Brain

Research Laboratories

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery operates a number of specialized research laboratories, each focusing on a unique area. These laboratories include:

Brain Modulation Laboratory
The Brain Modulation Laboratory, directed by R. Mark Richardson, MD, PhD, is a human systems neuroscience lab that studies brain electrophysiology, cognition, imaging, and histopathology in patients undergoing surgery for epilepsy and movement disorders.

Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy Laboratory
The Brain Tumor Biology and Therapy Laboratory, under the direction of Sameer Agnihotri, PhD, studies pediatric and adult high-grade gliomas (HGG) and diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG).

Brain Tumor Evolution & Therapy Laboratory
The Laboratory of Brain Tumor Evolution & Therapy, under the direction of Baoli Hu, PhD, studies the genetic and epigenetic events contributing to the evolution of brain tumors.

Cerebral Aneurysm Research Lab
The Cerebral Aneurysm Research Lab, led by resident Kamil W. Nowicki, MD, PhD, studies the molecular pathways underlying cerebral aneurysm formation in order to induce repair and prevent rupture.

Cognitive Neurodynamics Laboratory
The Laboratory of Cognitive Neurodynamics, under the direction of Avniel Ghuman, PhD, studies how our brain turns what falls upon our eyes into the rich meaningful experience that we perceive in the world around us.

Dixon Traumatic Brain Injury
The Dixon Traumatic Brain Injury, under the direction of C. Edward Dixon, MD, conducts research leading to improved care of traumatic brain injury patients.

Fiber Tractography Lab
The Fiber Tractography Lab—under the direction of Frank Yeh, PhD—is focused on the application of High-Definition Fiber Tractography for presurgical planning and intraoperative navigation to facilitate brain function preservation.

Neuroapoptosis Laboratory
The Neuroapoptosis Laboratory, under the direction of Robert Friedlander, MD, studies the basic mechanisms of apoptosis, as mediated by the caspase apoptotic family in neurologic diseases.

Pediatric Neurosurgery ImmunoOncology Laboratory
The Pediatric Neurosurgery ImmunoOncology Laboratory (PNIO), under the direction of Gary Kohanbash, PhD, seeks to develop novel immuno-oncology approaches to treat deadly pediatric central nervous system tumors.

Sen Brain Trauma Laboratory
The focus of the Sen Brain Trauma Laboratory, directed by Nilkantha Sen, PhD, is to elucidate the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for numerous secondary mechanisms associated with traumatic brain injury.

Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab
The Surgical Neuroanatomy Lab (SNL), under the direction of Paul Gardner, MD, has a dual educational and research role aiming to improve surgical techniques and outcomes by mastering knowledge of relevant surgical neuroanatomy.