Vasileios Kokkinos, PhD

Research Instructor

Vasileios Kokkinos




Vasileios Kokkinos, PhD, joined the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery in 2017 as a research instructor. He received the diploma of electrical and computer engineering and the MSc in hardware-software integrated systems from the Engineering School of the University of Patras, Greece, in 1998 and 2001 respectively.

After working for a few years in the microelectronics industry, he shifted his interest towards the brain. He was enrolled in the graduate program of the Medical School of the University of Patras and received the MSc in basic medical sciences: neurosciences in 2003, completing a thesis on the neurophysiology of the rat hippocampus. During the same period, he attended the undergraduate program of the Philosophy Department of the University of Patras, from which he graduated in 2005, with a thesis on neuroscience-derived theories of mind on visual perception. He was accepted in the neurological sciences graduate program at McGill University, completed a thesis on the neurophysiology of human eye-head motor coordination, and graduated in 2007.

Under the supervision of George K. Kostopoulos, MD, PhD, he joined the neurophysiology unit of the Medical School of the University of Patras and completed a PhD thesis on the neurophysiology of normal human sleep in 2010. One year of his PhD training (2008-09) was devoted to an intense and highly specialized training in epilepsy at the National Society for Epilepsy, in London, England, where he was offered a training/research fellowship on fMRI and EEG-fMRI for presurgical evaluation of epilepsy, under the supervision of John S. Duncan, MD, PhD, and Louis Lemieux, PhD. During the same time, he was accepted in the graduate course on epileptology at King’s College in London, from which he graduated in 2009 with distinction, completing a thesis on invasive electrical cortical stimulation for patients undergoing epilepsy surgery under the supervision of Gonzalo Alarcon, MD, PhD, and Antonio Valentin, MD, PhD. He also attended the research team of the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsies at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London where he was trained in pediatric and adult epileptic EEG by Chrysostomos P. Panayiotopoulos, MD, PhD, and Michalis Koutroumanidis, MD, PhD.

From 2009 to 2016 he was head of neurophysiology and neuroimaging of the epilepsy program at St. Luke’s Hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece—a clinical appointment requiring constant collaboration and coordination between the neurology, radiology and neurosurgery departments. His responsibilities in the pediatric and adult epilepsy program at St. Luke’s Hospital included the performance and supervision of procedures during both the non-invasive (video-EEG, MRI, fMRI, EEG-fMRI, DTI-tractography) and the invasive phases (acute and chronic ECoG, cortical electrical stimulation, neuronavigation) of the pre-surgical evaluation and surgical treatment protocol.

From 2010 to 2017 he held a post-doctoral fellowship position at the neurophysiology unit of the University of Patras Medical School under the mentorship of Dr. Kostopoulos, with a focus on the neurophysiologic relations of sleep and epilepsy. He completed a second PhD thesis on neurophysiological features of focal and generalized epileptic syndromes of childhood in 2016.

In 2017, he was recruited as a lead neurophysiologist for epilepsy research at the University of Pittsburgh. He actively supports the presurgical sEEG implantation planning processes of the University of Pittsburgh Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Sleep and epilepsy neurophysiology; functional neuroimaging; presurgical evaluation and sEEG/ECoG planning for epilepsy.

Board Certifications

R PSG T, Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists
R EEG T, American Board of Registered Electroencephalographic Technologists
Electrical and Computer Engineer, Technical Chamber of Greece

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Presbyterian

Professional Organization Membership

American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
American Epilepsy Society
International League Against Epilepsy (Greek Chapter)
Society for Neuroscience (Greek Chapter)
Technical Chamber of Greece 

Education & Training

Diploma ECE, University of Patras, 1998
MSCE, University of Patras, 2001
MMedSci, University of Patras, 2003
BSc, Philosophy, University of Patras, 2005
MNeuroSci, McGill University, 2007
MSc, King’s College London, 2009
Training/research fellowship, University College, London, 2009
PhD, University of Patras, 2010
PhD, University of Patras, 2016
Post-doctoral research fellowship, University of Patras, 2017

Honors & Awards

Best Presentation Award, Third Place, Greek ILAE Chapter, 2017
Best Presentation Award, Second Place, Greek ILAE Chapter, 2014
Best Presentation Award, First Place, Greek ILAE Chapter, 2011
Best Presentation Award, Second Place, Greek ILAE Chapter, 2009
Best Presentation Award, Second Place, Greek SfN Chapter, 2007
Best Design Award, Second Place, Mentor Graphics/Sun Microsystems, 2002
Best Design Award, First Place, Europractice, 2002

Selected Publications

Kokkinos V, Koupparis A, Koutroumanidis M, Kostopoulos GK. Spatiotemporal propagation patterns of generalized ictal spikes in childhood absence epilepsy. Clinical Neurophysiology 128:1553-1562, 2017.

Kokkinos V, Koupparis AM, Kostopoulos GK. An intra-K-complex oscillation with independent and labile frequency and topography in NREM sleep. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7:163, 2013.

Koupparis AM, Kokkinos V, Kostopoulos GK. Spindle power is not affected after spontaneous K-complexes during human NREM sleep. PLoS One, 8(1):e54343, 2013.

Kokkinos V, Alarcon G, Selway RP, Valentin A. Role of single pulse electrical stimulation (SPES) to guide electrode implantation under general anaesthesia in presurgical assessment of epilepsy. Seizure. 22(3):198-204, 2013.

Koutroumanidis M, Tsiptsios D, Kokkinos V, Kostopoulos GK. Focal and generalized EEG paroxysms in childhood absence epilepsy: Topographic associations and distinctive behaviors during the first cycle of non-REM sleep. Epilepsia 53(5):849-849, 2012.

Kokkinos V, Kostopoulos GK. Human NREM stage II sleep spindles are blocked upon spontaneous K-complex coincidence and resume as higher frequency spindles afterwards. Journal of Sleep Research 20(1 Pt 1):57-72, 2011.

Chaudhary UJ, Kokkinos V, Carmichael D, Rodionov R, Gasston D, Duncan JS, Lemieux L. Implementation and evaluation of simultaneous video-electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 28(8):1192-1199, 2010.

Kokkinos V, Koutroumanidis M, Tsatsou K, Koupparis A, Tsiptsios D, Panayiotopoulos CP. Multifocal spatiotemporal distribution of interictal EEG activity in Panayiotopoulos syndrome. Clinical Neurophysiology 121(6):859-869, 2010.

Kokkinos V, Koupparis A, Stavrinou ML, Kostopoulos GK. The Hypnospectrogram: an EEG power spectrum based means to concurrently overview the macroscopic and microscopic architecture of human sleep. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 185(1):29-38, 2009.

Koutroumanidis M, Tsiptsios D, Kokkinos V, Lysitsas K, Tsiropoulos I. Generalized spike-wave discharges and seizures with focal transformation: mechanisms in absence (CAE) and myoclonic (JME) IGEs. Epilepsia50(10):2326-2329, 2009.

Research Activities

The primary focus of Dr. Kokkinos’ work has been the responsive neurostimulator (RNS)—an alternative treatment for patients who suffer from epileptic seizures, but are refractory to both anti-epileptic medication and surgery. Even though Class IV evidence strongly supports RNS as a provider of improved seizure control and quality of life for refractory epilepsy patients, no stimulation-induced electrophysiological biomarkers have been described for differentiating responders from non-responders. His findings show that indirect modulation of the electrographic ictal patterns may correspond to the progressive nature of documented responsiveness to RNS. Chronic electrical stimulation may progressively disrupt the connectivity of the epileptogenic network by reducing the core synchronized population, resulting in less severe or subclinical seizure manifestation.

Media Appearances