Nanthia Suthana, PhD

Nanthia Suthana, PhD
Assistant Professor-in-Residence

Hospital Affiliation
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Department of Neurosurgery
PO Box 956901
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6901

Contact: (310) 794-4021


  • B.S., Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles (2005)
  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of California, Los Angeles (2009)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neurophysiology, University of California at Los Angeles, CA (2009-2012)


Dr. Suthana’s research program aims to develop therapeutic cognitive treatments and tools through the characterization of neuronal mechanisms underlying successful human learning and memory. Dr. Suthana has a unique multi-modality background with expertise in Cognitive Neuroscience methodologies including functional magnetic resonance imaging, single neuron and local field potential electrophysiology, electroencephalography, and deep brain stimulation. She has dedicated her career to improving and understanding the brain’s contribution to the formation and retrieval of successful memory. Her research currently works towards the development of a computational model of the human medial temporal memory system that can be incorporated into a novel neuroprosthetic device used to restore memory in afflicted patients. This work is made possible through collaborative efforts between Departments of Engineering, Neurosurgery, Psychology, and Neurology. Inspiring these efforts, her postdoctoral research published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed the ability to enhance spatial memory in epilepsy patients using low current deep brain stimulation of the human entorhinal area applied during learning. For this work, she received a Society for Neuroscience Travel award and a nomination for the UCLA Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research. In addition to Dr. Suthana’s research program, she has been a longtime contributor to local Neuroscience outreach programs. She was previously awarded a National Science Foundation fellowship to work with Los Angeles K-12 schools to incorporate inquiry based lesson plans and Neuroscience topics into the curriculum. She has also organized and facilitated an undergraduate course called Project Brainstorm where students are trained to develop and implement Neuroscience lesson plans in local K-12 schools. During the same years she organized annual Brain Awareness Week programs where hundreds of K-12 students visited the university to participate in laboratory tours, career panels, Neuroscience activities, and brain demos. She also currently organizes a summer journal club for incoming underrepresented Ph.D. students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic fields where presentation skills and critical review of scientific literature are focused upon.


  • T32 (5T90DA022768-08) Cohen (PI) 06/01/07 – 05/31/08 Role: Graduate Fellow
    NINDS/NIH Division of Stroke and Trauma
    “Neuroimaging Fellowship”
  • NSF (0742410) Moldwin (PI) /01/08 – 05/31/09 Role: Graduate Fellow
    NSF GK-12 Fellowship
    “Science Engineering of the Environment, Los Angeles”
  • T32 (5T32NS007449) Chesselet (PI) 06/01/09 – 05/31/11 Role: Post-doctoral Fellow
    NINDS/NIH Division of Stroke and Trauma
    “Neural Repair Fellowship”
  • R01 (1R01NS084017-01) Fried (PI) 7/01/13 – 6/30/18 Role: Co-Investigator
    NINDS/NIH Division of Stroke and Trauma 
    “Memory Enhancement by Deep Brain Stimulation of Entorhinal-hippocampal circuitry in Humans.”
  • DOD DARPA (DARPA-BAA-14-08) Fried (PI) 7/01/13 – 6/30/17 Role: Co-Investigator
    “UCLA Program in Memory Restoration”


  1. UCLA Brain Research Institute Travel Award, Society for Neuroscience, 2012
  2. Fried, I., Suthana, N., Knowlton, B. Title: “Site specific deep brain stimulation for enhancement of memory” International Patent Application No. PCT/US2011/065648, Filing Date: 12/16/2011


PUBLICATIONS (recent articles)

  1. Ekstrom, A., Suthana, N., Salamon, N., Behnke, E., Bookheimer, S.Y., Fried, I. (2008) High-Resolution Depth Electrode Localization and Imaging in Patients with Pharmacologically Intractable Epilepsy. Journalof Neurosurgery 108:812-5
  2. Suthana, N., Ekstrom, A., Moshirvaziri, S., Knowlton B., Bookheimer, S.Y. (2009) Human hippocampal CA1 involvement during allocentric encoding of spatial information.Journal of Neuroscience 29:10512-9
  3. Ekstrom A.D., Suthana N., Millet, D., Fried I., Bookheimer S.Y. (2009) Correlation Between BOLD fMRI and Theta-band Local Field Potentials In the Human Hippocampal Area. Journal of Neurophysiology, 101:2668-78
  4. Ekstrom A.D., Bazih, A., Suthana N., Al-Hakim, R., Ogura, K., Zeineh, M., Burggren, A., Bookheimer S.Y. (2009) Advances in High-resolution Imaging and Computational Unfolding of the Human Hippocampus. Neuroimage, 47:42-9
  5. Donix, M., Burggren, A.B., Suthana, N., Siddarth, P., Ekstrom, A.D., Krupa, A., Jones, M., Martin-Harris, L., Ercoli, L.M., Miller, K.J., Small, G.W., Bookheimer, S.Y. (2010) Family History of Alzheimer’s Disease and Hippocampal Structure in Healthy People. American Journal of Psychiatry167:1399-406.
  6. Suthana, N., Krupa, A., Donix, M., Burggren, A.B., Ekstrom, A.D., Jones, M., Ercoli, L.M., Miller, K.J., Siddarth, P., Small, G.W., Bookheimer, S.Y. (2010) Reduced hippocampal CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus activity in asymptomatic people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease. Neuroimage, 53:1077-84
  7. Burggren A.C., Renner B., Jones M., Donix M., Suthana N., Martin-Harris L., Ercoli L.M., Miller K.J., Siddarth P., Small G.W., Bookheimer S.Y. (2011) Cortical thinning in entorhinal and subicular cortex predicts decline in episodic memory performance in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 956053
  8. Suthana, N., Ekstrom, A., Moshirvaziri, S., Knowlton B., Bookheimer, S.Y. (2011) Dissociations within Human Hippocampal Subregions during Encoding and Retrieval of Spatial Information. Hippocampus, 21:694-701.
  9. Staba, R., Ekstrom, A., Suthana, N., Burggren, A., Fried, I, Engel, J. Jr., Bookheimer, S. (2012) Gray matter loss correlates with mesial temporal lobe neuronal hyperexcitability inside the human seizure onset zone. Epilepsia, 53:25-34
  10. Suthana, N., Haneef, Z., Stern, J., Mukamel, R., Behnke, E., Knowlton, B., Fried, I. (2012) Memory Enhancement and Deep Brain Stimulation of Entorhinal Area. New England Journal of Medicine, 366:502-510
  11. Kern, K., Ekstrom, A., Suthana, N., Giesser, B., Montag, M., Arshanapalli, A., Bookheimer, S., Sicotte, N. (2012) Fornix damage limits verbal memory. Neuroimage, 59:2932-40
  12. Romero-Calderón, R., O'Hare, E., Suthana, N., Scott-Van Zeeland, A., Rizk-Jackson, A., Attar, A., Madsen, S., Ghiani, C., Evans, C., Watson, J. (2012) Project Brainstorm: Using Neuroscience To Connect College Students with Local Schools. PLoS Biology 10:e1001310
  13. Suthana, N., Fried, I. (2012) Percepts to recollections: Insight from single neuron recordings in the human brain.  Trends in Cognitive Science, 16:427-36, Review
  14. Jacobs, J., Weidemann, C., Miller, J., Solway, A., Burke, J., Wei, X., Suthana, N., Sperling, M., Sharan, A., Fried, I., Kahana, M. (2013) Direct recordings of grid-like neuronal activity in human spatial navigation. Nature Neuroscience 16:1188-90.
  15. Suthana, N., Fried, I. (2014) Deep Brain Stimulation for Enhancement of Learning and Memory. Review. Neuroimage 85:996-1002, Review

See my PubMed Publications