Students

Thomas Campbell Arnold

Ph.D Student

My research has two primary areas, epilepsy neuroimaging and outpatient applications of low-field MRI. My primary focus in epilepsy neuroimaging is volumetric analyses and image segmentation. My goal is to develop automated pipelines that can assist clinicians in the management of epilepsy surgical patients. Within low-field MRI, my focus is on evaluating these novel devices for clinical applications. My goal is to broaden access to medical imaging by demonstrating the utility of these devices across a range of pathologies.

tcarnold@seas.upenn.edu

John Bernabei

M.D/Ph.D Student

I focus on developing computational tools to improve the care of neurosurgical patients. These efforts include developing quantitative biomarkers that can localize the epileptogenic zone and potentially guide epilepsy surgery, as well as systems for automating the analysis of scalp EEG in the neurocritical care unit. To accomplish these goals, we leverage methods from graph theory, machine learning, and quantitative neuroimaging. My current project aims to better understand the manifestations of epilepsy in the brain’s underlying activity and connectivity using an intracranial EEG atlas we have developed.

John.Bernabei@​uphs.upenn.edu

Peter Galer

Ph.D Student

The focus of my research is finding novel methods to create longitudinal models of epilepsy, integrating data from electronic health records (EHR), genomics, and imaging utilizing data from both the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. I am currently using natural language processing, computational phenotyping, and semantic similarity analysis to extract and analyze this data. My research aims to produce tools that can predict genetic etiology and future disease presentations, as well as identify novel genes and optimal treatments in individuals with a variety of epilepsy conditions. In the future, I hope to integrate wearables and more complex machine learning models to create more comprehensive models of epilepsy disorders that may lead to more accurate and translational precision medicine tools for both clinician and patient.

galerp@seas.upenn.edu

Nina Ghosn

Ph.D Student

I am interested in the use of neuromodulation therapy for patients with medically refractory
epilepsy. Specifically, I am interested in the application of computational methods to model
optimal stimulation parameters based on electrophysiological biomarkers and changes in
patient behavior. I am also interested in better understanding the behavioral, psychological,
and physiological drivers of seizure risk, and how these triggers can be integrated into a closed-
loop system for the treatment of epilepsy.

nghosn3@seas.upenn.edu

Georgios Mentzelopoulos

Ph.D Student

Georgios (George) Mentzelopoulos is a Ph.D student in the Department of Bioengineering. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, earning his Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering in April 2020.

He is interested in improving neural interfaces with both the peripheral and the central nervous systems. He is currently assisting the development of dry, super-nyquist density EEG arrays to investigate the prospect of phase-guided neuromodulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation. He is also assisting the development of EMG arrays to improve the neural interface of upper and lower limb prostheses.

In his free time, George enjoys tasting local brews, playing volleyball, and reading.

View Georgios' CV

gment@seas.upenn.edu

Brendan Murphy

Ph.D Student, Smit Scholar

Brendan's primary focuses lie in the design, fabrication, and characterization of wearable biopotential recording devices based on the highly conductive 2D nanomaterial titanium carbide MXene (Ti3C2Tx). His published work includes an MXene-based high-density surface electromyography (HDsEMG) array for improved EMG recording compared to clinical standards. His current research explores MXene-based electrodes for electrocardiography (ECG), with a specific focus on benchmarking their performance under motion artifact tasks compared to state-of-the-art clinical electrodes. Much of Brendan's work incorporates traditional materials science and electrochemical characterization techniques, such as Raman spectroscopy, XRD, impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry.

View Brendan's CV

bremu@seas.upenn.edu

Akash Pattnaik

Ph.D Student

The unpredictability of seizure occurrence remains one of the largest sources of disease burden on persons with epilepsy. Using a rich dataset of intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG) recordings from epilepsy patients, we seek to understand what factors may increase one’s susceptibility for seizures, and what patterns of brain signals may indicate an oncoming seizure. We use network neuroscience methods and Hidden Markov models to model seizure risk and ultimately seek to develop a warning system that gives epilepsy patients control over their seizures in normal, daily-life
settings

View Akash's CV

pattnaik@seas.upenn.edu

Andre Revell

M.D/Ph.D Student

Andre.Revell@​pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Brittany Scheid

Ph.D Student

My research is focused on improving electrical neurostimulation therapy for patients with epilepsy by combining modeling techniques from the field of control theory with clinical insights and intracranial device recordings. I am currently interested in finding biomarkers that can better guide neurostimulator placement and algorithms for intervention.

View Brittany's CV

bscheid@seas.upenn.edu

Sneha Shankar

Ph.D Student

Sneha Shankar
I am interested in developing new technologies to investigate and treat neurological disorders. Through translational research I hope to better understand disorder dynamics and design multimodal strategies to observe and modulate circuits in the brain.

snehas1@seas.upenn.edu

Placid Unegbu

Ph.D Student

My primary research interest is centered around closed-loop neuromodulation devices that use biomolecules as a biomarker.

View Placid's CV

punegbu@seas.upenn.edu

Kevin Xie

Ph.D Student

I am interested in the intersection of computer science and healthcare, specifically the use of machine learning to improve medical therapy and diagnostics. Currently, I am applying Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods to teach machines to read, understand, and extract clinical information from physician progress and discharge notes, with Epilepsy as an experimental lever. I plan to develop algorithms to support clinical decision-making, conduct clinical trials, and replicate critical works.

View Kevin's CV

kevinxie@seas.upenn.edu

Yuzhang Chen

Ph.D Student

I'm interested in using novel electrode technologies to study the cellular mechanisms of seizure initiation, propagation, and termination in vivo and ex vivo. Through performing multimodal analysis, I hope to uncover new biomarkers for seizures and then optimize electrical stimulation patterns to acutely terminate seizures. I also hope to uncover the cellular identity of neurons responsible for early seizure termination in vivo.

View Yuzhang's CV

yuzhangc@​pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Royce Dong

M.D/Ph.D Student 

I grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2020 with a B.A. in Physics and Chemistry. I plan to get my MD/Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Penn. My research interests include developing novel materials and technologies for neural interfaces.

View Royce's CV

royce.dong@​pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Jal Panchal

Master's Student

I am a 2nd year ROBO MSE student pursuing my Master’s thesis at the Litt Lab. I specialize in making non-invasive wearable devices and biomedical signal processing. My focus during the thesis will be on identification of physiological biomarkers using wearable devices for the detection of different brain states and seizure activity.

View Jal's CV

jalp@seas.upenn.edu

Jakob Michiels

Master's Student

My research is focused on improving the efficacy of convection-enhanced delivery for intracerebral drug delivery applications. I am interested in developing automated support and monitoring systems that increase procedural consistency and help identify key CED characteristics that contribute to infusate reflux.

jakobm@seas.upenn.edu

Yingqi Qiang

Master's Student

My interest is to use novel materials and advanced nanofabrication technologies to develop optical, electrical, and chemical neural interfaces for basic neuroscience research and translational applications.

yingqiq@seas.upenn.edu

Eli Cornblath

M.D/Ph.D Student

Eli.Cornblath@pennmedicine.upenn.edu