Sheth_Portrait_Web213x275Sameer A. Sheth, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Columbia University Medical Center
Director, Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory

Dr. Sheth is a functional neurosurgeon at Columbia University with a research interest in human cognition. His work at UCLA was in the field of neurovascular coupling. During his neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, he performed single neuronal recordings in macaque prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia to study visuomotor associative learning, and also developed a deep interest in human cognition and decision-making. His clinical and research interests dovetail in this regard, as neurosurgical procedures provide unique opportunities for the study of brain function. His lab uses acute single neuronal and ECoG recordings during deep brain stimulation surgery, as well as chronic multi-electrode and high-density ECoG recordings in implanted epilepsy patients. The lab supplements the electrophysiology data with resting-state and task-based fMRI as well as DTI to understand population-level function and connectivity.

ShethLab_ElliotSmith_smallElliot Smith, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Columbia University
B.S. in Psychology, University of Washington
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Utah

Elliot’s PhD thesis research focused on how neural representations of speech sounds are transferred and transformed from primary auditory cortex to higher auditory areas in the temporal lobe. Elliot used machine learning algorithms and information theory to probe the neural mechanisms of cognition and neural representations of auditory objects. Elliot currently splits his time between examining cognitive neurophysiology in the frontal lobes and multi-scale electrophysiology of seizures.

YP_pic01Yagna Pathak
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia University
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Marquette University
M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Illinois Inst. of Technology

Yagna’s dissertation focused on using computational models and neuroimaging to evaluate the effects of neuromodulation for depression. She is currently aiming to advance the application of neuromodulation therapy to other neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Pain. Her projects integrate multimodal neuroimaging (MRI and DTI) and neurophysiology (EEG) to better understand these disorders.

Mark YatesMark Yates, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia University
B.A. in Psychology, University of Sydney
M.Psych (Clinical Neuropsychology), University of Melbourne
Ph.D., University of Melbourne

Mark has a background in cognitive science, neuropsychology and human psychophysics. Mark’s PhD thesis examined how visual and tactile perception is affected by attention. Mark’s research has also investigated how the brain represents numbers, space and time, as well as influences of the motor system on cognition, and the neural correlates of motivational states. He is currently researching the neural basis of cognitive control using human intracranial recordings.

Robert McGovern, MD
PGY-7 Resident, Neurological Surgery
M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2010
B.S. in Neuroscience, Trinity College, 2003

Brett Youngerman, MD
PGY-5 Resident, Neurological Surgery
M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2012
B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, Yale University, 2006

ImageJ=1.47aunit=inchGarrett P. Banks, MD
Intern, Neurological Surgery
M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, 2015
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 2008

Garrett is a neurosurgery resident in training at Columbia University.  His main interest is in functional neurosurgery, and his research involves computational methods related to deep brain stimulation and epilepsy.  One of his current major projects involves analysis of MRI data, such as diffusion tensor imaging, to study connectivity and structure in patients undergoing neurosurgery for psychiatric indications.  His other current major project is studying neurostimulation to better understand the mechanisms behind deep brain stimulation.

Danika PauloDanika Paulo
Medical Student, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
B.S. in Biology, Boston College, 2012

Danika spent the 2015-2016 academic year in our lab and is currently in her fourth year of medical school, soon to be applying for a neurological surgery residency in the 2017 Match. Her research is focused on evaluating lesioning techniques for psychiatric disease. Danika also participates in collection and analysis of neural data from epilepsy patients being evaluated for surgery. She has a vested interest in advancing patient care through research and practice of evidence-based medicine and intends to continue researching throughout her residency and career.

Pranav NandaPranav Nanda
Medical Student, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
M.Phil. in Psychology & Education, University of Cambridge, 2012

B.S. in Mathematics, Stanford University, 2011

Pranav Nanda is a fourth-year medical student conducting a year of research while planning to apply for neurosurgical residency. He is particularly interested in brain sciences, mathematical modeling, health outcomes, and their intersections. His primary research projects involve the application of neurosurgical procedures to severe and refractory psychiatric disorders.

Alessandra Hirsch
Medical Student, University of Illinois at Chicago

Alessandra Hirsch is a medical student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests surround cognitive control mechanisms and the pathophysiology of depression. She is particularly interested in neurosurgery, and hopes to integrate her public health background with a surgical career.

IMG_6258_CroppedAmol Mehta
Medical Student, University of Pittsburgh

Amol Mehta is currently a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh. He attended the University of Maryland – College Park for his undergraduate where he studied Jazz Performance. He is currently involved with a number of different research areas, including perioperative stroke, brain tumor, and psychiatric surgery

David PeprahDavid Peprah
A.B. in Human Developmental & Regenerative Biology, Harvard College, 2015
M.A. in Biotechnology, Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Expected 2017
Research Coordinator | Lab Manager

David Peprah is the research coordinator and lab manager of the Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology lab. His research interests include brain sciences, refractory psychiatric disorders, and stem cell disease modeling. In addition to coordinating research for the lab, David is studying biotechnology in graduate school to one day interface biotechnologies and neuroscience in a medical career. As of summer 2016 David is applying to medical school.

Emily CorriganEmily Corrigan
B.S. Neuroscience, Texas Christian University, 2019

Emily Corrigan is a rising sophomore at Texas Christian University studying neuroscience. Her current interests include decision making, neuromodulation, epilepsy and neuropsychology. She aspires to continue in neuroscience research and medicine.


Vignesh Viswanathan
B.S. in Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, 2018 

Vighnesh Viswanathan is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh studying Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics. He has worked in Dr. Sheth’s lab for the past two summers. Vighnesh’s research interests include neuroimaging and computational neuroscience. He has been working on projects involving lesion analyses from patients who have undergone treatment procedures for psychiatric disorders.

Hadley WalshHadley Walsh
B.A. in Neuroscience, Wesleyan University, 2017

Hadley Walsh is an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University studying Neuroscience and Behavior. Her research focuses on laterality in obsessive-compulsive disorder, with attention to unilateral surgery outcomes. She aspires to continue doing neuroscience research in graduate school.

Kate FruitmanKate Fruitman
B.S. in Neuroscience, Cornell University, 2017

Kate is an undergraduate at Cornell University studying Human Development with a concentration in Neuroscience. This summer, Kate has been involved in a project examining surgical outcomes for epilepsy patients undergoing sEEG placement. Kate hopes to continue her research in neuroscience and aspires to a career in medicine.

Lab Alumni

  • Lauren Brown
  • Andrew Chan
  • Jessie Freese
  • Kathleen Kelly
  • Chuck Mikell, MD
  • Jennifer Russo
  • Taylor Nelp
  • Timothy G. Dyster
  • Paul C. McCormick
  • Justin D. Spring
  • Eric M. Feldstein
  • David Sollod