2nd Annual Research Symposium - Center for Neuroengineering & Medicine

Neuroengineering Symposium Flyer.v4 top

Event Date

International Center, 463 California Ave., Davis, Multipurpose Room

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to host the 2nd Annual Research Symposium of the Center for Neuroengineering & Medicine, which will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 12:00-7:30pm, at the International Center on the Davis campus. 

The symposium will bring together neuroengineering faculty, physician-scientists, clinicians, students, and postdocs from engineering, medicine, neuroscience and other fields to share research results and network with like-minded researchers. Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives Cristina Davis, PhD will provide welcome remarks. Presenters include faculty, graduate students and other trainees at UC Davis, and distinguished professor Viktor Jirsa, Ph.D. as keynote speaker. Trainees will compete for awards.

For more information and to register, follow this link: tinyurl.com/NeuroengSymposium2023

Link for attending remotely: https://ucdavis.zoom.us/my/neuroeng.med 


12:00 PM Registration, lunch, and networking
12:50 PM

Welcome Remarks: Cristina Davis, PhD, Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives, UC Davis. Recording available at this link.

1:00 PM

Carolynn Patten, PhD, PT, FAPTA, Center Co-Director: “Center for Neuroengineering and Medicine - Past and Future”. Recording available at this link.

1:15 PM

New Faculty Lightning Talks

  • Roy Ben-Shalom, PhD, Department of Neurology: “Combining Neuronal Modeling and Multi-Electrode Arrays to Study Neurodevelopmental Disorders”. Recording available at this link
  • Xiaomo Chen, PhD, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior: “Neural circuits for cognitive control in the primate brain”. Recording available at this link. Recording available for UC Davis affiliates at this link.
  • Christina Kim, PhD, Department of Neurology: “Engineering enzymes for tagging and manipulating activated neural circuits”. Recording available for UC Davis affiliates at this link.
  • Yi Xue, PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering: “High-throughput multiphoton microscopy for mouse brain photo-stimulation and imaging”. Recording available at this link. 
1:40 PM Break
1:50 PM

Trainees Oral Presentations

  • Brandon James Harvey, PhD Student, Emory University Neuroscience Graduate Program, Department of Neurology. Recording available at this link. 
  • Ariana Moghbel, MD/PhD Student, Neuroscience Graduate Group, NSF NRT NeuralStorm Fellow. Recording available at this link. 
  • Logan Peters, PhD Student, Computer Science Graduate Group, NSF NRT NeuralStorm Fellow. Recording available at this link.
  • Maitreyee Wairagkar, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis Neuroprosthetics Lab. Recording available at this link.
2:55 PM Break
3:05 PM

Trainees Lightning Talks

  • Harshavardhana Togaleri Gowda, MS Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program. Recording available at this link.
  • Ada Kanapskyte, PhD Student, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group. Recording available at this link.
  • Anna Rita Moukarzel, MS Student, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program. Recording available at this link.
  • Mandar Patil, MS, Computational Junior Specialist, Department of Neurology. Recording available at this link.
  • Jacob Roshgadol, PhD Student, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group. Recording available at this link.
  • Soukhin Das, PhD Candidate, Center for Mind and Brain. Recording available at this link.
3:40 PM Poster Session
5:00 PM Buffet Dinner
6:00 PM Awards. Recording available at this link
6:30 PM

Keynote Presentation: The Virtual Brain in Applications to Medicine”

Viktor Jirsa, PhD  

Director, Institut de Neuroscience des Systèmes (INS), Inserm and Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France 

Chief Science Officer, European Digital Neuroscience Infrastructure EBRAINS 

Lead Investigator, Human Brain Project 

Recording available at this link.

7:30 PM Closing Remarks

Bio - Prof. Viktor Jirsa

Viktor Jirsa, Ph.D. is Director of the Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes at Inserm and Aix-Marseille Université in Marseille, France. Dr. Jirsa received his Ph.D. in 1996 in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics and has since then contributed to the field of Theoretical Neuroscience, in particular through the development of large-scale brain network models based on realistic connectivity. His work has been foundational for network science in brain medicine and the use of personalized virtual brain models in epilepsy. He is Scientific Director of the clinical trial EPINOV, evaluating the use of virtual brain technology in epilepsy surgery. Dr. Jirsa serves as Chief Science Officer of the European digital neuroscience infrastructure EBRAINS (https://ebrains.eu/) and lead investigator in the Human Brain Project (HBP) (https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/). Dr. Jirsa has been awarded several international prizes for his research including the first HBP Innovation prize (2021) and Grand Prix de Recherche en Provence (2018) and has published more than 160 scientific articles.

Dr. Jirsa's keynote presentation is titled: The Virtual Brain in Applications to Medicine”.


Over the past decade we have demonstrated that the fusion of subject-specific structural information of the human brain with mathematical dynamic models allows building biologically realistic brain network models, which have a predictive value, beyond the explanatory power of each approach independently. The network nodes hold neural population models, which are derived using mean field techniques from statistical physics expressing ensemble activity via collective variables. Our hybrid approach fuses data-driven with forward-modeling-based techniques and has been successfully applied to explain healthy brain function and clinical translation including aging, stroke and epilepsy. Here we illustrate the workflow along the example of epilepsy: we reconstruct personalized connectivity matrices of human epileptic patients using Diffusion Tensor weighted Imaging (DTI). Subsets of brain regions generating seizures in patients with refractory partial epilepsy are referred to as the epileptogenic zone (EZ). During a seizure, paroxysmal activity is not restricted to the EZ, but may recruit other healthy brain regions and propagate activity through large brain networks. The identification of the EZ is crucial for the success of neurosurgery and presents one of the historically difficult questions in clinical neuroscience. The application of latest techniques in Bayesian inference and model inversion, in particular Hamiltonian Monte Carlo, allows the estimation of the EZ, including estimates of confidence and diagnostics of performance of the inference. The example of epilepsy nicely underwrites the predictive value of personalized large-scale brain network models. The workflow of end-to-end modeling is an integral part of the European neuroinformatics platform EBRAINS and enables neuroscientists worldwide to build and estimate personalized virtual brains.    

Bio - Carolynn Patten, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Dr. Patten is a neuroscientist and physical therapist who specializes in assessment and treatment of motor dysfunction associated with aging and adult neuropathologies, such as stroke. She directs the UC Davis Biomechanics, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Lab and Co-Leads the UC Davis Center for Neuro Engineering and Medicine. 

Dr. Patten’s research focuses on understanding the neural basis of human movement, investigating human motor control and learning from a perspective of neuromechanics. Using concurrent behavioral and neurophysiological methods, her laboratory has developed techniques sensitive to motor impairment. An emphasis of the lab’s current work is identification of biomarkers to predict motor recovery following stroke and the critical factors that contribute to rehabilitation efficacy. To achieve these goals, projects in the BRaIN lab investigate: neural mechanisms and biomechanical consequences of CNS pathologies causing motor dysfunction; novel means to induce neuroplasticity and motor recovery; and individual differences in both the natural history of motor recovery and response to rehabilitation interventions. 

Bio - Roy Ben-Shahlom, PhD

Dr. Ben-Shahlom is Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and at the MIND Institute. His research combines electrophysiology and neuronal modeling to advance the understanding of neurological disorders (such as autism, epilepsy, and developmental delays) caused by disruptions of ion channels along the membranes of neurons. In order to reverse engineer neuronal excitability in health and disease, Ben-Shalom's lab incorporates the biophysical properties of single neurons into detailed numerical models. In addition to facilitating an understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, these models can also serve as testing grounds for therapeutic interventions. 

Bio - Xiaomo Chen, PhD

Dr. Xiaomo Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior at UC Davis. She is a faculty member at the Center for Neuroscience and center for Neuroengineering & Medicine. Her research focuses on elucidating the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and translating those discoveries toward developing techniques to enhance human cognitive functions in both health and disease. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Brain sciences from Johns Hopkins University and completed her postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Stanford University. Xiaomo started her own lab at UC Davis in 2022. She was awarded the NIH pathway to independence award in 2019, Simian Collective Young Investigator Award and NARSAD Young Investigator and award in 2022. 

Bio - Christina Kim, PhD

Christina Kim received a B.A. in molecular biology and a certificate in quantitative and computational neuroscience from Princeton University. She obtained her Ph.D. in neuroscience with Dr. Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University, where she developed and applied optical methodologies for recording and perturbing neuronal activity in awake behaving mice. For her postdoctoral studies she joined Dr. Alice Ting’s lab at Stanford, where she engineered molecular circuits to detect intracellular neuronal signaling. As an Assistant Professor at the Center for Neuroscience, her lab engineers new methodologies to link neuronal function with molecular characterization and manipulation in vivo. She is a recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interfaces, and the Searle Scholars Award. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing and surfing. 

Bio - Yi Xue, PhD

Dr. Yi Xue is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering and the Principal Investigator of the Computational Optics for Biomedical Imaging (COBI) lab at UC Davis. Her research draws from the interdisciplinary field of optics, computational imaging, and neurotechnology. Dr. Xue jointly develops customized optical microscopy and computer algorithms for mouse brain imaging at unprecedented throughput, depth, and speed. She received her PhD and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2019 and 2015, respectively, and her BEng degree in Optical Engineering from Zhejiang University, China, in 2013. She is currently a member of the Program Committee for the SPIE Photonics West Adaptive Optics and Wavefront Control for Biological System IX conference and co-Chair of the Computational Cameras and Displays Workshop at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR). She received several awards, including JenLab Young Investigator Award in 2015 and Weill Neurohub Fellowship in 2021. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Symposium Planning Committee 

Dr. Nigel P. Pedersen (nppedersen@ucdavis.edu), Prof. Jochen Ditterich (jditterich@ucdavis.edu), Prof. Lee Miller (leemiller@ucdavis.edu) Prof. Carolynn Patten (cpatten@ucdavis.edu), Prof. Erkin Şeker (eseker@ucdavis.edu), Dr. Sheela Toprani (sctoprani@ucdavis.edu), Prof. Weijian Yang (wejyang@ucdavis.edu), Associate Director Gabriela Lee (gmlee@ucdavis.edu