Witold Lipski, PhD

  • Research Instructor

Witold Lipski, PhD received his undergraduate education in physics at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He completed his doctoral degree in neuroscience at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied the neurophysiological mechanisms involved in the effects of stress on motivated behavior. There, he also became interested in the therapeutic mechanisms of deep brain stimulation (DBS), and investigated the behavioral and physiological effects of DBS in a rat model of obsessive compulsive disorder.

In 2013, he joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery as a post-doctoral scientist, where he helped establish a basic research program aimed at understanding the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor and the therapeutic action of DBS in these disorders. He was also involved in studies aimed at examining the network dynamics leading to seizures in epilepsy, and answering other basic research questions using neurophysiological recordings in epilepsy patients undergoing intracranial seizure monitoring.

After joining the department as a research instructor in 2017, Dr. Lipski has continued to use his expertise in neurophysiological recording and systems neuroscience to pursue both basic science and clinical research questions.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Basal ganglia contributions to production of speech and language; neural network dynamics in epilepsy; neurophysiological mechanism of motivated behavior.

Professional Organization Membership

Society for Neuroscience
Society for the Neurobiology of Language

Education & Training

  • BA, Physics, Colby College, 2000
  • PhD, Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 2011

Selected Publications

Lipski WJ, Alhourani A, Pirnia T, Jones PW, Dastolfo-Hromack C, Helou LB, Crammond DJ, Shaiman S, Dickey MW, Holt LL, Turner RS, Fiez JA, Richardson RM. Subthalamic Nucleus Neurons Differentially Encode Early and Late Aspects of Speech Production. J Neurosci 38(24):5620-5631, 2018.

Lipski WJ, Wozny TA, Alhourani A, Kondylis ED, Turner RS, Crammond DJ, Richardson RM. Dynamics of human subthalamic neuron phase-locking to motor and sensory cortical oscillations during movement. J Neurophysiol 118(3):1472-1487, 2017.

Wozny TA, Lipski WJ, Alhourani A, Kondylis ED, Antony A, Richardson RM. Effects of hippocampal low-frequency stimulation in idiopathic non-human primate epilepsy assessed via a remote-sensing-enabled neurostimulator. Exp Neurol 294:68-77, 2017.

Alhourani A, Korzeniewska A, Wozny TA, Kondylis E, Lipski WJ, Crammond D, Richardson RM. Movement-Related Dynamics of Beta Band Causal Interactions Between Subthalamic Nucleus and Sensorimotor Cortex Revealed Through Intraoperative Recordings in Parkinson's Disease. Neurosurgery 63 Suppl 1:182, 2016.

Kondylis ED, Randazzo MJ, Alhourani A, Lipski WJ, Wozny TA, Pandya Y, Ghuman AS, Turner RS, Crammond DJ, Richardson RM. Movement-related dynamics of cortical oscillations in Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. Brain 139(8):2211-23, 2016.

Kondylis ED, Randazzo MJ, Alhourani A, Wozny TA, Lipski WJ, Crammond DJ, Richardson RM. High frequency activation data used to validate localization of cortical electrodes during surgery for deep brain stimulation. Data Brief 6:204-7, 2016.

Randazzo MJ, Kondylis ED, Alhourani A, Wozny TA, Lipski WJ, Crammond DJ, Richardson RM. Three-dimensional localization of cortical electrodes in deep brain stimulation surgery from intraoperative fluoroscopy. Neuroimage 125:515-21, 2016.

Research Activities

• Speech encoding in the human subthalamic nucleus.

Efforts are currently underway to develop a unified model of speech production based on neural activity within the basal ganglia, cortical activity, and measures of connectivity between these structures.

• Development of physiological biomarkers for optimizing therapeutic deep brain stimulation contact selection in Parkinson’s disease patients.

Analysis of deep brain stimulation electrode placements in Parkinson’s disease patients and associated clinical outcomes led to a finding that placement within the anterior sensorimotor STN improves perceptual and acoustic-aerodynamic voice-related outcomes. This shows that there is a topography within the STN for the control of airflow in speech, and suggests a strategy for improving voice outcomes.