s Brain Health Project. StrokeCog is investigating systemic immune responses to stroke and asking whether chronic adaptive immune responses are associated with declining memory. Because ischemic brain lesions are very common in normally aging people as well as in people who have had a clinical stroke, this work aims to improve brain health in a wide swath of the aging population.

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