Connecting Neurons...

FACULTY AND STUDENT COLLABORATORS

Our multidisciplinary team represents some of the world’s most accomplished and diverse experts at the forefront of neuroengineering research. Our students are top in their class, breaking ground in their studies and learning from the industry’s leading thinkers. Together, they are Rice Neuroengineering.

Learn more about our professors and their students
by clicking on the photos below.

Behnaam Aazhang
Behnaam Aazhang
Rich Baraniuk
Rich Baraniuk
Ashok Veeraraghaven
Ashok Veeraraghaven
Jacob Robinson
Jacob Robinson
Aydin Babakhani
Aydin Babakhani
Caleb Kemere
Caleb Kemere
Xaq Pitkow
Xaq Pitkow
Rob Raphael
Rob Raphael
Dora Angelaki
Dora Angelaki
Amina Qutub
Amina Qutub
Genevera Allen
Genevera Allen
Steve Cox
Steve Cox
Nitin Tandon
Nitin Tandon
Marcia O’Malley
Marcia O’Malley
Michael W. Deem
Michael W. Deem
John H. Byrne
John H. Byrne
Michael S. Beauchamp
Michael S. Beauchamp
Ankit Patel
Ankit Patel
Marina Vannucci
Marina Vannucci
Francois St-Pierre
Francois St-Pierre
Wayne Goodman, M.D.
Wayne Goodman, M.D.
Andreas Tolias
Andreas Tolias
Simon Fischer-Baum
Simon Fischer-Baum
Valentin Dragoi
Valentin Dragoi

Joseph Young

Graduate

Joseph is currently an MS/PhD Student in the Rice Univeristy Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Sudha Yellapantula

Graduate

Sudha is currently an MS/PhD Student in the Rice Univeristy Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Qianli Yang

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Rajkumar Vasudeva Raju

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Aram Giahi-Saravani

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Janakiraman Lakshminarasimhan

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Jose Fernandez

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Jose Bridgewater

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Christopher Liu

Alum

Bio coming soon!

Josh Chartier

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Tam Vu

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Flavia Vitale

Ph.D. Student

Research Focus: Exploring the use of CNT-based material for biomedical applications.

Flavia Vitale received her PhD in Chemical Engineering at University of Rome "La Sapienza" in February 2012. For her PhD thesis, she worked on computational models for estimating hemolysis in complex flows. Her research activity at Rice with Prof. Pasquali is focused on exploring the use of CNT-based material for biomedical applications. Ongoing research projects involve the study of biocompatibility, fabrication and characterization of CNT fiber microelectrodes for modulating the activity of excitable tissues.

Michael Tsehaie

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Ankit Sethi

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Signal processing, realtime systems.

Ankit has moved around a lot in life so let’s just say he's from all over India. He has an engineering background, graduating from a dual degree program with a bachelors and masters in Electronics & Electrical Communication Engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 2011. He worked with National Instruments Research for a year before joining Rice University. Upon arrival he decided to change things up by pivoting towards behavioral neuroscience. He is currently researching the role of sharp wave ripples in memory consolidation. In his off time, he likes to consume culture--popular and obscure--and sometimes writes about it.

Paul Rockaway

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Nicola Park

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Boying Meng

Alum

Bio coming soon!

Holly Liang

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Ziying Chen

Graduate

Ziying, who is originally from Shenyang, China, obtained his Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering from Dalian University of Technology. He is currently a masters student in Bioengineering at Rice University. When not slaving away in the lab, or watching soccer, he serves as a lifeguard in the recreation center.

Etienne Ackermann

Graduate

Research Focus: Memory, and rodent navigation.

Etienne was made in South Africa, where he continued to grow and mature until reaching steady state. Then---without much warning---he came to study at Rice University, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests are broad and varied, one might even say unorthodox. He currently works on uncovering the secrets and mysteries of what is arguably the most fascinating function of the brain: memory.

Yuxiang Sun

Graduate

Yuxiang Sun obtained the BSEE from Peking University in 2013. He is working towards Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Aydin Babakhani. His research interests include RF/analog circuit and its application in bio-implant and sensing.

Hamed Rahmani

Ph.D. Student

Hamed Rahmani received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2014. He is working toward his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Rice University. His research interests include high frequency and ultra-low power electronics with main focus on energy harvesting implantable bio sensors. He won the second best bachelor thesis prize in Sharif University for his project “Detecting Arrhythmia in heart operation using ARM based boards”. He is also recipient of Texas Instruments fellowship in 2014.

Dai Li

Graduate

I got my B.S and M.S degree in Tsinghua University in 2010 and 2013. Now I work under Dr.Babakhani. My research interest focuses on analog circuit and semiconductor device in medical applications.

Yaswanth Kumar

Graduate

Yaswanth Kumar Cherivirala has received his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India in 2012. He then worked as a Modem DSP firmware engineer in Qualcomm, India for two years and joined RICE in 2014 to pursue his Master’s and PhD. He is now a member of RICE Integrated Sytems and Circuits (RISC) group and works with Dr. Aydin Babakhani in the field of Analog Circuits with focus on Low power Wireless sensor networks.

Mohammad Kazempour

Graduate

Seyed Mohammad Kazempour is mostly interested in energy harvesting and ultra-low power circuits for biomedical applications and sensor networks. He achieved his BS in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2014 where he had worked on Phasor Measurment Units (PMUs) as his BS thesis. He joined Rice University as a PhD student in the same year and is currently a member of Rice Integrated Systems and Circuits (RISC) laboratory.

Amanda Wickens

Graduate

Amanda Wickens graduated with a B.S. in Physics from Saginaw Valley State University in 2014. While there she completed her undergraduate honors thesis working with Dr. Marian Shih. During the summer of 2013 she conducted undergraduate research at the University of Florida in the Material Science Engineering Department with Dr. Jennifer Andrew working on multiferroic nanofiber synthesis. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Rice University. Her research interests are in magnetoelectric neural stimulation.

Daniel Vercosa

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Charles Sebesta

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Yusi Ou

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Daniel Murphy

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Arun Mahadevan

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Spencer Kent

Alum

Bio coming soon!

Jonathan Jao

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Daniel Gonzales

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Guillaume Duret

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Martin Bell

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Ben Avants

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Erin Anderson

Graduate

Bio coming soon!

Jesse Adams

Graduate

Jesse Adams received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of North Florida in 2014. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics at Rice University. His research interests are in the area of integrated nanophotonic devices with a focus on stimulating and recording activity within the brain.

Shizheng Zhang

Ph.D. Student

I am a second year PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Rice University. I am working under the supervision of Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan and Prof. Jacob Robinson in the Nanophotonic Computational Imaging lab.

Before coming to Rice University, I got my Bachelor degree in Optics Department of Physics School at University of Science and Technology of China. My areas of research interests are in computational imaging and machine learning.

Currently, I am working on the project called Nanophotonic Computational Microscopes for Deep Imaging in Scattering Media. This new imaging system is to achieve functional neural imaging of thousands of individual neurons in the brain of freely moving mammals. Now, I built up a table-top SPIM (selective plane illumination microscope) system. And I am developing 3D deconvolution algorithms to improve the depth resolution.

Adithya Pediredla

Ph.D. Student

I completed my Bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, NITW, India and Masters in System science and Automation, IISc, Bangalore. I am awarded gold medals for my academic performance at both NITW and IISc. My master's thesis titled "Robust cell detection and active contour models" received 2011 innovative student project award from Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE). During August 2011−June 2013, I worked as Graphics Hardware Engineer at Intel and from July 2013-August 2014, I worked as a project associate in IISc, Bangalore. I joined Rice University in August 2014 as a doctoral student. My areas of research interest are Signal and Image Processing, Computational Imaging and Machine Learning. I love solving puzzles, playing chess and reading history.

Samantha Summerson

Alum

Samantha R. Summerson received her B.A. degree with honors in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006, and the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rice University in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Behnaam Aazhang. She defended her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Rice University in April 2014 under the co-supervision of Drs. Behnaam Aazhang and Caleb Kemere, and will start a post-doctoral position in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley in June 2014. Her research interests include deep brain stimulation, movement disorders, information theory, and signal processing.

Projects:

1. Rodent models of Parkinson's disease: Our research uses animal models to study the motor circuit and deep brain stimulation (DBS). This work is divided into two parts: (1) behavioral studies of DBS targeting the globus pallidus interus (GPi) and (2) recording from GPi and the motor cortex (M1-Layer V) in rodents during behavior while stimulating in STN. Novel temporally irregular stimulus patterns are investigated while simultaneously recording brain activity to investigate the neural changes induced compared to using regularized stimulus patterns.

2. Computational Modeling of Neural Structures: Computational models of the motor cortex and basal ganglia serve as a testbed for novel stimulation signal designs. Our particular interest is in investigating the use of irregularly patterned current pulses. Although regularization of neural activity has been linked to therapeutic benefits of DBS and occurs as a result of regular inter-current pulse intervals, this technique highjacks brain structures so that useful information cannot be passed through the system. We develop irregular DBS signal designs and evaluate their capability of improving the motor circuits ability to transfer information or reduce the transfer of noise using the computational models.

3. Carbon nanotube fiber (CNTf) electrodes: Our research evaluates the biocompatibility and functionality of CNTf as a material for microelectrode fabrication. CNTf, manufactured in the Pasquali lab from carbon nanotubes, combine the specific electrical conductivity of metals with the typical specific strength of carbon fibers. We have investigated its use for both fabrication of stimulation and recording electrodes.

Suganya Karunakaran

Post-Doc

I finished my PhD in Neuroengineering at the Neurorobotics lab of Drexel University in October 2014. My PhD project utilized in vivo electrophysiology to study the firing patterns of hippocampal neurons during the transition to spontaneous seizures in a model of temporal lobe epilepsy. I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow exploring methods of modulating epileptic networks in human patients with intractable epilepsy.

Morganne Lerch

Undergrad

I am a Rice undergraduate in Jones College, and in 2017, I will be graduating with my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, specializing in neuroengineering. I aspire to understand the brain from an engineering point of view. I decided on neuroengineering from a deep interest in cognitive psychology, electrophysiology, the nervous system, and sensory perception. My favorite electrical engineering class so far has been the day that Dr. Johnson explained how hearing aids worked. After graduation, I hope to explore a career in either neuroengineering research or electrical engineering, developing new equipment and technologies.

Zhiting Cai

Graduate

I am currently working on my Master in Electrical Engineering and my research area centers around topics in neural signal processing such as neural network modeling. I received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering and B.A. in German Studies from Rice University. And, I'm a foamer (railfan).

Rakesh Malladi

Ph.D. Student

Rakesh Malladi received Dual Degree (B.Tech and M.Tech) in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 2011. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at Rice University. He worked in IBM India Research Labs, Bangalore and Texas Instruments, Dallas during the summers of 2010 and 2013 respectively. His research interests are in the area of signal processing and machine learning with a focus on time series data analysis to learn the epileptic brain connectivity.

Projects:

1) Real time network modulation for epilepsy - we work on developing novel closed-loop real-time epileptic network modulation strategies for treatment of epilepsy. This project involves (1) learning the epileptic network using signal processing techniques from ECoG data (2) and then developing electrical stimulation protocols to modulate the network activity to treat epilepsy.

2) Learning induced changes in neural activity - In this project, we are interested in understanding how neural connectivity changes due to learning. The spiking activity is recorded from aplysia and we are interested in learning and identifying the changes in network connectivity using time series data analysis.