• Epilepsy research sample

    Epilepsy Research

These laboratories focus on studying the neurobiological mechanisms underlying epilepsies and conditions related to seizure disorders. The rationale behind this research effort is that a better understanding of basic mechanisms of seizure disorders will lead to the development of better and more effective therapies, and cures. These laboratories seek to establish collaborations with other UC Davis faculty whose interests and expertise significantly enhance the epilepsy-related research efforts. In addition, the laboratories serve as a training ground for students and fellows interested in pursuing research and/or clinical careers in the neurobiology and neurology of seizures and related neurological disorders.

Dr. Gurkoff

Gene Gurkoff, Ph.D.

Co-Director | Pre-Clinical Research

Dr. Gurkoff's research is centered around decoding changes in neural activity in models of traumatic brain injury and epilepsy that correlate with cognitive changes. Further, he is using these data to develop novel tools, and specifically deep brain stimulation, with the goal of improving or restoring outcome in individuals with chronic deficits. Dr. Gurkoff is committed to working with a diverse team, including individuals with different expertise (i.e. basic neuroscience, neuroengineering and clinical) and career experience (i.e. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate training). 

Dr. Izadi

Ali Izadi, Ph.D.

Co-Director | Pre-Clinical Research

Dr. Izadi is a translational neuroscientist and an Assistant Professional Researcher in the UC Davis Department of Neurological Surgery. His research concentrates on characterizing the functional relationship between neural activity and cognitive function in the context of animal models of neurologic disease. His goal is to develop innovative and targeted treatment paradigms, and in particular, neuromodulation strategies that can promote functional recovery with potential for clinical translation. This has been applied to separate injury models, including traumatic brain injury and chemical-induced epilepsy, with an emphasis on considering age and sex as biological variables.

Dr. Shahlaie

Kia Shahlaie, Ph.D., M.D.

Clinical Research

Dr. Shahlaie is an accomplished researcher with extensive experience leading pre-clinical and clinical research. Dr. Shahlaie directs numerous clinical studies at the UC Davis Medical Center, including trials of brain stimulation therapy to improve cognition. Dr. Shahlaie and his research team have published over 105 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book chapters, and his work has been presented at numerous national and international scientific and clinical conferences.

Dr. Sharma

Julia Sharma, M.D.

Clinical Research

Dr. Sharma is fellowship trained and board certified in general Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Neurological Surgery. She provides medical and surgical care to pediatric patients with epilepsy, spinal dysraphism, spasticity, brain and spinal cord tumors, hydrocephalus, craniofacial disorders, vascular anomalies and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Sharma's research focuses on improving the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy. She has particular interest in optimizing the technique of robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography.

Dr. Martin

Ryan Martin, M.D.

Clinical Research

Dr. Martin's main research focus is in TBI outcomes. He is engaged in a number of observational clinical trials investigating the risk factors for post-traumatic epilepsy, particularly neuro-inflammation. Using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, Dr. Martin is characterizing how neuro-inflammation changes overtime and how this impacts recovery.

Dr. ZimmermannLara Zimmermann, M.D.

Clinical Research

Dr. Zimmermann’s research focuses on clinical trials to optimize care and prevent ongoing brain injury following head trauma. She has a particular interest in understanding how and why seizures develop after head trauma and preventing post-traumatic epilepsy. She also has an interest in education and plays an active role developing Emergency Neurological Life Support (ENLS), a course designed to standardize and improve emergency neurological care around the world.