Joseph J. Fins, MD, MACP, CASBI Co-Director
Dr. Fins is The E. William Davis, Jr. M.D. Professor of Medical Ethics and Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College where he also serves as Professor of Medicine (with Tenure), Professor of Public Health and Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry. With Dr. Schiff, he co-directs CASBI at Weill Cornell and Rockefeller. Dr. Fins has also joined the Health Law Program at Yale Law School as the Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Medicine, Bioethics, and the Law (https://law.yale.edu/solomon-center/projects-publications/brain-injury-p...). He the founding Chair of the Ethics Committee of New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center where he serves as an Attending Physician and Director of Medical Ethics. He is a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Rockefeller University, a Senior Attending Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Fins is an elected Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, Dr. Fins has also received a Soros Open Society Institute Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars Award, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Visiting Fellowship and support from the Dana, Buster and Katz Foundations, amongst others. He was appointed by President Clinton to The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and currently serves on The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law by gubernatorial appointment.
Dr. Fins was graduated from Wesleyan University (B.A. with Honors, The College of Letters, 1982) and Cornell University Medical College (M.D., 1986). He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in General Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and has served as Associate for Medicine at The Hastings Center. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and was recertified in 2012.
The author of over 250 publications, his most recent book is A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life’s End (Jones and Bartlett, 2006). His current scholarly interests include ethical and policy issues in brain injury and disorders of consciousness, palliative care, research ethics in neurology and psychiatry, medical education, methods of ethics case consultation and the history of medicine. He is a co-author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state. His forthcoming book, Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics & The Struggle for Consciousness (The Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Dr. Fins is President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and on The Hastings Center Board of Trustees where he is Chair of the Fellows’ Council. Past Governor of the American College of Physicians, he has been honored with the College’sLaureate Award and served as a trustee of the American College of Physicians Foundation. He is a Trustee Emeritus of Wesleyan University which has honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Dr. Fins is a Master of the American College of Physicians. He is also a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine and The Hastings Center and was appointed to the Council of the Europaische Akademie (Germany). He is an elected member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, the American Clinical and Climatological Association and Alpha Omega Alpha.
Nicholas D. Schiff, MD, CASBI Co-Director
Dr. Schiff, is The Jerold B. Katz Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience in the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he also serves as Professor of Neuroscience (with Tenure), Professor of Neurology, and Professor of Public Health. With Dr. Fins, he is the co-director of CASBI. In addition, he is an Attending Neurologist at the New York-Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, a Senior Attending Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a member of the Adjunct Faculty of Rockefeller University, and a member of the Program in Neuroscience at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Graduate School of Sciences.
Dr. Schiff is a physician-scientist trained in quantitative systems neuroscience with broad interests in the area of neurological disorders of consciousness. His research bridges basic neuroscience and clinical investigative studies of the pathophysiology of impaired consciousness, the neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal regulation, and the effects of deep brain electrical stimulation techniques on forebrain integration. He is Director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation at Weill Cornell where he conducts research examining neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal and forebrain integration as well as clinical studies of the pathophysiology of impaired consciousness.
A diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Schiff is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A. with Distinction and Departmental Honors, 1987) and the Cornell University Medical College (M.D. with Honors in Research, 1992). He completed his residency in Neurology at the New York Hospital where he trained with Drs. Fred Plum and Jerome Posner and developed his subspecialty interests in the field of impaired consciousness. Dr. Schiff is a co-author of the 4th Edition of Dr. Plum and Posner's classic textbook "The Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma." His long-range goals are to develop neuromodulation strategies and improved diagnostics for the rational therapy of chronic cognitive disabilities resulting from brain injuries.
Dr. Schiff is an elected Fellow of the American Neurological Association and the recipient of several awards, including the 2007 Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience and the 2009 Bakken Pioneer Award from the Earl and Doris Bakken Heart-Brain Institute. Dr. Schiff is the author of over 100 scientific publications and 12 US and international patents, he is the lead author of the 2007 Nature paper describing the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state.
Dr. Schiff's research efforts are supported by federal grants from the NIH (with current and past support from NICHD, NINDS, NIMH, and NIDDR), private foundations (Charles A. Dana Foundation, James S. McDonnell Foundation, Jerold B. Katz Foundation), and industry (IntElect Medical, Inc). Among these projects, Dr. Schiff is leading an international, eight-center study funded by James S. McDonnell Foundation to develop tools to accurately measure the level of awareness of patients with severe brain injuries.
Jonathan D. Victor, MD, PhD
Dr. Jonathan D. Victor is a neuroscientist whose research focuses on principles of neural information processing and, in collaboration with Dr. Schiff, on the large-scale dynamics of brain activity, especially as they relate to disorders of consciousness.
Following an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Harvard (B.A., highest honors, 1973), he trained in medicine and neuroscience under Profs. Floyd Ratliff, Robert Shapley, and Bruce Knight in the Cornell-Rockefeller MD-PhD program (PhD, 1979, neurophysiology; MD, 1980). His completed his neurology residency (1984) at The New York Hospital under Drs. Fred Plum and Jerome Posner and became a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1987. Following this training and two years as an assistant professor at The Rockefeller University (1984-1986), he returned to Cornell, where he founded and directed the Division of Clinical Neurophysiology, (1987-2008) and the Division of Systems Neurology and Neuroscience (2008 to present). He was appointed Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience (1991), and was named the first Fred Plum Professor of Neurology in 2006.
Dr. Victor’s research is currently supported by federal grants from the National Institutes of Health (NEI and NIDCD), and his collaborative work with Drs. Schiff and Fins is supported by the McDonnell Foundation. Previous research support has included awards from The Hartford Foundation, The Klingenstein Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Swartz Foundation, and The Simons Foundation for Autism Research. He serves as co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computational Neuroscience and on the editorial boards of several other neuroscience journals, and is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters in areas ranging from pure and applied mathematics to clinical neuroscience.
Mary M. Conte, PhD
Dr. Conte is a Senior Research Associate in the Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College. Working with Dr. Nicholas Schiff over the past six years in his Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation, Dr. Conte has been responsible for EEG data collection in the severely brain-injured patient population. Her research expertise is in the fields of experimental design, implementation and analyses of electrophysiological and psychophysical testing in both clinical and basic research environments. Dr. Conte’s formal training in psychology and biopsychology, has provided the background to contribute to these interesting fields of study. She has a long record of work with Dr. Victor, in studies of human visual perception. This collaboration has included research in several patient populations such as dyslexia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and, most recently, severe brain injury.
Péter B. Forgács, MD
Dr. Forgács is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation, led by Dr. Shiff, part of the Feil Family Brain and Mind Institute, and an Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Division of Clinical Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Investigation in the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior, directed by Dr. Donald Pfaff, at The Rockefeller University.
Dr. Forgács received his MD from the University of Szeged, Hungary (Summa cum Laude). He completed his Medicine Internship and Neurology Residency at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center and his Clinical Neurophysiology/Epilepsy Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Forgács holds dual board certification in Neurology and in Epilepsy by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
His research interest includes characterization of clinical and neurophysiological (EEG) markers of wakeful and sleeping states during recovery of patients with disorders of consciousness. He is also working on developing newer methods to improve detection of covert awareness in patients with loss of purposeful motor functions using time-frequency spectrograms. Dr. Forgács is specifically interested in understanding how altered injury patterns affect recovery mechanisms in patients who had cardiac arrest and underwent therapeutic hypothermia, starting evaluations in the very early stages of brain injury in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Keith Purpura, PhD
Dr. Purpura is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, as well as in the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, all at Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his PhD from Rockefeller University.
Research in Dr. Purpura’s laboratory is organized around two lines of work: 1) Development of a primate model to advance deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the central thalamus (CT) as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of disorders of consciousness resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI). 2) Understanding how the visual system and motor system are integrated to produce visually-guided behavior.
Andrew M. Goldfine, MD
Dr. Goldfine is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Stony Brook University. His clinical expertise is in recovery from stroke and traumatic brain injury, including patients with disorders of consciousness.
His research interests include detection of consciousness in severely brain injured patients, and enhancement of recovery after brain injury through treatment of arousal disorders.
Regarding detection of consciousness, Dr. Goldfine has been collaborating with Drs. Schiff and Victor since 2009. They have developed a system to detect command following in patients with severe brain injury who are unable to communicate in any other way. The approach uses EEG, which can be performed at the bedside. This methodology is now being studied in a multi-center trial funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation.
Dr. Goldfine's research at Stony Brook focuses on a condition called apathy. This is a behavioral disorder in patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury of reduced goal-directed behavior and flattened affect. It is important because it results in patients participating less in rehabilitation, and is associated with worse outcomes. Dr. Goldfine has hypothesized that this is due to dysfunctional brain arousal. Dr. Goldfine is using EEG, PET and MRI brain imaging to determine if this is true, and in parallel, developing clinical trials of agents to treat this condition.
Henning U. Voss, PhD
Dr. Voss is an Associate Professor of Physics in Radiology and Faculty Director of the Pre-Clinical Imaging Division at Weill Cornell’s Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center. He is the recipient of the Nancy M. and Samuel C. Fleming Research Scholar Award. This award supports his work in the imaging of cortical network function in three models of small-scale stroke.
Dr. Voss’s research focuses on the development of functional brain imaging approaches and their clinical and pre-clinical application. With his background in physics and dynamical system modeling, Dr. Voss works in collaboration with biomedical scientists and clinicians. He is currently PI on two research grants related to functional MRI. In addition, over the past nine years Dr. Voss has been responsible for conducting functional MRIs within the presurgical planning program at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Voss’s current research projects includ pre-clinical fMRI/DTI studies in mice and song birds as models for neuronal circuitry and plasticity, imaging network integrity in subjects with severe brain lesions caused by traumatic brain injury and stroke, and the development of optogenetic fMRI as a tool to study the origins of the BOLD response.
Esteban A. Fridman, MD, PhD
Dr. Fridman is a Postdoctoral Associate in Neuroscience in Dr. Schiff’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation. His work with the lab is aimed at developing a biomarker to better define pharmacological interventions to induce recovery in patients with long term impaired consciousness. Specifically, we plan to measure the expression of dopamine receptors and dopamine release using molecular neuroimaging in patients with disorders of consciousness following severe brain injury and in a group of matched controls.
After completing his residency training program in Neurology, his main field of interest was recovery of long term deficits due to stroke and severe brain injury. Dr. Fridman completed a fellowship at the University of Maryland in Neurorehabilitation, where he turned his focus to bringing new therapies to patients with neurological deficits. With this fellowship complete, he reoriented his training to a translational research program at the Division of Intramural Research at the NINDS-NIH, expanding his research to include cortical neurophysiology and neuroimaging in brain damaged patients (HCPS-NINDS and HMCS-NINDS, respectively). Dr. Fridman then returned to Argentina, his home country, as PI of an extramural R01, where he ran a phase II clinical trial that later obtained FDA support for a multicenter phase III clinical trial to treat vegetative and minimally conscious states patients, collaborated with other researchers, mentored local and international students (Fulbright grant), and produced several peer-reviewed publications. To pursue more full-time research, in 2010 Dr. Fridman was awarded with a Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale award to work as a postdoc on plasticity and awareness at the ISC-CNRS in France.
The following year he began his current work with Dr. Schiff as his mentor. Since joining the lab, Dr. Fridman has gained expertise in molecular neuroimaging and was awarded with a CTSC-NIH seed grant. This translational research is essential to shed light into neuropharmacology of vegetative and minimally conscious states where the recently defined goal-standard of treatment lacks of knowledge on the exact biological mechanism underlying its efficacy, a fact that can delay the appearance of more effective therapies for our unfortunate patients and families.
Sudhin A. Shah, PhD
Dr. Shah is an instructor in neuroscience in The Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, and the Scientific Director of TBI / DOC Research Program at Blythedale Children's Hospital.
Her current clinical research builds on previous work as a basic neuroscientist studying corticothalamic contributions to executive functions in the awake behaving non-human primate. In addition, Dr. Shah has conducted experiments aimed at improving arousal regulation and performance on cognitive tasks with central thalamic deep brain stimulation. Her experience includes development of neuro-rehabilitation techniques, in partnership with a start-up medical device company and previous industry experience includes research, development and implementation of engineering systems.
More recently, Dr. Shah’s work has focused on measurements of cognitive reserve and plasticity post-injury using quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) and identifying structural (DTI) and functional (fMRI resting state networks) correlated with recovery of cognitive function in patients recovering from traumatic brain injury. Her research interests focus on mechanisms underlying the recovery and fluctuations of cognitive function as well as externally driven modulation of cognitive function.
Jonathan Lee Baker, PhD
Dr. Baker is a Research Associate in the Brain and Mind Research Institute. His primary collaborations are with Dr. Purpura in the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation and Dr. Esther Gardner at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Zoe Adams is currently a research assistant in the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation. Ms. Adams graduated from Vassar College in May 2015. She holds a B.A. in Classics and also completed the premedical track. Her research focuses on EEG spectral analysis and visual characterization of sleep states in minimally conscious patients. She is currently working on a case report that examines the longitudinal normalization of sleep architecture in an MCS patient who received central thalamic deep brain stimulation. Additionally, she assists Dr. Conte and Dr. Forgacs in data collection during patient studies at The Rockefeller University Hospital and New York Presbyterian's ICU.
Ms. Gottshall is a PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Neuroscience. She is a member of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation.
Her current research focuses on the role of sleep architecture in recovery of consciousness following severe brain injury. She uses EEG spectral analysis as well as other quantitative techniques to identify potential biomarkers of recovery and cognitive functioning. She is also interested in the neurophysiological aspects of memory processing during sleep states and how these functions can be harnessed to drive cognitive and structural recovery of the severely damaged brain.
William H. Curley
Mr. Curley is currently a research assistant in the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation. He graduated from Bates College with a B.S. in Neuroscience in May 2016. His research focuses on the use of EEG to detect covert cognitive reserves in patients with disorders of consciousness. He uses spectral analysis to study the characteristics of responses to motor imagery tasks in both these patients and healthy controls. He also assists in data collection during patient studies at The Rockefeller University Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Jonathan D. Drover, PhD
Dr. Drover is a postdoctoral fellow in the Brain Mind Institute, and is a member of both Dr. Schiff’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation and Dr. Victor’s Division of Systems Neurology and Neuroscience. He holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Drover’s work focuses on how to develop and use mathematical and statistical methods to examine changes that occur in global dynamics during recovery from a severe brain injury. His background and formal training are in mathematics, with a focus on dynamical systems. He aims to design and analyze mathematical models that are derived directly from EEG data recorded from subjects and compare models describing data during different behavioral states to observe the underlying changes in global dynamics.
Alexandra Suppes, PhD
Dr. Suppes is an Adjunct Research Associate in the Division of Medical Ethics, working in close collaboration with Dr. Fins in the Ethics and Policy Center on the psychological processes involved in surrogate decision-making. Together, they are exploring how relational dynamics influence the choices surrogates make for patients, and linguistic cues that health care providers may use to track the wellbeing of surrogates. They are currently conducting a 1-year, prospective study on surrogate coping. She has previously received an NIH CTSC Seed Pilot Grant to study how surrogates of patients with a disorder of consciousness make decisions for these patients. Dr. Suppes has a Ph.D. from Columbia in Psychology where she is currently an Associate Research Scientist.
Maria G. Master, JD, MD
Dr. Master is an Attending Child Psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, a Sackler Fellow in Mother-Infant Psychiatry and an Instructor in Psychiatry in Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is also Attending Psychiatrist at New York City Children’s Center in the Bronx. Dr. Master is a member of Dr. Fins’s Ethics Policy Center.
Dr. Master’s current clinical research related to brain injury is informed by her work as a developmental psychiatrist and examines the impact of family dynamics on the treatment and recovery of patients with disorders of consciousness. She is currently a co-investigator in a research study on neuroethics in the setting of severe brain injury. Previously, she has looked at epidemiological issues related to the minimally conscious state.
Cathleen Acres, BS, BS, MA
Ms. Acres is a Lecturer in Public Health and Administrative Director of Weill Cornell’s Division of Medical Ethics. She also serves as a Research Subject Advocate for the Medical Center's Clinical and Translational Science Center. Ms. Acres's research interests include end-of-life decision-making, ethics case consultation, clinical research ethics and medical ethics education. She has worked with Dr. Fins for over 12 years, and is a member of The Ethics Policy Center.
Ms. Acres received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Nursing from The New York Hospital-Cornell University School of Nursing. She later received an M.A. in Nursing Administration from Columbia University Teacher's College. Ms. Acres spent her years as a nurse in the New York Hospital Burn Center- the last five years as Nurse Manager. She went on to become a Patient Representative at New York Presbyterian Hospital where she specialized in ethics case consultation and end-of-life decision-making.
Meredith Stark, PhD, MS
Dr. Stark is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health’s Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her current research draws upon educational background in fields of bioethics, health psychology, and policy to examine, guard and improve medical decision making from the perspectives of patients, providers and system. In collaboration with Dr. Fins, and The Ethics Policy Center, recent areas of inquiry have included shared decision making and cost-containment, the potential impact on patient decisions of online behavioral targeting and sophisticated marketing of healthcare products and services, and the import of cognitive science for improving physician diagnostic decision making. Dr. Stark is also working on the development of a caregiver website with Ms. Hersh and Dr. Fins.
Jennifer E. Hersh, MBE
Ms. Hersh is the Research Coordinator for the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell and for CASBI and its respective labs. She holds a Master in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Hersh is a co-investigator on a number of projects in both The Ethics Policy Center and the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation.
With Dr. Fins, her work has centered on the family experience of those caring for patients with disorders of consciousness, as well as looking into how they make decisions for these patients. Through interviews she has conducted with these caregivers, Ms. Hersh co-authored a book chapter in Patients as Policy Actors with Dr. Fins, which focuses on the challenges faced by surrogates of patients who cannot advocate on their own behalf. These interviews are also at the heart of Dr. Fins’s forthcoming book, Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics & the Struggle for Consciousness. As part of Dr. Schiff’s lab, Ms. Hersh serves as the direct liaison between the lab and the participating families and patients. Responsible for screening of potential participants and coordination and facilitation of all patient visits, Ms. Hersh works closely with the families as well as Rockefeller University Hospital and other collaborating institutions. Ms. Hersh is working on developing a website for caregivers of severely brain injured patients where they will be able to communicate with and learn from one another and share their experiences with the community at large.
Barbara Pohl, MA
Ms. Pohl is a Research Aide in the Division of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College, and member of The Ethics Policy Center. She holds a Master in Bioethics from New York University where she focused on issues in public health ethics. As part of the division, Ms. Pohl has helped conduct research on surrogates of patients with severe brain injury. She also assists in researching and writing on topics related to neuroethics, palliative care and policies impacting research activities within the academic medical center.
Ms. Mendels is a Research Assistant in the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation. The primary focus of her work is on developing comprehensive data repositories and relational databases for both the laboratory and for the entire eight-center study funded by the James S. McDonnell foundation. She has previously developed an individualized behavioral assessment for testing a patient with a unique communication channel.
Ms. Nauvel is a PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, in the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Biology and Medicine.
Ms. Nauvel uses EEG to study the recovery from severe brain injury, with a focus is on developing quantitative methods to help better identify markers of consciousness. She is working on characterizing changes in global brain dynamics of patients recovering both with time and with the assistance of drugs such as Amantadine and Ambien. In addition, Ms. Nauvel is interested in using graph-theoretical EEG functional networks to develop potential biomarkers for the recovery of consciousness.
Mr. Thengone is a PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Neuroscience. He is a member of Dr. Jonathan Victor’s lab in the division of Systems Neurology and Neuroscience.
His current research uses spectral analysis and other quantitative methods to identify correlates of recovery of brain function, investigating both the architecture of sleep and the response to music in patients with disorders of consciousness. He is also currently using Diffusion Tensor Imaging to track microstructural changes during the recovery from traumatic brain injury.
Mr. Fidali is an MD candidate at Weill Cornell Medical College and a member of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation.
His research focuses on the neurophysiological underpinnings of music perception, and he has worked on an auditory perception study of complex musical rhythms and a magnetoencephalography (MEG) study of hierarchical timing and planning related to musical rhythm. Mr. Fidali is now using video EEG to characterize the responses of patients with disorders of consciousness to both familiar and unfamiliar music. As music processing involves a large network of cortical and sub-cortical areas, his current research provides a unique insight into the field of neurodynamics.
Mr. Braiman is a PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, in the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Biology and Medicine.
He is a member of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation. Mr. Braiman is investigating the EEG response to auditory selective attention tasks. As the auditory system tends to be better preserved following traumatic brain injury, he hopes this method will provide substantial insight into the recovery of neurological function.
Ms. Braiman is a PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, in the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Biology and Medicine. She is a member of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation.
Ms. Braiman’s work involves the biophysics of hearing. She uses experimental and computational approaches to help elucidate how central brain processes can modify the behavior of outer hair cells, the ear’s sensory receptors. She plans to use this research to develop novel auditory paradigms to detect cognitive function in patients who have suffered severe brain injuries.
Ms. Melman is a PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, in the Tri-Institutional Program in Computational Biology and Medicine. She is a member of Dr. Jonathan Victor's lab in the division of Systems Neurology and Neuroscience.
Ms. Melman is interested in improving mathematical techniques to characterize multichannel time series data, such as EEG. Specifically, she is focused on the use of robust statistics to improve estimates of power spectra and coherence of EEG signals in the presence of intermittent and nongaussian noise, which is typical of clinical recordings. She plans to apply the methods to clinical data sets from patients with disorders of consciousness, to allow for more accurate diagnosis and tracking of their behavioral and cognitive states.
Former Lab Members
Shawniqua T. Williams, MD (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Jonathan Bardin, PhD (The Public Goods Project, co-founder)
Erik J. Kobylarz, MD, PhD (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center)
Ayeesha Kamran Kamal, MD (Agha Kahn University Hospital)
Andrew Hudson, MD, PhD (UCLA)
Steven Kalik, PhD (BAE Systems, Inc.)