Ausaf Bari, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, UCLA Neurosurgery
Dr. Bari specializes in the neurosurgical repair and restoration of brain and nerve function. Following his neurosurgery residency training at UCLA, Dr. Bari was awarded the prestigious William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship to train at the world-renowned functional neurosurgery program at the University of Toronto. He has extensive clinical and research experience in the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of both movement and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Bari's clinical practice includes DBS surgery for Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia, depression and OCD. In addition, his clinical practice includes neurosurgery for brain tumors, pain, and peripheral nerve disorders. More >
Evangelia Tsolaki, PhD
Evangelia Tsolaki received her BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Technical University of Crete, Greece, her MS in Biomedical Engineering from the European Postgraduate Programme at University of Patras, Greece and her PhD from the Medical School at University of Thessaly, Greece. Prior joining Dr. Bari’s lab, Evangelia worked at Dr Pouratian’s lab at UCLA as postdoc scholar and then as an Assistant Project Scientist. Her focus is on the investigation of imaging-based biomarkers of therapeutic outcomes and patient-specific targeting of neuromodulatory interventions for chronic pain and psychiatric disorders.
Postdoctoral Scholars/Research Assistant
Josue Moises Avecillas-Chasin MD, PhD
Dr Avecillas-Chasin received his neurosurgical training in Madrid-Spain under the mentorship of Prof Juan Barcia. Then, he was trained in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery in Vancouver-Canada under the mentorship of Prof Christopher Honey. Dr Avecillas-Chasin is focused in the study of the white matter anatomy through the use of tractography and cadaveric dissection. Also, he has experience analyzing the volume of activated tissue of DBS electrodes for movement and psychiatric disorders and this analysis have been coupled with anatomical concepts of white matter anatomy in order to explain the effects of DBS. Currently, Dr Avecillas-Chasin is involved in several research projects to correlate the clinical effects of DBS with the modulation of the main pathways of the basal ganglia, thalamus, and amygdala.
Luigi Gianmaria Remore, MD
Dr. Luigi Gianmaria Remore received his MD degree from the University of Pavia in Italy. He also attended the University School for Advanced Studies (IUSS) in Pavia. After his graduation, he had an Observership in the Functional Neurosurgery Unit at the Toronto Western Hospital. Thereafter, Dr. Remore began his residency training in Neurological Surgery at the University of Milan, Italy. He performed research in clinical neurosurgery, with a particular interest in the application of DBS for movement disorders. Dr. Remore is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at UCLA, Department of Neurosurgery, where he is focusing on the employment of probabilistic tractography to refine the stereotactic targeting of the centromedian nucleus of the thalamus. He is also involved in several research projects aiming at understanding the neurobiological basis underlying DBS for the treatment of psychiatric diseases and epilepsy.
Jihye Rye, PhD
Jihye received her PhD in psychology from Rutgers U in 2019. Her main research focus is on chronic pain - specifically, on how chronic pain emerges and how different pain relief methods impact the limbic system. She approaches this question by examining the electrophysiological signals obtained intraoperatively from patients undergoing an awake DBS surgery, and from epilepsy patients with implanted depth electrodes. Her interests outside of research include parenting, cats, spirituality, and music.
Jacob A. Alderete, MD Candidate
Jacob is a second-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He previously graduated from UCLA with a degree in neuroscience in 2020, where he studied the underlying neural circuitry of opioid pharmacology. His current interests involve better understanding the neural circuitry underlying pain and addiction in humans through the use of implanted neuromodulation or EEG devices. In addition, he is involved in a translational-science study investigating vagal nerve stimulation and deep brain stimulation to treat pain and addiction.
Michael Meir Chodakiewitz, MD Candidate
Michael (Meir) Chodakiewitz is a 4th year medical student at Tel Aviv University with an undergraduate degree from UCLA in Biological Anthropology. He has a deep interest in biotechnology with practical and research experience utilizing novel medical devices in the field of neurodiagnostics and neuromodulation. Michael is committed to researching and developing safer, less-invasive techniques in neurosurgery and neuromodulation to restore function in patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and other functional neurological disorders. His current research endeavors include investigating probabilistic tractography for patient-specific targeting of neural circuits involved in epilepsy, movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, he is actively developing study designs for novel applications of High and Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound, Closed-Loop Deep Brain and Vagus Nerve Stimulation.
Michelle Miller, MD Candidate
Michelle Miller is a 3rd year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She graduated from Princeton University in 2016 with a BA in chemistry, where she was also an academic all-American as a member of the women's basketball team. She is currently working on a project looking at the acute effects of VNS and DBS on impulsivity and reward behaviors in epilepsy patients.
Andrew O'Rourke, MD Candidate
Andrew is a second-year medical student at DGSOM with an undergraduate degree in biomechanical engineering and industry experience in surgical robotics. He is interested in understanding the brain's addiction and reward pathways through behavioral tasks performed in patients with neuromodulation devices and EEG recording devices such as vagal nerve stimulators (placed for epilepsy treatment) and depth electrodes (placed for epilepsy treatment planning).
Ziad Rifi, MD Candidate
Ziad is a 4th year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his undergraduate degree in Molecular & Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, where he completed an honors thesis investigating the cellular mechanisms underlying the sensations of touch, pain, and itch. His clinical interests involve the use of Deep Brain Stimulation for treatment-refractory neurological and psychiatric disorders, including tremor, chronic pain, depression, and addiction. His current work utilizes probabilistic tractography to develop patient-specific targeting techniques for DBS and focused ultrasound procedures with the goal of personalizing neurosurgical care.
Mohamad Karnib is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UCLA studying Neuroscience. He aspires to attend medical school after completing his undergraduate degree and become a physician. Mohamad is particularly interested in the neurocircuitry of addiction and various depressive disorders and is exploring the possibility of using deep-brain stimulation to treat these disorders.
Volunteers/High School Students
Ashley Kim is a high school senior at Marlborough School. She hopes to pursue the cognitive sciences in college and eventually become a neurosurgeon. She is currently interested in anything clinical neuroscience and is hoping to be able to conduct her own research in the future.
Nader Pouratian, MD, PhD, Chair, Dept. of Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center
Saman Hazany, MD, Keck Medicine of USC
John O'Doherty (Caltech)
Ueli Rutishauser (Caltech)
Michelle Basso (UW)
Meskerem Tolossa (Meski) is lab assistant in our lab. She graduated with a B.S in Biomedical Sciences and minor in Chemistry from Western Michigan University. During her undergrad, she did Neurobiology research focused on Neuronal connectivity in the inner ear. Prior to joining our lab, she worked as a medical scribe at UCLA, Department of Neurosurgery.