Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Center for Brain Injury and Repair

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Research Team

Douglas H. Smith, M.D.

Douglas H. Smith, M.D.
Director, Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair, Robert A. Groff Professor of Neurosurgery, Vice-Chairman for Research & Education, Department of Neurosurgery
 smithdou@mail.med.upenn.edu

Douglas H. Smith, serves as Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair (CBIR) and is the Robert A. Groff Endowed Professor and Vice Chairman for Research and Education in Neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Penn's multidisciplinary CBIR includes over 30 principal investigators and their laboratory staff collectively studying mechanisms, diagnosis and potential treatments of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Smith was also recently appointed as the Scientific Director for the Big 10/ Ivy League consortium on concussion, and he also serves on the National Football League’s (NFL), Scientific Advisory Board. For research awards, he is director of several multi-center National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense grants on concussion and TBI-induced neurodegeneration.  Dr. Smith also directs an NIH training grant for brain injury.    His group has established that diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is the fundamental mechanisms of concussion.  This has led to the development of clinical assessment tools to identify concussed individuals who will go on to have persisting cognitive dysfunction.  In addition, his group has discovered mechanisms of concussion and more severe TBI that lead to progressive neurodegeneration, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. These collective efforts have represented in over 200 published scientific reports, gaining an h-index over 75.  Scientific awards for these contributions include the recent Dorothy Russell Medal, the highest honor conveyed by the British Neuropathological Society for seminal contributions towards understanding the neuropathologies of traumatic brain injury.

Smith Neurotrauma Laboratory

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Neurosurgery

 


David Meaney, Ph.D.

David Meaney, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Preclinical Research, Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair, Solomon R. Pollack Professor and Chair, Department of Bioengineering
 DMeaney@seas.upenn.edu

Dr. Meaney has published extensively on the subject of traumatic brain injury. His research program concentrates on studying the role of mechanical forces in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Using in vitro systems to understand the mechanisms for mechanosensitive receptors and channels in the brain and outcome after TBI. Moreover, his laboratory studies how these activated pathways will influence the function of neural circuits after injury. They are now using the same design process for developing a model of primary blast TBI in the mouse. 

Dr. Meaney's Molecular Neuroengineering Lab

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Bioengineering

 


Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., Ph.D.

Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Director for Clinical Research, Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair, Presidential Professor of Neurology, Attending Neurologist, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital
 Ramon.Diaz-Arrastia@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Diaz-Arrastia is endowed as a University Presidential Professor (a diversity chair) and has a long history in training with an emphasis on diversity. He leads the TBI Clinical Research Initiative at the newly established Level I Trauma Center at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Diaz-Arrastia’s research focus is imaging and molecular biomarkers of TBI in humans. The focus of his laboratory is traumatic microvascular injury (TMI) with the goal of developing prognostic, predictive, and pharmacodynamic biomarkers of TMI, in order to efficiently design clinical trials of angioprotective and angioregenerative therapies. 


Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D.

Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D.
Co-Scientific Director and Director of Engineering, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
 arbogast@email.chop.edu

Co-Scientific Director and Director of Engineering, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Arbogast is the Co- Scientific Director and Director of Engineering for the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Research Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Arbogast’s research is focused on measuring the biomechanical response and tolerance to injury across the pediatric age range and collecting the fundamental biomechanical data needed to design pediatric-specific interventions that prevent injuries to children. Her research efforts include the safety of children and youth in motor vehicle crashes as well as a focus on pediatric concussion. 

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention


William M. Armstead, BA, MS, Ph.D.

William M. Armstead, BA, MS, Ph.D.
Research Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Member of the Graduate Groups in Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Member of Institute of Neurological Sciences, UPenn, Member of Cardiovascular Institute, UPenn
 ArmsteaW@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Armstead’s laboratory is interested in characterizing the role of several vasoactive systems (opioids, endothelin, prostaglandins, NMDA) in impaired cerebral hemodynamic control following fluid percussion brain injury, a mimic of shaken impact syndrome, as a function of age in an in vivo model. His laboratory is also interested in characterizing the contribution of these same vasoactive systems to altered cerebral hemodynamic control following global cerebral hypoxia/ischemia in a newborn animal model. The latter injury model mimics the hypoxia/ischemia that may occur in the neonate with problems associated with delivery or respiratory management post delivery. 

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics

 

 


Rosette C. Biester (Plotkin), Ph.D.

Rosette C. Biester (Plotkin), Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Director, Neuropsychology, Polytrauma Neuropsychologist, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center
 rplotkin@mail.med.upenn.edu rosette.biester@va.gov

Dr. Biester's research has focused on the comprehensive assessment of neurocognitive impairments, mood disturbance, quality of life, and functional/behavioral changes associated with traumatic brain injuries, stroke, and pulmonary conditions including acute respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary hypertension. Her extensive inpatient and outpatient clinical experience in neuropsychology has promoted clinical research in testing specific cognitive domains most susceptible to change, including working memory, auditory memory, and executive functions.

Penn Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

 


H. Isaac Chen, M.D.

H. Isaac Chen, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery
 isaac.chen@uphs.upenn.edu

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Chen's clinical interests include functional neurosurgery (i.e., deep brain stimulation and epilepsy surgery), the resection of tumors in and around eloquent brain tissue, and traumatic brain injury. With respect to clinical research, he works on developing new techniques for mapping brain function and identifying targets for neuro-modulatory and brain circuit reconstruction interventions.

Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Chen’s laboratory focus is developing novel methods for reconstructing brain circuitry after injury, specifically using structured neural tissues. This work draws from stem cell biology, neural tissue engineering, and neural interface technologies. 

Dr. Chen's Laboratory Website


Akiva S. Cohen, Ph.D.

Akiva S. Cohen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
 CohenA@email.chop.edu

Dr. Cohen focuses on defining the mechanisms that underlie cognitive impairment and a reduction in seizure threshold caused by TBI. The laboratory employs methods that span the systemic to cellular levels including hippocampal-dependent behavior, brain slices physiology, voltage sensitive dye recording as well cellular biochemistry and immunohistochemistry. 

Dr. Cohen's Lab

 


Diego Contraras, M.D., Ph.D.

Diego Contraras, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania
 diegoc@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dr. Contraras’ research interest focus is on how the intrinsic cellular properties of neurons and the characteristics of local neuronal networks contribute to the encoding of peripheral sensory input in two separate animal models: (i) the cat visual system and (ii) the rat whisker system. Responses to sensory stimuli are recorded from the neocortex and thalamus in vivo using intracellular and optical voltage-sensitive dye methods. These methods are also applied to the brain slice preparation in order to further study the dynamics of cortical microcircuitry.


D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D.

D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
 dkacy@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dr. Cullen’s research program operates at the intersection of neurotrauma and neural engineering by applying biomedical engineering principles to better understand the causative mechanisms of neural injury as well as to develop tissue engineering-based treatments to restore function. Dr. Cullen investigates injury biomechanics, biophysical responses, and pathophysiology following injury to the nervous system. His group also develops tissue-engineered strategies for biohybrid neurotechnology to mitigate trauma-induced deficits or augment the body’s capacity for regeneration.

Dr. Cullen's Lab

University of Pennsylvania Department of Neurosurgery

 


John a. Detre, M.D.

John a. Detre, M.D.
Professor of Neurology and Radiology, Director, Center for Functional Neuroimaging
 detre@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dr. Detre's research focuses brain imaging and its applications in basic and clinical neuroscience. Much of the work involves methodological development and validations arterial spin labeled perfusion MRI as well as its use as a biomarker of brain function and its modulation by disease, pharmacological therapies or other interventions. These studies are used for examination of brain development and developmental disorders, degenerative diseases, brain tumors, and traumatic brain injury. 

Center for Functional Neuroimaging at the University of Pennsylvania


James Eberwine, Ph.D.

James Eberwine, Ph.D.
Elmer Holmes Bobst Professor of Pharmacology, Co-Director of the PENN Genome Frontiers Institute
 eberwine@upenn.edu

Dr. Eberwine is a molecular neurobiologist whose research efforts focus on understanding the functioning of individual neurons and subregions of neurons, called dendrites, by using molecular biological tools. He has developed various analytical procedures that permit characterization of the mRNA and protein complement of single cells. 

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychiatry


Joshua Gold, Ph.D.

Joshua Gold, Ph.D.
Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania
 jigold@mail.med.upenn.edu

The main goal of Dr. Gold’s laboratory is to understand how the brain learns from experience to make more effective decisions. The foundation for their work is quantitative behavioral measurements, which define what is learned. They then use direct measurements of brain activity in monkeys and indirect measurements of brain activity in humans to identify these learning- dependent computations. He is particularly interested in how this brain activity is altered and then recovers after injury. Dr. Gold also directs his efforts towards advancing the outstanding training environment at Penn as Chair of the Neuroscience Graduate Group, overseeing over 100 students and 130 faculty. 

Gold Lab Website


Matthew Grady, M.D., FAAP, CAQSM

Matthew Grady, M.D., FAAP, CAQSM
Sports medicine pediatrician at CHOP with expertise in primary care sports medicine
 gradym@email.chop.edu

Matthew Grady, MD, FAAP, CAQSM, is a pediatric sports medicine specialist in The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

Areas of Expertise: Concussions in pediatric athletes, Injury prevention, Overuse injuries in pediatric athletes, Pediatric injuries, Stress fractures

Dr. Grady is a board-certified pediatrician with a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in primary care sports medicine. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where he is Director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship program, and is responsible for training CHOP Emergency Department fellows, pediatric residents and medical students.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


M. Sean Grady, M.D.

M. Sean Grady, M.D.
Charles Harrison Frazier Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery
 GradyS@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Grady is the Charles Harrison Frazier Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery since 1999. He is an academic neurosurgeon whose basic science research interests are dedicated to TBI. Until recently, Dr. Grady had NIH support for bench research focused on the consequences of traumatic brain injury on the hippocampus. Using both rat and mouse strains he is exploring the consequences of fluid-percussion brain injury using anatomic, electrophysiologic, and molecular techniques. These efforts are complemented by cell death analysis using the stereologic technique of optical fractionation. 

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Neurosurgery

University of Pennsylvania's Neuroscience Center


Roy Hamilton, M.D., MS

Roy Hamilton, M.D., MS
 215-573-7065

Assistant Professor, Departments of Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Director of the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation, and Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

The central thrust of Dr. Humilton’s research is to use noninvasive electrical and magnetic brain stimulation to explore the characteristics and limits of functional plasticity in the intact and injured human brain. Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines brain stimulation, behavioral measures, and neuroimaging, Dr. Hamilton has explored a variety of topics, including plastic changes that occur in the brains of blind individuals, mechanisms of neural recovery in patients who have suffered from strokes, and neuromodulation as a potential tool for remediating disorders of cognition. 

Dr. Hamilton's Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation


Frances Elizabeth Jensen, M.D., FACP

Frances Elizabeth Jensen, M.D., FACP
Professor of Neurology, CPUP Board of Directors, University of Pennsylvania, Chair, Neurology Department
 215-662-3360

The primary focus of Dr. Jensen’s research is to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms of epilepsy, including post-traumatic, and secondary effects on synaptic plasticity. A secondary goal is to elucidate age-dependent differences in such mechanisms, and to examine the interactions between brain development, excitotoxic brain injury, epilepsy and cognition. Neurotransmitter receptors are developmentally regulated, and we have specifically demonstrated critical roles of these receptors, as well as their upstream modulators and downstream effectors, in neuronal and glial cells that are unique to the immature, implying age-specific disease mechanisms.


 Dr. Jensen's Lab Website


Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, Ph.D.

Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Pathology, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Director of the Biomedical Graduate Studies at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
 jordank@upenn.edu

Dr. Jordan-Sciutto’s laboratory investigates mechanisms that underly neuronal damage and death in response to neuroinflammatory stimuli including HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson Disease, and trauma.  She is particularly interested in molecular signaling pathways including the endogenous antioxidant response, the unfolded protein response, cell death pathways and cell cycle progression.  She uses genetic, cellular, molecular, and behavioral approaches and uses both in vitro and in vivo models. 


Michael Kahana, Ph.D.

Michael Kahana, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Kahana’s Research interests include computational modeling and experimental studies of human learning and memory. Much of the research has focused on using sophisticated measures of episodic memory to develop a detailed understanding of how various types of associations influence recall. Together with colleagues, Kahana has developed context-based mathematical models of human episodic memory to account for these data. Additional experimental work has been focused on the electrophysiological correlates of cognitive processes, including recoding of local-field potentials and single neuron activity in humans. 


Todd Kilbaugh, M.D.

Todd Kilbaugh, M.D.
Anesthesiologist and Pediatric Intensivist Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania
 kilbaugh@email.chop.edu

Dr. Kilbaugh’s research focus is in mitochodrial dysfunction following traumatic brain injury in preclinical models as well as in clinical studies.

Injury Biomechanics Lab

 


Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D.

Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Co-Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
 VMYLee@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dr. Lee’s research focuses on the etiology and pathogenesis of alpha-synuclein, tau, TDP-43, and other misfolded disease proteins in the pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases and injury, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementias, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and TBI (including TBI-induced Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy). A multidisciplinary approach, that includes biochemical and molecular studies of neuronal culture systems, animal models and human tissues obtained at autopsy, is used in the laboratory to address these research issues in common with these neurodegenerative diseases and how they are linked with brain injury. 

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Joshua Levine, M.D.

Joshua Levine, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology & Critical Care, Director, Neurocritical Care Program, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Director, Neurocritical Care Fellowship Training Program, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
 Joshua.Levine@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Levine specializes in the care of patients with severe injury to the nervous system, including patients with acute traumatic brain and spine injury, those with subarachnoid hemorrhage, ischemic stokes, intracerebral hemorrhages, acute seizures, brain infections, and severe acute neuromuscular disorders. His research interests include defining the optimal use of advanced technology to monitor the brain for secondary injury, and the role of inflammation and coagulation in the pathogenesis of delayed ischemic injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

University of Pennsylvania's Department of Neurology


Brian Litt, M.D.

Brian Litt, M.D.
Professor of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Litt's laboratory focuses on translating NeuroEngineering research directly into patient care through collaboration between Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Engineering. Specific areas of focus include automated implantable devices, cloud-based informatics/signal processing, understanding how seizures begin and spread, interpreting multi-scale neurosignals through machine learning, mapping functional networks and circuits in human brain, recording oscillations and modulating them via computer controlled electrical stimulation, and novel electronics technology for high fidelity electrophysiologic recording and brain modulation.

 

Dr. Litt's Lab 


Timothy Lucas, M.D., Ph.D.

Timothy Lucas, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Director, Translational Neuromodulation Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania, Associate Director, Center for Neuroengineering & Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania
 Timothy.Lucas@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Lucas is a model for future neurosurgeon-scientists, as his clinical practice is 40% effort with a focus on patients with epilepsy and intrinsic brain lesions, and he has 60% protected basic science research effort dedicated toward the restoration of functional movements to individuals with weakness or paralysis following trauma (brain or spinal cord), stroke or neurodegenerative conditions. Specifically, his work aims to develop translational devices to augment or bypass damaged neural connections between the brain and the upper extremity. 

Center for Neuroengineering and Therapeutics


Eileen Maloney-Wilensky, MSN, RN, CRNP

Eileen Maloney-Wilensky, MSN, RN, CRNP
Director of the Neurosurgery Clinical Research Division (NCRD)
 eileen.maloney@uphs.upenn.edu

The NCRD was established in December 2001 under the direction of Eileen Maloney-Wilensky. Ms. Maloney-Wilensky obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA) and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a critical care nurse with over 28 years of experience. Ms. Maloney-Wilensky holds certification as a Critical Care Nurse, Neuroscience Nurse, and is board certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.


Christina Master, M.D., FAAP, CAQSM

Christina Master, M.D., FAAP, CAQSM
Division of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, The Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaChildren's Hospital of Philadelphia
 215-590-1527

Dr. Master is Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Associate Program Director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine fellowship at CHOP with over two decades of experience in clinical pediatrics. Dr. Master is board-certified in pediatrics and brain injury medicine with additional qualification in sports medicine and treats over a thousand youth with concussion annually in her outpatient practice. She is co-founding director of Minds Matter, the concussion program for children at CHOP that provides clinical care, community outreach and conducts research in youth concussion. Her particular research emphasis has been describing the epidemiology of pediatric concussion and identifying vestibular and visual deficits following concussion as a target for intervention for those with prolonged symptoms. 


Michael L. McGarvey, M.D.

Michael L. McGarvey, M.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Director Intraoperative Monitoring, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  MLMcGarv@mail.med.upenn.edu mlmcgarv@mail.med.upenn.edu

As Director of the Intraoperative Monitoring Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. McGarvey performs complex neurophysiologic testing during surgical procedures including EEG, evoked potentials, and EMG. He has completed post-residency training in Stroke and Intraoperative monitoring and is an active member in the American Stroke Association and American Neurophysiology Society. Dr. McGarvey's research efforts include intraoperative neuroprotection, neurophysiologic monitoring techniques and identification of biologic markers of neurologic injury.


Claire Mitchell, Ph.D.

Claire Mitchell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Pennsylvania
 chm@dental.upenn.edu

Dr. Mitchell’s current research interests focus on linking mechanical strain with inflammatory responses in the retina. Acute and chronic elevations in pressure lead to the mechanosensitive release of ATP through pannexin hemichannels, with subsequent autostimulation of P2X7 receptors. Moderate stimulation of these P2X7 receptors on astrocytes can prime expression of the NLRP3 inflammasome and other cytokines, activate the inflammasome and trigger cytokine release. More pronounced stimulation of the P2X7 receptor on retinal ganglion cells can lead to cell death. This provides a powerful model to explain inflammation and death with TBI, and identifies several key points of intervention. 


Nicole Otto, M.D.

Nicole Otto, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health Staff Physician, University of Pennsylvania Student Health Services
 notto@upenn.edu

Through Dr. Otto’s Student Health practice, she specializes in the care of the young adult (ages 17-35, primarily), including diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and injuries, as well as management of chronic disease such as mental health conditions, eating disorders, cardiovascular, and endocrine conditions. 


Jose L. Pascual, M.D., Ph.D. FRCS(C), FRCP(C)

Jose L. Pascual, M.D., Ph.D. FRCS(C), FRCP(C)
Assistant Professor, Surgery, University of Pennsylvania
 jose.pascual@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Pascual is certified in Surgical and Neurocritical Care as well as Trauma and General Surgery. He is co-medical director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). His clinical and research interests are in shock and head injury. His research work is shared in clinical and basic science to learn how a variety of insults including head injury and shock affect the microcirculation and how different management strategies influence their effects. This basic science work is translated into several clinical projects both retrospective and prospective evaluating the effects of different therapeutic agents in traumatic brain injured patients as well as the immunemodulating effects of different resuscitation fluids in different forms of shock. 


Robert Siman, Ph.D.

Robert Siman, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Neurosurgery
 siman@mail.med.upenn.edu

Dr. Siman’s research interests include biomarkers, mechanisms, and models for acute and chronic injury and neurodegenerative disorders. There are two main lines of research, which provide excellent training opportunities for post-doctoral fellows and Neurosurgical residents, including the discovery, preclinical assessment, and clinical validation of novel protein markers for neurodegeneration. This project investigates important topics in the clinical research and management of acutely brain-injured patients. 


Danielle Sandsmark, M.D., Ph.D.

Danielle Sandsmark, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
 danielle.sandsmark@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Sandsmark is a neurologist who focuses on the care of patients with severe brain injuries treated in the neurological intensive care unit.  Her research interest is in long-term clinical outcomes after severe traumatic brain injury.  She is interested in understanding and developing clinical markers that can be detected at the time of injury and are predictive of long-term cognitive and functional outcomes after traumatic brain injury.  She works in collaboration with colleagues in neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and neuropsychology to better understand how individuals recover after moderate-severe traumatic brain injury.

 


Vivek Shenoy, Ph.D.

Vivek Shenoy, Ph.D.
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), Bioengineering (BE)
 vshenoy@seas.upenn.edu

Dr. Shenoy's current research focuses on developing theoretical concepts and numerical methods to understand the basic principles that control the behavior of both engineering and biological systems. A significant challenge in modeling the engineering and biological systems we study is that important processes involve coupling of both small-scale (atomic or single molecule) phenomena and long-range (elastic, electromagnetic) interactions over length scales of hundreds of nanometers. The goal of his group's work is to address these issues by combining atomic scale simulation methods with continuum or mesoscale theories and by adapting insights from condensed matter physics, solid mechanics, chemistry, materials science and applied mathematics.

Shenoy Research Group


Randel Swanson, D.O., Ph.D.

Randel Swanson, D.O., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
 Randel.Swanson@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Swanson provides comprehensive Neurological Rehabilitation Care to patients with Acquired Brain Injury, in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. His goal is to assist patients in achieving optimal return of neurological function following all forms of Brain Injury, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Concussion, Anoxic Brain Injury, Cerebral Vascular Accidents (CVA or Stroke), Brain Tumors, Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Disorders. In managing secondary complications from Acquired Brain Injury, Dr. Swanson performs chemodenervation (Botulinum toxin, Phenol or Alcohol) techniques for the treatment of spasticity and dystonia.

 


John Q. Trojanowski, M.D., Ph.D.

John Q. Trojanowski, M.D., Ph.D.
William Maul Measey-Truman G. Schnabel, Jr., M.D. Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology Director, Alzheimer's Disease Center Co-director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Marian S. Ware Alzheimer Drug Discovery Program Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
 aging@mail.med.upenn.edu

William Maul Measey-Truman G. Schnabel, Jr., M.D. Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology Director, Alzheimer's Disease Center Co-director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Marian S. Ware Alzheimer Drug Discovery Program Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 

Dr. Trojanowski holds major leadership positions at the University of Pennsylvania including: Director of a National Institute of Aging Alzheimer's Disease Center, Principal Investigator of a NIA Program Project Grant on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Dr. Trojanowski has conducted research on AD, PD, motor neuron disease, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), frontotemporal dementias (FTDs) and related disorders. Most of his >500 publications focus on the pathobiology of neurodegenerative disorders, especially the role of abnormal filamentous protein aggregates in these diseases. 

Alzheimer's Disease Center

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Ragini Verma, Ph.D.

Ragini Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Biomedical Image Analysis, Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania
 Ragini.Verma@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Verma focuses on biomedical image analysis with the Department of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Ragini is an expert in diffusion image analysis and has extensive experience developing mathematically intensive computationally efficient tools for addressing several challenging aspects of diffusion-based computationally neuroanatomy, such as, registration, population-based statistical analysis and multi-parametric analysis of high dimensional data using pattern classification techniques. Her research focus encompasses diffusion imaging, multi-modal connectiomics, and genetic underpinnings of the brain’s network structure and how the network changes with the injury.

Section of Biomedical Image Analysis

 


William C. Welch, Ph.D.

William C. Welch, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Pennsylvania Hospital
 william.welch@uphs.upenn.edu

Dr. Welch is the Co-Director of the Neurosurgical Biomechanical Research Laboratory and oversees research related primarily to biomechanical assessments of the treated and untreated spine. His clinical activities and clinical trials revolve around spinal disorders and motion preservation. He was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Commander from the United Stated Naval Reserves in 1998 after ten years of service.


Beth Winkelstein, Ph.D.

Beth Winkelstein, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Education and Professor, Bioengineering
 Winkelst@seas.upenn.edu

The broad goal of Winkelstein’s research is to understand the mechanisms of injury from sports, automotive and degenerative conditions, especially those injuries that produce pain.  By combining biomechanical and immunological techniques, her lab can define the relationships between injury to the cervical spine/neck and physiological cascades of persistent pain. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding injury to individual structures in the neck, such as the facet joints, nerve roots and spinal cord and how mechanical loading to these structures elicits pain.  Through this work she can begin to develop thresholds for mechanical injury that produce persistent pain; and work towards a definition of the neck’s tolerance for painful injury.  Additional research efforts are aimed at understanding the role of biomechanics in the neuroimmunologic changes of the central nervous system that contribute to persistent pain. 


University of Pennsylvania's Department of Bioengineering 
Spine Pain Research Lab 


John A. Wolf, Ph.D.

John A. Wolf, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania
 wolfjo@upenn.edu

Dr. Wolf’s research program is highly collaborative, and focuses on a number of broad areas related to neurotrauma and repair. Trained as a computational and systems level neuroscientist, Dr. Wolf’s goals are a deeper understanding of the role of diffuse brain injury in disrupting communication between and within brain regions. Dr. Wolf is also leading electrophysiological efforts to integrate electrodes with nervous tissue in vitro so that it can then be implanted for both peripheral and central nervous system repair. 

Dr. Wolf's Lab Website


John H. Wolfe, Ph.D.

John H. Wolfe, Ph.D.
Professor of Neurology, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia
 jhwolfe@vet.upenn.edu

Research interests include somatic cell gene transfer to the brain. Animal homologues of human neurodegenerative genetic diseases are used as test systems for gene transfer by viral and other vectors. Ex vivo gene transfer is being studied using retrovirus vector-corrected cells, which are transplanted directly into the brain to circumvent the blood-brain barrier. Multipotent neural progenitor cells, which differentiate into mature normal cells appropriate to their location within the brain, are being evaluated for their ability to deliver engineered cells to many regions of the diseased brain. 

Wolfe Lab