The Stanford Neuro-Oncology Program Team

Adult Neuro-Oncologists

Lawrence Recht, MD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Director, Adult Neuro-Oncology

Dr. Lawrence Recht received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He completed his training as a Resident in Neurology at Columbia Presbyterian, Neurological Institute of New York. His interest in helping people with brain tumors led him to additional training and completion of a Fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York.

As an attending in Neurology with a specialty in Neuro-Oncology, Dr. Recht moved to the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he spent 19 years caring for patients and working in his research lab to try to find a cure for brain tumor. During this time Dr. Recht became convinced that it was better for patients to find out how and why a brain tumor evolved so that it could be treated earlier rather than directing his efforts toward treating the tumor after it had already caused disability.

In 2004, Dr Recht relocated to Stanford to work on furthering his research on Early Detection of Brain Tumor and to develop an expanded Adult Neuro-Oncology Program. Belief in hope and quality of life drives Dr. Recht and his team's practice of caring for patients and families with brain tumor and neurologic complications of cancer. Clinical studies are also provided and available for patients with specific conditions who are interested in adding experimental treatments to their care.

Efforts in Dr. Recht's research laboratory are directed towards applying early detection strategies to the treatment of brain tumors. In addition, other work in his laboratory is directed at reversing the damaging side effects of treatment-related brain injury.

Seema Nagpal, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurologial Sciences

Dr. Nagpal earned her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, completed Neurology residency at University of California, San Francisco and Neuro-Oncology fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Nagpal is focused on developing therapy that increases both quantity and quality of life for patients with primary brain tumors. She also has a special interest in neurologic complications of systemic cancer, such as brain and leptomeningeal metastases. Dr. Nagpal’s research efforts include clinical trials in glioma and collaborative projects to identify the genetic under-pinnings of brain metastases.

Reena Thomas, MD, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology

Dr. Reena Thomas received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC and her PhD from the City of Hope Graduate School in Duarte, California. She completed her training as a resident in Neurology as well as her fellowship training in Neuro-Oncology at Stanford University Hospital. Her research background and interests are focused on immune based cancer therapies and chemokine signaling in glioblastoma brain tumors. She has also been involved in advanced imaging studies of glioblastoma. She is the Director of the Adult Neuro Oncology Fellowship at Stanford.

Adult Neuro-Oncology Fellows

Zachary Corbin, MD

Dr. Corbin began his career in biological research in college and cultivated an interest in clincal research during medical school. He was awarded a research fellowship with the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation and studied acute ischemic stroke at Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned a Doctor of Medicine and Masters of Health Sciences at Yale, and then completed Neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. He is now enrolled in the Neuro-Oncology fellowship at Stanford. His research focuses on imaging techniques to better define brain tumors.

Neuro-Oncology Nurses

Gwen Coffey, NP

Gwen received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed her Master of Science from the University of California, San Francisco. She is board certified as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. Gwen is interested in providing the highest quality of care to all patients.

Justine Pena, RN, MSN
Nurse Coordinator

Justine Pena earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of California, Irvine in Biological Sciences. She then went on to earn her Master of Science Degree in Nursing along with her Registered Nurse Licensure from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her background includes Neurology, Neurosurgery, GI, and Thoracic specialties while working on an inpatient stepdown unit at the Keck Hospital of University of Southern California for four years. Justine then relocated to Northern California and has joined the Stanford Cancer Center as a Nurse Coordinator for Neuro-Oncology.

Megan Gershon, RN
Clinical Nurse Coordinator

Megan Gershon received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Tech University in 2002.  She worked in the Emergency Department at a major trauma center in Fort Worth, Texas for 3 years before taking travel assignments at various hospitals including UCSD and Stanford.  Her interest in neurology led to taking a Nurse Coordinator position within the Movement Disorders team at Stanford in 2009 and the Neuro-Oncology team in 2011.  Megan works to meet the needs of the patient and family by coordinating comprehensive multidisciplinary care.

Neuro-Oncology Clinical Trials

Cathy Kahn Recht, RN, MS
Research Nurse Coordinator

Cathy joined the Neuro-Oncology team as the Research Nurse coordinator in July 2005. A graduate of Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City, Cathy's whole career has been geared towards family centered care and humanizing the patient care experience. As the Research Nurse, she is responsible for patient education and counseling and coordination of clinical trials for Neuro-Oncology study participants.

Sophie Bertrand, BA
Clinical Trials Coordinator

Sophie Bertrand received her Bachelor of Arts from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania. She has worked on cancer clinical trials at Stanford since 2009 and joined the Neuro-Oncology team in 2012. As a research coordinator, she works with physicians and patients to ensure that trials are run following good clinical practices.

Vani Jain, CCRCS
Clinical Research Coordinator

Vani is a B.A.MS graduate of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, India and has completed the clinical trials conduct and management program from UC Berkeley. She is a Certified Clinical trial coordinator and has worked on cancer clinical trials at Stanford since 2009. She joined the Neuro-Oncology team in 2014. As a research coordinator, she works with physicians and patients to ensure that trials are run following good clinical practices.