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Investigators

Principal Investigator

Rajesh P. N. Rao is the Director of the NSF Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering and a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar award, an NSF CAREER award, an ONR Young Investigator Award, a Sloan Faculty Fellowship, and a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. He is the author of Brain-Computer Interfacing (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and co-editor of Probabilistic Models of the Brain (MIT Press, 2002) and Bayesian Brain (MIT Press, 2007). His research spans the areas of computational neuroscience, robotics, and brain-computer interfacing.

Principal Investigator

Jeff Ojemann is a neurosurgeon with a practice focusing on the surgical treatment of epilepsy in adults and children. He is Director of Epilepsy Surgery at the Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital at the University of Washington. He received his MD in 1992 at Washington University in St. Louis, and remained there for residency in neurosurgery (1999) and fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 2000. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2003 and holds the Richard G. Ellenbogen Chair in Pediatric Neurological Surgery. He has been funded by NIH or NSF continuously since then with present focus on electrical stimulation and current distribution in human and animal models of cortical surface stimulation. He has over 165 peer-reviewed publications, primarily in neuroimaging and human cortical physiology. He is the co-leader of the Cortical co-adaptation with bidirectional brain-computer interface testbed of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (a NSF Engineering Research Center).

Collaborating Investigator

Kurt Weaver is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology and holds faculty affiliations in the UW Graduate Program in Neuroscience, the UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) and an adjunct appointment in the UW Department of Psychology. He is a junior Investigator in the grid lab and a primary instructor in the UW School of Medicine where he is co-director of the Mind, Brain and Behavior block, the primary neuroanatomy course for UW undergraduate medical education. His research interests are primarily focused on the relationship between complex and integrative neural systems and higher-level cognitive and behavioral function. Current efforts combine both functional imaging (e.g. fMRI) modalities and invasive electrophysiology including Electrocorticography (ECoG) and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to probe cognition as a function of interactions across widely distributed yet highly inter-connected networks. This work leverages the high fidelity of direct recordings from the human cortex and deep brain structures to interrogate relationships between brain organization, functional connectivity and computation neurophysiology.

Current Members

Graduate Student

Kaitlyn Casimo is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. She studies the electrophysiology of human resting state connectivity. Her dissertation addresses both spontaneous and learning-related variation in resting state connectivity. These properties of the resting state have been investigated in fMRI, and to a lesser extent in EEG, but have not been previously investigated in ECoG as used by the GRID lab. Her previous work also includes the electrophysiological properties of resting state associated with brain-computer interface use. Outside of lab, she is active in science education and outreach through UW and Pacific Science Center, and enjoys theater and tennis.

Graduate Student

James Wu is a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering working with Rajesh Rao in Computer Science and Jeff Ojemann in Neurosurgery.  His research aims to reveal the complex way by which the human brain controls hand and arm movement, in hopes of one day being able to engineer neuroprosthetic implants that can reverse upper body paralysis caused by trauma or disease. He examines human brain (electrocorticographic) and muscle (electromyographic) signals using tools from machine learning, signal processing, and control theory. James has a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California San Diego. In addition to being awarded a WRF Innovation Graduate Fellowship, he is involved in student leadership at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, and has coauthored 15 publications in the field of neuroengineering, neuroimaging, and optical engineering.

Graduate Student

Jenny Cronin is a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at the University of Washington and is advised by Drs. Rajesh Rao, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Ojemann, M.D. Her current research focuses on encoding sensory feedback through cortical stimulation via electrocorticography (ECoG) grids. She is interested in gaining a better understanding of both cortical sensory processing and the engineering design implications of cortical stimulation to future rehabilitative devices. Jenny received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia in 2011. She is an NSF Graduate Student Research Fellow, and is highly involved in student leadership at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. Outside of research, Jenny participates in a STEM outreach program for elementary school girls, Time to Invent, and is pursuing a Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate through UW’s Foster School of Business.

Graduate Student

Nile Wilson is a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering working with Rajesh Rao in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and Jeffrey Ojemann in the Department of Neurological Surgery. She works with epilepsy patients, who have brain surface electrodes temporarily implanted, to better understand and improve how brain-computer interfaces adapt to changes in neural signals associated with learning a task. Specifically, her research aims to use error signatures already in the patients’ brains to automatically adjust the brain-computer interface decoding. Nile received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia. In addition to being named a WRF Innovation Graduate Fellow, she is an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) scholar and is involved with student leadership at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

Graduate Student

Nancy Wang is a PhD student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington since September 2014. She is a part of GRIDLab and Neural Systems Lab, primarily advised by Dr. Rajesh Rao and Dr Bingni Brunton. She is also working with Dr. Jeff Ojemann, and Dr. Ali Farhadi. She is passionate about brains and computers. She is interested in learning algorithms from the brain to help machine learning AND use state of the art machine learning techniques to learn more about the brain. Her current research is in decoding and predicting activities from multiple modalities (brain + video + audio) in natural non-experimental data using machine learning to automate big data analysis.

Graduate Student

David Caldwell is an M.D./Ph.D student in Bioengineering working with Rajesh Rao in Computer Science & Engineering and Jeffrey Ojemann in Neurological Surgery. His research focuses broadly on neural connectivity and processing. Specifically, his work aims to enhance neural connectivity through electrical cortical stimulation and characterizing the cortical response to stimulation in human patients implanted with electrocorticographic grids in preparation for epilepsy surgery. David received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a joint fellow of UWIN and the Big Data for Genomics & Neuroscience (BDGN) Training Grant, and is an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) scholar.

Undergraduate Researcher

Mahdi is an undergraduate neurobiology major at the University of Washington, with a keen interest in computational neuroscience and machine learning.

Medical Fellow
Clinical/Research Fellow
Clark is a clinical/research fellow of Dr. Ojemann from Taiwan. In 2015, he completed neurosurgical residency in Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan. Based on the interest of brain-computer interface, he has been studying in the GridLab since 2016, and works on microgrid data analysis.
Undergraduate Researcher

Ryan is an undergraduate researcher working with Nancy Wang on automated decoding.

Katie Ly is an undergraduate student in Physics with a Biophysics concentration working with James Wu in Rajesh Rao’s and Jeff Ojemann’s Lab. Her research evaluates electrocorticography (ECoG) signals of upper-limb kinetic output by using machine learning and signal processing techniques. Katie‘s research interest is in Brain-Computer Interfaces for rehabilitation. In addition, she was a Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) REU Fellow where she evaluated how the center of mass and joint kinematics change for differing stiffness of ankle foot orthoses. She is also on the CSNE student leadership council and helps manage Synaptech, a neural engineering Resource Student Organization (RSO) for undergraduate and graduate students. During her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, tennis, and sudoku puzzles.

Research Scientist
Rotating Neurosurgery Resident

Kelly Collins received a BS degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and a BS in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2005 and an MD from the University of Michigan in 2011.  Since then she has been training as a resident physician in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington.  Her research interests include brain-computer interfaces, sensorimotor systems, functional neurosurgery, and stimulation-based therapeutics for neurological disease.

Rotating Neurosurgery Resident

Affiliate Members and Collaborators

Collaborating Graduate Student

Patrick Rice is a graduate student in the Psychology department, pursuing a Ph.D. under Dr. Andrea Stocco. His research concerns rule representation in frontal cortex, focusing on how these structures communicate with motor cortices in order to generate behavior according to abstract and generalized rules. In order to investigate this phenomenon, he utilizes electrocorticography in order to determine the neural correlates of rule representation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation to determine causal relationships between identified regions. Patrick has a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied basal ganglia-cortical circuitry in health and disease.

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Former Members

Visiting Graduate Student

While a PhD student at Imperial College London Luke worked with the lab as a visiting researcher. Luke is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Andersen lab at Caltech.

Alumnus

Devapratim Sarma received the BS degrees in Bioengineering and Animal Physiology & Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. He was a research associate at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience (2008-2011). Currently, he is pursuing a doctoral degree in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington.  As a member of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, his current research focuses on optimizing electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces for cognitive and motor rehabilitation. He is a student member of IEEE.

Collaborating Investigator

Jared Olson received an MD degree from the University of Chicago in 2008 and completed residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Washington (UW) in 2012. He is faculty at the NSF Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering and a clinician-scientist at UW supported the NIH Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP) and NIH StrokeNet, mentored by Jeffrey Ojemann. Jared researches basic science and translational questions in human brain-computer interface and neural plasticity.

Alumnus

Melissa received her PhD in 2016

Collaborating Investigator
Alumnus

Now at Microsoft Research

Alumnus

Now at Google Research

Alumnus

Now at Stanford Neurosurgery

Visiting Graduate Student
Summer Student

2016 Neurosurgery undergraduate

Audrey DePaepe completed her NIH-funded student internship in the Grid Lab with Jeffrey Ojemann of the Department of Neurological Surgery (http://neurosurgery.washington.edu/education/summerprogram/). Specifically, Audrey spent this summer analyzing electrocorticography data in order to compile a case study of a patient with intractable epilepsy, exploring developmental changes in brain wave activity when the brain is at rest and performing a language task.
Currently, Audrey is an undergraduate student at Pomona College (’18), completing a B.A. in Neuroscience and a Spanish minor. This spring, she looks forward to studying Neuroscience abroad at the University College London, before returning to Pomona College and preparing to enter medical school.
Summer Student

2016 CSNE-YSP

Summer Student

2015 neurosurgery undergraduate and 2016 summer senior intern

Summer Student

2016 CSNE-YSP

Summer Student

2016 CSNE-YSP

Summer Student

2016 CSNE-REU

Summer Student

2016 MSTRP

Summer Student

2015 CSNE-REU

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2015 CSNE-YSP

Summer Student

2015 Neurosurgery undergraduate

Summer Student

2015 CSNE-YSP

Summer Student

2015 summer visiting graduate student

Summer Student