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 Our Team

Ohio State’s Center for Neuromodulation was established in 2009 as a Center within the Comprehensive Brain and Spine Center to create a globally leading, interdisciplinary clinical, research, and innovation team. The neuromodulation team comprises over 40 specialists. Dr. Rezai and team members are international leaders at the forefront of scientific discoveries and innovations in neuromodulation, such as development of MRI-compatible neurostimulators, an MRI guided brain pacemaker implantation technique, closed loop sensing and monitoring, and an external handheld neuromodulation device to treat headaches. The team is among the first in the world with clinical trials for psychiatric disorders, traumatic brain injury, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, addictions, autism, quadriplegia, chronic pain, back pain, headaches, heart failure, and other conditions. The team’s work is published extensively in scientific and clinical journals as well as peer presentations across the world.

Ali Rezai, MD

Director, Comprehensive Brain and Spine Center
Director, Center for Neuromodulation
Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Chair in Neuromodulation
Associate Dean of Neurosciences
Professor, Neurosurgery and Neuroscience

A board certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Rezai’ s clinical areas of expertise are the neurosurgical management of patients with severe movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor, psychiatric conditions such as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, traumatic brain injury and chronic pain.

Dr. Rezai’s research focuses on mechanisms of neurostimulation, delineation of abnormal brain circuitry underlying disease processes, as well as developing neuromodulation devices and novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of neurological disorders. He has been involved in pioneering work involving the use of brain pacemakers for treating Parkinson’s disease, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and traumatic brain injury. His current research focuses on developing neuromodulation therapies to treat migraine headaches, asthma, addictions, Alzheimer’s, obesity, post-traumatic stress disorders and autism.

Dr. Rezai has received the Bottrell Neurosurgical Award, Congress of Neurological Surgeons Clinical Fellowship award, and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons William Sweet Investigator Award. He has also received several innovation awards, including the 2011 Columbus Business First innovator of the year, achievement of the year award for health and Medicine from Northern Ohio Live magazine, Cleveland Clinic innovator of the year award, and NorTech annual Innovation award. He was also featured in Crains’ Who’s Who in Biotech. Dr. Rezai holds 35 issued US patents for medical devices and technologies.

Punit Agrawal, DO

Assistant Professor, Neurology

Dr. Agrawal has specific clinical interest in the use of deep brain stimulation therapy for the treatment of approved movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor and primary dystonia. He also is trained in and practices treatment of focal dystonia with botulinum toxin therapy. He is involved in clinical research trials for movement disorders and neuromodulation.

Marcia Bockbrader, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Some of Dr. Bockbrader’s clinical interests include acute inpatient neurorehabilitation after central nervous system injury from stroke, traumatic brain injury, cancer or spinal cord injury. Her research areas include recreational therapy interventions to enhance the rehabilitation process; neuromodulation to improve function and quality of life for patients with disabilities; and innovative ways to use technology in neurorehabilitation and education.

Jennifer Bogner, PhD, ABPP

Vice-Chair, Research and Academic Affairs, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

One of Dr. Bogner’s areas of research is the study of factors that are associated with long-term outcomes following traumatic brain injury. She is the co-principal investigator of the Ohio Regional TBI Model System, which is a longitudinal study that follows individuals for many years after their injury to find out what factors determine the best outcomes. Dr. Bogner is also interested in the study of self-regulation deficits, particularly as they relate to substance use disorders after brain injury.

Anthony Caparso, PhD

Senior Research Scientist, Neuroscience

Dr. Caparso received his master’s degree in biomedical engineering with an emphasis in neural stimulation from Case Western Reserve University.

Barbara Changizi, MD

Assistant Professor, Neurology

Dr. Changizi cares for patients in the Movement Disorders Division of the Department of Neurology, where she treats a variety of movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonian syndromes, tremor (including essential tremor, multiple sclerosis tremor), dystonia, ataxia, and Tourette’s Syndrome. She is an expert in botulinum toxin administration for dystonia, tremor, tics and hemifacial spasm. She also has an interest in normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), and evaluates patients for a curative surgical treatment of ventriculoperitoneal shunts.

John D. Corrigan, PhD, ABPP

Director, Rehabilitation Psychology
Director, Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

Dr. Corrigan is the project director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, a multi-center, longitudinal research program funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. He chairs the Executive Committee of the TBI Model Systems Project Directors.

Milind Deogaonkar, MBBS

Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery

Dr. Deogaonkar’s clinical areas of interests are deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease; movement disorders; spinal cord stimulation for pain; peripheral nerve stimulation for pain; and intrathecal pumps for spasticity. His current research resides in neuromodulation, neural circuitry and functional neuroimaging.

Lynne Gauthier, PhD

Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Lynne Gauthier, PhD, has made significant inroads in finding collaborators and obtaining funding to support a research program that uses neuroimaging techniques to study the clinical efficacy of constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy), which is used to treat hemiparesis resulting from stroke, cerebral palsy and brain injury. In addition, she works with individuals who have experienced brain injuries to aid them in overcoming emotional and physical challenges that can accompany recovery.

Timothy Goble, PhD

Deep Brain Stimulation Neurophysiologist
Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Goble specializes in human and animal neuromodulation research. He is a core investigational team member to Investigational Device Exemption protocols for new applications of the DBS procedure.

Liang Guo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Neuroscience

Dr. Guo’s research areas focus on neural interfacing technology, neural prosthetics, biotronic engineering and biological cyber-physical systems (bioCPS). His doctoral research with Professor Stephen P. DeWeerth focused on the development of high-density stretchable microelectrode arrays for neural and muscular surface interfacing.

Michael Knopp, MD, PhD

Vice Chair, Research, Radiology
Novartis Chair of Imaging Research
Director, Wright Center of Innovation in Biomedical Imaging
Professor, Radiology
Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Neuroscience

Dr. Knopp is experienced in developing and validating new imaging methodologies with a special interest in magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, and safety. His scientific focus has been imaging of angiogenesis and response assessment. His current research focus is on functional and molecular hybrid imaging based assessment as well as validation of imaging methodologies as biomarkers.

W. Jerry Mysiw, MD

Director and Chair, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Medical Director, Dodd Rehabilitation
Bert C. Wiley Chair, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Co-Director, Traumatic Brain Injury Program
Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

In addition to his clinical interests in the rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injury and electromyography, Dr. Mysiw’s research has focused on improving outcome after traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

Randy J. Nelson, PhD

Director and Chair, Neuroscience
Director, Brain Research Institute
Dr. John D. and E. Olive Brumbaugh Chair in Brain Research and Teaching
Professor, Psychology and Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

Dr. Nelson’s research program addresses the effects of interactions among the nervous, endocrine and immune systems on health. He has published more than 300 research articles and several books describing studies in seasonality, behavioral endocrinology, biological rhythms, stress, immune function, sex behavior and aggressive behavior. His current studies examine the effects of light at night on metabolism, mood, inflammation and behavior.

Bradley A. Otto, MD

Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Otto’s area of expertise includes the medical and surgical management of sinus disease as well as minimally invasive skull base surgery. As a member of the Comprehensive Skull Base Surgery Center, Dr. Otto is also interested in the development of new techniques and devices to treat complex skull base disorders.

Douglas Scharre, MD

Director, Division of Cognitive Neurology
Medical Director, Neurobehavior and Memory Disorders Clinics
Medical Director, Forest Hills Center for Alzheimer's
Director, Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Tissue and Cerebrospinal Repository
Associate Professor of Neurology

Dr. Scharre conducts clinical research in dementia and mild cognitive impairment that have been funded by National Institutes of Health, foundations and industry. He has many active grants including clinical drug trials using cognitive enhancers and behavioral therapies; functional neuroimaging studies using SPECT and MRI; and screening for mild cognitive impairment and early dementia diagnosis.

Per Sederberg, PhD

Assistant Professor, Computational Memory Lab

Dr. Sederberg’s primary interests are the successes and failures of human memory. These interests motivate the work in the Computational Memory Lab, which has the overarching goal of developing a comprehensive theory of memory formation and retrieval that links the rich cognitive behavior to its underlying neural mechanisms.

Alexander Taghva, MD

Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery

Dr. Taghva’s primary clinical interest is in the neuromodulation of movement and psychiatric disorders by deep brain stimulation.  He is a co-investigator on an ongoing trial studying deep brain stimulation in patients with traumatic brain injury and a co-author on an FDA Investigational Device Exemption for deep brain stimulation in obesity.

Zachary M. Weil, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neuroscience

Dr. Weil’s current research interests include basic and translational neuroscience that focuses on how environmental and temporal variables can interact with the immune, autonomic and neuroendocrine systems to control physiology and behavior. Additionally, he is focusing on how environmental variables can render organisms differentially susceptible to nervous system injuries and how these types of phenomena can be studied to help develop treatments for human diseases.

James Young, MD

Assistant Professor-Clinical, Psychiatry

Dr. Young’s research focuses on the treatment of psychological, psychiatric and nervous disorders. One area involves transcranial magnetic stimulation, using magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. Another research area involves electroconvulsive therapy, which uses electrical currents to cause changes in brain chemistry in an effort to reverse symptoms of some mental illnesses.

Nicole A. Young, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Neuroscience

Dr. Young’s research areas include motor deficits and recovery of motor function, and affective neuroscience (fear and anxiety). She is currently developing a method for flow fractionator for cell counting in homogenized neural tissue using flow cytometry.​​​​​

Dina Aziz, MSHS, CCRP

Director of Research

Ms. Aziz has more than 10 years of clinical research experience covering different aspects of research including coordination and development of national tissue repositories; clinical trials management; research compliance and auditing; and regulatory affairs. She has extensive expertise with the execution and management of investigator-sponsored investigational new drug applications and investigational device exemptions, participating in several industry and institutional review board audits, and ensuring compliance of all research activities.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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