Thelma Bethea, B.S.
Laboratory Manager/Research Technician
B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
My background and experience in neuroscience stems from work in a psychiatric lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where we observed the effects of stress, depression, and anxiety on the brain’s noradrenergic system. My interests have since shifted to motor function loss as a result of demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, and the role of the Corticospinal tract in motor injury and repair. Since joining the motor recovery lab, my projects include the use of behavioral and anatomical techniques to observe activity-based therapeutic effects on axonal plasticity and functional recovery after brain and/or spinal cord insult.
Brendan Flynn, B.S.
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Student
B.S., State University of New York at Cortland, NY
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program, Fordham University, NY
My current research interest is in the evaluation of forelimb function as a measure of corticospinal function. We measure reaching, supination, and other movements that are impaired with corticospinal injury. By using behavior testing devices, the impact of injury and degree of subsequent recovery can be quantified. I work with Anil Sindhurakar, Ph.D., in training and testing rats that model cerebral palsy.
Disha Gupta, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Donders Center for Brain Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands in Translational Neuroscience lab with Prof. Gilles Van Luijtelaar
Postdoctoral Fellow, Albany Medical College, NY, Dept. of Neurology in Brain Computer Interfacing group of Anthony Ritaccio, M.D.
Visiting Scientist, Wadsworth Center, New York State Dept. of Health, NY in Brain Computer Interfacing Laboratory of Gerwin Schalk, Ph.D.
B.E., Electrical Engineering, Punjab Engineering College, Punjab University, India
M.S., Information Technology and Security, Royal Inst. of Technology KTH, Stockholm, Sweden
Ph.D., Neuroscience Biomedical Engineering, University of Southampton, United Kingdom in Biomedical Signal Processing group of Christopher James, Ph.D. and Southampton General Hospital, Dept. of Neurology, with William Gray, M.D., Ph.D.
My research focus is on understanding the neural and neuromuscular effects of applying weak electric currents to the brain in order to harness it optimally for rehabilitation from brain injury. Techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) allow the application of weak currents to the scalp. The resulting effects on the brain and muscle can then be assayed by a combination of passive electrical signal measurements from the scalp (referred to as electroencephalography) and/or muscle (electromyography) while the person engages in a motor task. These signals help us to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of the interactions within and between the two hemispheres of the brain and those between the brain and the muscles. Furthermore, I will investigate the causal relationships in these brain-muscle networks. I use various advanced digital signal processing methods to investigate the above questions. This exploration will help us to understand when, where and how the functional networks in the brain and muscle engage during a motor task in normal brain as compared a to brain with injury and how they can be perturbed towards rapid long-lasting motor-function improvement.
Jeremy Hill, D. Phil.
Post-doctoral Fellow, Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tubingen, Germany
Senior Research Scientist, Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tubingen, Germany
Research Scientist II, Health Research Inc., NY
First degree, University of Oxford, UK (1995)
Doctoral degree, University of Oxford, UK (2001)
Jeremy Hill obtained his doctorate (called a D.Phil. rather than a Ph.D., according to Oxford's tradition) in 2002 for his thesis entitled Testing Hypotheses about Psychometric Functions. The software he developed for this thesis has been widely used by psychophysics researchers around the world, with Google reporting over 1400 citations of the two 2001 papers that introduced it, co-authored with Felix Wichmann.
He moved to the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biological Cybernetics as a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. Bernhard Schölkopf's Empirical Inference department (now part of the MPI for Intelligent Systems). Here he began to focus on brain-computer interface research (BCI) which he found to be the ideal intersection of his experience in neuroscience and statistics with the department's focus on machine-learning. He became a senior research scientist leading the small BCI group at the MPI, and was privileged to work in close collaboration with Prof. Niels Birbaumer and colleagues at the University of Tübingen. This work involved a combination of theoretical and analytical work to develop algorithms for EEG and ECoG signal processing, and fieldwork at paralysed patients' bedsides and in the OR to apply BCI technology practically. It also led to the development of the first BCI system driven by auditory stimuli, launching a small but industrious neurotechnology sub-field which he still pursues enthusiastically today.
Dr. Hill served as project coordinator for the BCI2000 project, and has taught at many of the BCI2000 workshops, and is the principal developer and maintainer of BCPy2000, a Python-based system for rapid development of new experiments, signal-processing algorithms and applications on the BCI2000 platform.
Asht Mishra, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, CT
with Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist, Yale University, CT
with Hal Blumenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.
B.Sc., Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur, U.P., India
M.Sc., University of Lucknow, Lucknow, U.P., India
Ph.D., Neuroimaging and Biochemistry, SG Postgraduate Inst. of Med. Sciences, Lucknow, India
with Rakesh Gupta, M.D.
I am interested in understanding the physiology and anatomy of motor functions in the corticospinal system. We use electrical stimulation on intact as well as injured brain and spinal cord to study physiology of plasticity in the corticospinal system. I have gained experience in studying neurophysiology and brain anatomy changes in epilepsy and brain injury models using electrophysiology, brain stimulation, and multi-modal functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging. As a motor recovery laboratory team, our goal is to improve understanding of motor functions in patients with brain and spinal cord injury.
Honggeun Park, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Seoul National University
B.A., Kon-kuk University, Seoul, South Korea (2002)
M.S., Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea (2006)
Ph.D., Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea (2012)
I am a systems neuroscientist and molecular biologist interested in neural injury and repair. I first became interested in this field when I studied cell survival mechanisms after spinal cord injury during my master’s degree. In Dr. Tae Hwan Oh’s laboratory, I learned the techniques of tract tracing, motor behavior testing, and molecular techniques. In addition, I learned about the challenges of brain and spinal cord injury and repair. For my Ph.D. studies, I transferred to Dr. Yong Sik Kim’s laboratory in neuropsychiatry. There I learned about changes in signal transduction underlying psychiatric disorders and the effect of medications. I led the implementation of several experimental techniques, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation and an in vivo translational assay. I trained in viral production and manipulation for gene delivery to the brain. I am excited to apply viral manipulation to the understanding of circuits that mediate recovery after injury.
Anil Sindhurakar, Ph.D.
B.A., Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA (2006)
Ph.D., Systems Biology and Disease, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (2012)
with Nina S. Bradley, P.T., Ph.D.
I am a neuroscientist with an abiding interest in development of the motor systems. My doctoral training in developmental neuroscience focused on acquisition of a motor control skill in an animal model (chick embryo) during embryonic development. My research was primarily dedicated to understanding motor control development under influence of environmental factors. During my graduate training I developed tools to study muscle movement patterns that were previously thought to be unavailable at early stages of development. In the Carmel laboratory, I have been working on a rat model of hemiplegic cerebral palsy with primary focus on restoring forepaw function after corticospinal injury. Working on a translational animal model has made me passionate about understanding prenatal injuries that can lead to motor disabilities. I am particularly excited about applying electrical brain stimulation for neuromodulation, because it is a targeted therapy and has enormous translational potential.
Tongchun Wen, M.D., Ph.D.
2002 to 2007, Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
2007-2011, Director of Lab, MidAtlantic Neonatology Associates, Morristown, NJ
B.A., Binzhou Medical College, China
M.D., Binzhou Medical College, China
M.S., Xian Medical University, China
Ph.D., Ehime University School of Medicine, Japan
In my 25 years as a scientist, I have focused on animal models of stroke and have spent the last ten years devoted to neonatal brain injury. We have created a neonatal rat model of arterial ischemic stroke and have used the model to investigate aspects of neuroprotection and neurological recovery. Since joining Dr. Carmel’s lab, I have focused on experiments on the plasticity of corticospinal connections after neonatal pyramidotomy.