Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory

Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab Members

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Current Members

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Sameer Anil Sheth, M.D., Ph.D.

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Director, Functional and Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab
Epilepsy Surgery, Movement Disorders, Psychiatric Neurosurgery

Joshua Adkinson

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Postdoctoral Associate

I have the great pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people here at BCM, along with excellent researchers from multiple universities across the country, all working together to better understand the impact of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment method for patients living with treatment resistant major depressive disorder.

I have a passion for problems in the biological sciences, particularly neuroscience, but I am first and foremost an applied mathematician, having degrees in Mathematics (M.S.) and Computational Analysis and Modeling (Ph.D.) from Louisiana Tech University. I’m currently interested in how electrophysiological data can be utilized in conjunction with structural imaging techniques such as DTI to better understand brain connectivity, and if these graphical models can help to better understand the effects of DBS.

Habiba Azab

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Postdoctoral Associate

I am interested in the neural circuits implementing some of the very cognitive processes that make us human: abstract reasoning, flexible behavior, and complex decision-making. My work investigates how individual neurons represent information that facilitates these processes, and how these neurons combine into circuits implementing complex, dynamic, and flexible computations. This work began during my Ph.D. in the Hayden lab at the University of Minnesota, where my work was focused on the mechanisms underlying value-based decisions. With my background in computer science, I hope to expand my work to explore circuit models that would lend us further insight into the implementation of these processes.

John Myers

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Postdoctoral Associate

We use high density electrocorticography (ECoG) to capture neural oscillations, and we use microelectrodes to measure action potentials while people play games designed to test certain mental skills. A key goal is to understand how our brain cells seem to almost effortlessly work together to rapidly convert abstract mental representations into actions. We combine conventional neuroscience techniques with machine learning to answer these questions. I am also working on a project involving deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment of major depression. We are seeking to learn more about the brain activity that underlies depression, while developing patient-specific stimulation protocols.

Nicole Provenza

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Postdoctoral Candidate

I completed my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Brown University in 2021. My graduate work focused on developing adaptive deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I am interested in neural biomarkers of obsessive-compulsive symptoms in natural environments. My current work focuses on better understanding the neural processes related to natural fluctuations of symptoms in depression and OCD, and how neurostimulation affects these neural processes and behavior

Victoria Gates Pirtle

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Research Coordinator III

I am Dr. Sheth's research coordinator for the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for treatment-resistant depression clinical trial. I graduated from the University of Houston in 2017 with my B.S. in Psychology and joined the lab in 2019. I have always been interested in mental illness research coupled with the administrative processes of research.

Raissa Mathura

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Research Coordinator II

My work involves creating visualizations of the intracranial electrodes that are implanted in our research patients as well as running research tasks at the EMU. I also help with establishing the outward facing presence of the lab, through PR and social media for Dr. Sheth. I graduated from Rice University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science. I am interested in learning more about the nature of complex human cognitive functions and the integration of different academic disciplines through research.

Jiayang Xiao

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Ph.D. Student

I am currently a graduate student in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine. I am interested in using human intracranial recordings to study depression.

Huy Dang

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Medical Student

I’m a second-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine doing a research year with Dr. Sheth. I grew up in Houston and did my undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College before returning to Houston for medical school. My academic interests are in applying neuromodulation to pathologic cognitive-behavioral states.

Ethan Devara

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Medical Student

I am a second-year medical student at the Baylor College of Medicine, and I have the pleasure of working with Dr. Sheth this year as part of the medical research pathway program. I grew up in Houston, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin for college, where I studied neuroscience. My research interests include investigating the neuronal correlates underpinning mood and its application to pathological states, as well as studying computational models to assess the brain’s functional networks and it’s response to neuromodulation.

Nisha Giridharan

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Neurosurgery Resident 

I am a PGY-5 Baylor neurosurgery resident interested in functional and stereotactic neurosurgery. I will be working in Dr. Sheth’s lab this year under an NINDS R25 research education grant studying functional connectivity in mood disorders using intracranial electrode recordings.

Garrett Banks

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Fellow, Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery

I recently completed my neurosurgery residency at Columbia University Medical Center, and I am currently working for one year as a stereotactic and functional fellow for Dr. Sameer Sheth. I am interested in studying the white matter connectivity and neurophysiologic signatures of frontal circuits related to the disease processes of OCD and Depression. My research expertise is in using tractography and other neuroimaging analytics, which I aim to further develop during the fellowship year before progressing to a position in Academic neurosurgery.

Nabeel Diab

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Medical Student

I returned to my hometown of Houston to join Dr. Sheth’s lab after completing my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology at Emory University. I am interested in the neural signatures which contribute to the unique personalities of individuals. I currently work with OCD patients to help identify the neural correlates of pathological symptoms and ultimately improve the use of adaptive DBS for the disorder. As a future medical student, I hope to continue exploring the biological and environmental factors which contribute to neurodiverse populations through clinical research of patients with a variety of mental disorders.

Sameer Rajesh

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Medical Student

I recently completed my undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, and I am currently working in Dr. Sheth's lab studying the use of DBS as a therapeutic strategy for OCD. I'm interested in neuromodulatory technology and hope to continue learning about the effects of stimulation on cognition and behavior.

Gabriel Reyes

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Medical Student

I’m a second-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine. I joined Dr. Sameer Sheth’s lab through the Medical Research Pathway (MRP) Program with the goal of learning how clinical practice can be improved through excellent research. I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Neuroscience and am interested in applying for Neurological Surgery residency. My current work focuses on the use of neurostimulation in the treatment of refractory epilepsy and collecting local field potential recordings from DBS-implanted patients to further study OCD circuitry.

Anthony Allam

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Medical Student

I am a second-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine conducting a research year with Dr. Sheth as part of the medical research pathway program. I grew up in Dallas, Texas and attended college at Baylor University where I majored in Finance. My research interests include investigating neural biomarkers of mood and cognition as a basis for adaptive neuromodulation of psychiatric disorders. I am also interested in the use of invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation to target epilepsy and pain disorders. In my free time, I enjoy working out, cooking, and exploring Houston’s vast food scene. 

Sandy Reddy

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Medical Student

I am a third-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine working with Dr. Sheth through the Medical Research Pathway. I grew up in College Station, TX and completed my undergraduate degree at Texas A&M, where I studied biomedical engineering. My academic interests include identifying biosignal correlates of neuropathologic symptoms and machine learning-based neural imaging classification.

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Lab Alumni

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Adrish Anand

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Medical Student

During my time in the lab, I was a second-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, working with Dr. Sheth as part of the medical research pathway program. I am originally from Los Angeles, Calif., and studied neuroscience and chemistry at Rice University (Class of 2019). My interests include istudying the neural correlates of spatial memory encoding and its applications to broader cognitive functions. Additionally, I was involved in various clinical projects in neurosurgery. Previously my research interests have focused on using transcranial magnetic stimulation to understand how visual attention modulates the motor cortex, and using fMRI to understand multi-sensory integration between touch and audition. In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing sports, cooking, and exploring the Houston food scene.

Ron Gadot

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Medical Student

During my time in the Sheth lab, I was a third-year medical student taking a research year. I studied neuroscience and biology as an undergraduate having been passionate about the brain from a young age. My research interests included understanding the neural underpinnings of mood and cognition and the effects of neuromodulation on psychiatric disorders. I worked on building and implementing an algorithmic task to study cognitive control networks in the human brain. In my spare time, I enjoy watching and playing basketball, trying out new food spots, and running.

Ricardo Andres Najera

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Medical Student

During my time in the Sheth lab, I was third-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine doing a research year. I was born in Dallas, Texas to Mexican and Argentinian parents and I stayed in the area to complete my B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in German at Southern Methodist University. I moved to Houston, Texas in 2018 after graduation to pursue a career in medicine. My ultimate goal is to become a pediatric neurosurgeon.

In the lab, my main interest wasa understanding pathologic positive/negative valence and reward learning brain networks implicated in treatment-resistant depression. I am involved in the analysis of data collected from EMU tasks geared towards engaging those networks of interest. I also worked on cost-effectiveness analyses of neurosurgical treatments for psychiatric conditions, such as treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Ben Shofty

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Fellow, Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery

I graduated from the Tel-Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, in parallel to completing a Ph.D. in systems neuroscience and neural engineering at the Israeli Institute of technology (Technion). Recently I have completed neurosurgical residency at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center, and I am a board certified (Israeli) neurosurgeon. I am now focused on combining novel mapping techniques with other types of invasive recordings, such as depth electrodes, in an attempt to better understand the brain and its functional architecture focusing on higher cognitive functions such as creativity and the default mode network, while caring for patients with neurological disorders as a clinical fellow in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at Baylor.