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Meet Our Team
Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Neuroimaging (LONN)
Nanthia Suthana, Ph.D., Director
Nanthia Suthana is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science and Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Suthana completed her graduate training in the UCLA Neuroscience interdepartmental Ph.D. program with Drs. Susan Bookheimer and Barbara Knowlton. She then went on to complete her postdoctoral training in the Department of Neurosurgery with Dr. Itzhak Fried prior to joining faculty in 2014. Dr. Suthana’s research focuses on development of invasive and non-invasive methodologies that can restore cognitive functions such as learning and memory and characterization of brain changes associated with successful and unsuccessful learning and memory. Dr. Suthana is also and Friend’s Scholar and currently the Associate Director of the Neuromodulation Division at UCLA. She also serves as the Director of postdoctoral outreach and educational programs for the UCLA Brain Research Institute.
Zahra M. Aghajan, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
Zahra Aghajan obtained her PhD in physics from UCLA under the supervision of Dr. Mayank R. Mehta, conducting a comparative study of the rodent hippocampal activity in real and virtual environments. Her research interests are investigating the neural correlates of spatial representation and the underlying mechanisms of learning and memory
Emily Mankin, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
Emily Mankin works on understanding the neural mechanisms of memory and developing therapeutics for memory impairment. She is looking at memory enhancement during sleep as well as exploring whether brain stimulation during sleep may be effective for enhancing memory.
Ali Titiz, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
Ali Titiz completed his PhD in the laboratories of Gregory Holmes, MD, and Rod Scott, MD, PhD, at Dartmouth. His thesis work investigated the impact of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) on memory consolidation processes in the rat and the human hippocampus. Dr. Titiz studies how sleep may contribute to memory processing in patients with TLE. He also investigates the mechanisms responsible for the memory improvements observed following deep-brain stimulation.
Natalia Tchemodanov, Predoctoral Student
Natalia is a Neuroengineering PhD student currently working in the lab and in collaboration with Dr. Itzhak Fried and Dr. Dario Ringach. Her interests are in the relationship between neuronal activity and higher-order functions such as decision-making and spatial navigation. She is interested in the analysis of single neuron and local field potential data and developing closed-loop neural decoding methods for optimized, real-time classification of visual stimuli and interpretation of volition, with potential applications to prosthetics and brain-machine interfaces.
Tony Fields, B.S., Senior Development Engineer
For over 18 years Tony Fields has provided his expertise in electronics and innovative computer solutions to the depth electrode implantation clinical and research program.
Michael Jenkins, B.S., MCSE, Neuroscience Engineering Manager
Michael Jenkins is the Neuroscience Engineering Manager at UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine. He is a highly decorated US Air Force campaign veteran with extensive experience in Infrastructure, IT Management and Systems/Network Administration. He holds a B.S., in Computer Science from Liberty University and is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). He is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration at Webster University.
Michelle Tran, B.S., Laboratory Manager
Michelle brings her previous experience working on biomarkers of early-onset Alzheimer’s along with a degree in Neuroscience to the lab. She currently manages all neuronal recordings with epilepsy patients utilizing depth electrodes for seizure monitoring.