Past MnDRIVE neuromodulation fellows 2013-2017

Graduate Fellows

Elizabeth Annoni
Department of Biomedical Engineering
anno0015@umn.edu
Mentor: Alena Talkachova, Ph.D.
Project: Evaluating the efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation to treat hypertension and hypertension induced heart disease

Bryan Baxter, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering
baxte144@umn.edu
Mentor: Bin He, Ph.D.
Project: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and EEG to probe the relationship between noninvasive neuromodulation, brain states, and learning

Edward Bello II
Department of Biomedical Engineering
bello043@umn.edu
Mentor: Matt Johnson, Ph.D.
Project: Identification of cellular-level cortical biomarkers of thalamic deep brain stimulation for the treatment of tremor
Edward Bello II plans to finish the experimental recordings and analysis for his project and plans to intern with a medical device company in order to gain industry experience and to better inform his choice for a future career path, whether it be industry or academia.

Adele DeNicola
Department of Neuroscience
denic003@umn.edu
Mentor: Matthew Chafee, Ph.D.
Project: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) to improve cognition in schizophrenia: effects of DBS in mediodorsal nucleus of thalamus (MDT) on cognitive task performance in a non-human primate model of neural and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia

Cayla Duffy
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Minneapolis VAHCS
duffy124@umn.edu
Mentor: Tammy A. Butterick, Ph.D.
Project: Optogenetic stimulation of orexin neurons and the role of microglia in cognitive function
Cayla Duffy plans to work in collaboration with industry and academia to bridge the gap in understanding the role of microglial-neuronal interactions for neurodegenerative therapies. She will defend her thesis in the fall of 2017.

Kate Frost
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
jahnk035@umn.edu
Mentor: James Carey, Ph.D.
Project: Effect of different inter-pulse intervals of paired associative stimulation on cortical excitability in people with chronic stroke

Hongsun Guo
Department of Biomedical Engineering
guoxx691@umn.edu
Mentor: Hubert Lim, Ph.D.
Project: Ultrasound neuromodulation of vagus nerve to treat brain disorders

Alyona Haritonova, Ph.D.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
harit005@umn.edu
Mentor: Emad Ebbini, Ph.D.
Project: Noninvasive Brain tissue property measurements with sub-therapeutic high intensity focused Ultrasound
Dr. Haritonova is currently a Senior Scientist with Medtronic.

Abby Holt, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
holt0437@umn.edu
Mentor: Tay Netoff, Ph.D.
Project: Design of stimulus waveforms for DBS that maximally disrupt pathological oscillations seen in Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Holt is currently in a postdoctoral program at the University of Oxford.

Aaron M. Lambert, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
lambe195@umn.edu
Mentor: Mark Masino, Ph.D.
Project: Optogenetic interventions for determining synaptic mechanisms in the dopaminergic diencephalospinal tract (DDT) that mediate the development of locomotor activity and goal directed behavior
Dr. Lambert is currently in a postdoctoral program at Harvard University.

David Nedrud
Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
nedru004@umn.edu
Mentor: Daniel Schmidt, Ph.D.
Project: Engineering optogenetic reagents for precise modulation of endogenous ion channels

Morgan Newhoff
Department of Entomology
mnewhoff@umn.edu
Mentor: Karen Mesce, Ph.D.
Project: An investigation into the cellular mechanisms underlying ultrasonic neuromodulation

Trevor Perry
Departments of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Neuroscience
perry541@umn.edu
Mentors: Peggy Nelson, Ph.D. and Geoff Ghose, Ph.D.
Project: Developing Next-generation Auditory Prostheses using Cortical Stimulation
Dr. Perry will take his preliminary exams and begin work on his dissertation research in the summer of 2017.

Marc Pisansky, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
pisansky@umn.edu
Mentor: Jonathan Gewirtz, Ph.D.
Project: Optogenetically modulated oxytocin signaling in a mouse model of socio-emotional cognition
Dr. Pisansky is currently completing a MnDRIVE fellowship in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota.

Tonya Rich
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
rich1038@umn.edu
Mentor: Bernadette Gillick, Ph.D., MSPT, P.T.
Project: Non-invasive brain stimulation in children with stroke: promoting cortical excitability, motor functioning and community involvement

Euijae Shim
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
shimx099@umn.edu
Mentor: Mo Li, Ph.D.
Project: Development of a minimally invasive opto-electrical probe for in vivo closed loop neuromodulation of decision-making networks in the brain

Brian Sweis, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
sweis001@umn.edu
Mentor: Mark Thomas, Ph.D.
Project: Optogenetic modulation of decision-making circuitry in mouse models of addiction
Brian Sweis has defended his PhD dissertation and will complete his final 2 years of medical school in the dual MD/PhD program. He plans to complete a medical subspecialty residency in either neurology or psychiatry with the ultimate goal of a career in neuromodulation interventions and translational research in academic medicine.

Benjamin A. Teplitzky, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering
tepl0014@umn.edu
Mentor: Matthew Johnson, Ph.D.
Project: Immunohistochemical evaluation of synaptic plasticity following deep brain stimulation (DBS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Dr. Teplitzky is currently a data scientist with Preventice Solutions.

Michelle Thai
Department of Psychology
thaix049@umn.edu
Mentor: Karen Cullen, M.D.
Project: Cognitive and neural correlates of symptom reduction in adolescent depression following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

Scott Warren, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
warre295@umn.edu
Mentors: Geoffrey Ghose, Ph.D. and Stephen Engel, Ph.D.
Project: Subtle manipulation of a cortical microcircuit by targeting stimulation to distinct layers of neocortex

Tong Wu
Department of Biomedical Engineering
wuxx1521@umn.edu
Mentor: Zhi Yang, Ph.D.
Project: Development of an MRI-compatible neurotechnology for simultaneous neural recording and electrical microstimulation to study the signal propagation and distribution of neural populations
After completing his written and oral preliminary examinations in the summer of 2017, Dr. Wu will continue to work on an MRI-compatible device design and signal processing development.

YiZi Joe Xiao, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering
xiao0111@umn.edu
Mentor: Matthew Johnson, Ph.D.
Project: Design and validation of optimization algorithms to program high-density deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrode arrays
Dr. Xiao is currently a senior scientist with Medtronic.

Kai Yu
Department of Biomedical Engineering
yuxxx955@umn.edu
Mentor: Bin He, Ph.D.
Project: Directional ultrasound-induced Lorentz current stimulation to explore a non-invasive, high spatial resolution neuromodulation approach

Laura Zitella, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering
zitel003@umn.edu
Mentor: Matthew Johnson, Ph.D.
Project: Investigating new deep brain stimulation (DBS) targets for gait and balance problems in Parkinson’s disease: using high field (7T) MRI imagining techniques, computational modeling, and electrophysiology to develop and validate subject-specific models of DBS in the pedunculopontine nucleus in Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Zitella is currently a senior research scientist with Minnetronix, Incorporated.

Postdoctoral fellows

Filippo Agnesi, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Matthew Johnson, Ph.D.
Project: Evaluating plastic changes in neuronal activity with transcranial direct current stimulation (DCS): correlating firing Rate, pattern, information transmission and coherence with improvements in behavioral performance
Dr. Agnesi is currently a scientist with St. Jude Medical.

Joshua Aman, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
aman0038@umn.edu
Mentor: Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Improving patient outcomes through development of patient specific deep brain stimulation programming strategies based on the neurophysiological profile of dystonia and projected volume of tissue activated in patients with primary generalized dystonia and cervical dystonia
Dr. Aman plans to use data from his project to apply for an NIH grant to further analyze pathophysiological characteristics of dystonia and develop patient-specific deep brain stimulation programming strategies based on neurophysiological characteristics, reconstructed lead location within the targeted structure and volume of tissue activation.

Gowtham Atluri, Ph.D.
Departments of Psychiatry and Computer and Electrical Engineering
atluri@umn.edu
Mentors: Kelvin Lim, M.D. and Vipin Kumar, Ph.D.
Project: Data mining methods to study the impact of transcranial current stimulation (Tcs) as a treatment for refractory auditory hallucinations, a common problem in schizophrenia
Dr. Atluri is currently an assistant professor in the Department Electrical Engineering and Computer Systems with the University of Cincinnati.

Chao-Ying Chen, Ph.D.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
achen4712@umn.edu
Mentor: Bernadette Gillick, Ph.D.
Project: Perinatal stroke: understanding brain reorganization through infant neuroimaging and measures of neuro-excitability
Dr. Chen is currently interviewing for faculty positions in Asian countries and is planning to continue her current research theme to develop novel and untapped neuromodulatory and/or behavioral interventions in infants and children with motor development. Further, she is planning to keep expanding her professional research area to support infants’ autonomic system stability, which is the key factor to support an infant’s growth. She would also like to continue the collaborative relationships with her mentor and potentially with other researchers to advance the progress of this research area.

Matthew C. Hearing, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
mhearing@umn.edu
Mentor: Mark Thomas, Ph.D.
Project: Disrupting cue-evoked addiction relapse with optogenetic modulation of the cortico-accumbens circuit
Dr. Hearing is currently an Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences with Marquette University.

Sommer Amundsen Huffmaster, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
slamunds@umn.edu
Mentors: Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D., Noam Harel, Ph.D., and Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Examining the effects of cues and transcranial direct current (tCS) on gait and gait initiation in people with Parkinson’s disease who have freezing of gait
Dr. Huffmaster is currently a research associate in the Department of Neurology with the University of Minnesota.

Luke Johnson, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
joh03032@umn.edu
Mentor: Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Understanding pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and the therapeutic effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) – innovations in neuronal recording, analysis, and closed-loop control
Dr. Johnson is currently a research associate in the Department of Neurology with the University of Minnesota.

Lauri Lehto, Ph.D.
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
lauri.lehto@uef.fi
Mentors: Shalom Michaeli, Ph.D., Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D., Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., and Curtis Corum, Ph.D.
Project: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) with alternating and rotating fields

Jacob Montgomery, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
mont0306@umn.edu
Mentor: Mark Masino, Ph.D.
Project: Assessment of the effects of optogenetic modulation of catecholamine release on locomotor networks
Dr. Montgomery is currently a research associate in the Department of Neuroscience with the University of Minnesota.

Jerel Mueller, Ph.D.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
jerel.mueller@umn.edu
Mentor: Wynn Legon, Ph.D.
Project: Manipulation of electromyographic activity by transcranial-focused ultrasound stimulation of human motor cortex
Dr. Mueller is currently a senior scientist with Medtronic.

Sam Nemanich, Ph.D.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
nemanich@umn.edu
Mentor: Bernadette Gillick, Ph.D.
Project: Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and bimanual training on motor learning and motor cortex connectivity in children with cerebral palsy

Matthew Petrucci, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
mpetrucc@umn.edu
Mentor: Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D.
Project: Developing methods to determine the mechanical and neurophysiological mechanisms of rigidity in Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Petrucci’s career aspirations are to obtain a tenure-track faculty position focused on translational research in the field of movement disorders, with the goal of developing novel neuromodulation strategies to reduce motor impairments.

Marc Pisansky, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
pisansky@umn.edu
Mentor: Patrick Rothwell, Ph.D.
Project: The neural substrates of impulsivity in opioid addiction; optogenetic imaging and modulation of interneurons in the mouse nucleus accumbens

Cecillia Prudente, Ph.D.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
cnp@umn.edu
Mentor: Teresa J. Kimberley, Ph.D.
Project: Effects of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in laryngeal dystonia
Dr. Prudente plans to finish data collection, present and publish the results of her fellowship at relevant meetings in the field of neuromodulation and dystonia. She is currently looking for career opportunities in medical device companies for the Fall of 2017. She is interested in a position involving development and implementation of innovative neuromodulation and rehabilitation strategies for movement disorders.

David Escobar Sanabria, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
descobar@umn.edu
Mentor: Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Optimizing deep brain stimulation in real-time for Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Sanabria will continue his research at the University of Minnesota applying the insight into PD pathophysiology gained and technologies developed during his MnDRIVE fellowship to the clinical studies conducted at the Udall Center. He will also be a Co-PI for an MN-REACH project focused on studying how to alleviate sleep disturbances in PD using DBS.

Martha Streng, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
stren021@umn.edu
Mentor: Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D.
Project: Modulation of cerebellar output channels in temporal lobe epilepsy

Jing Wang, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
wang3444@umn.ed
Mentor: Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Plasticity mediated improvement of motor symptoms with “coordinated reset” and other novel deep brain stimulation (DBS) paradigms for Parkinson’s: relationship of stimulation voltage and treatment duration to the magnitude and duration of enduring therapeutic benefit
Dr. Wang is currently a research associate in the Department of Neurology with the University of Minnesota.

Wilson Yu, Ph.D.
Department of Neuroscience
yuxxx955@umn.edu
Mentor: Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D.
Project: Examining the Mechanisms Involved in the Efficacy of On-demand Cerebellar Optogenetic Neuromodulation in a Mouse Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Dr. Yu is currently an industry consultant working with clients that include the neuromodulation industries.

Ying Yu, Ph.D.
Department of Neurology
yuxx0859@umn.edu
Mentors: Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D. and Greg Molnar, Ph.D.
Project: Selective modulation of neuronal activity in the thalamus by “field steering” DBS of the internal globus pallidus for treatment of Parkinson’s disease in a MPTP non-human primate model

Resident/Clinical fellows

David Darrow, M.D., MPH
Department of Biomedical Engineering
darro015@umn.edu
Mentor: Tay Netoff, Ph.D.
Project: Investigating the effect of transcranial focused ultrasound on neurophysicology
Dr. Darrow will return to his Neurosurgery residency program in fall 2017.

Adel El-Nashar, M.D.
Department of Neurosurgery
elnas007@umn.edu
Mentor: Andrew Grande, Ph.D.
Project: DBS targeting – validation of high field MRI DTI studies of thalamic and hypothalamic structures and circuits through microscopic sections and neuroanatomic dissections in cadaveric brains, with subsequent evaluation of neuroanatomical variability across individuals

Brent G. Nelson, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry
nels1741@umn.edu
Mentor: Kelvin Lim, Ph.D.
Project: Evaluation of the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on brain connectivity patterns using a multi-modal network-based statistic methodology in patients with schizophrenia
Dr. Nelson is currently an adult interventional psychiatrist and co-director of the Center for Neurotherapeutics, with PrairieCare.

Eleanor Orehek, M.D.
Department of Neurology
kelle435@umn.edu
Mentors: Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D. and Noam Harel, Ph.D.
Project: White matter tracts in deep brain stimulation (DBS): using 7T MRI DTI data to define potential targets for DBS
Dr. Orehek is currently a movement disorder neurologist with the Noran Clinic.

Khadijah F. Shamseddine, M.D.
Department of Neurology
shams022@umn.edu
Mentors: Anthony Santiago, M.D. and Jerrold Vitek, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: Comparison of targeting accuracy with high field (7T) vs. standard (1.5T) pre-operative imaging, and assessment of intraoperative neurophysiological predictors of post-operative deep brain stimulation (DBS) side-effect thresholds
Dr. Shamseddine is currently a neurology specialist with the Ross School of Medicine.

Discoveries through industry partnerships fellows

Daniel Chantigian
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
chant047@umn.edu
Mentor: Manda Keller-Ross
Project: Effect of spinal cord stimulation on lowering blood pressure during exercise in adults with hypertension

Adam Choe
Medical Devices Center
choex012@umn.edu
Mentor: Joseph Hale, Ph.D.
Project: Noninvasive neuromodulation anxiety reduction (NNAR) system aims to increase quality patient outcomes while decreasing sedation and anesthesia in children (patients of rapid brain development)

Akshay Gupte, M.D.
Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Devices Center
gupt0191@umn.edu
Mentor: Art Erdman, Ph.D. 
Project: C-fiber neuro-modulation therapy for painful neuropathy 

Ian Ramsay, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry
ramsa045@umn.edu
Mentor: Joseph Hale, Ph.D.
Project: Can tDCS accelerate and sustain the cognitive benefits of auditory training in schizophrenia?