I conduct research efforts to advance deep brain stimulation, neuroendoscopic approaches to surgery, and memory and cognition, drawing on a deep training in basic science to propel these efforts.
My clinical practice focuses on the use of deep brain stimulation in children, which is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat primary dystonia under a Humanitarian Device Exemption. Used primarily for Parkinson's disease in adults, deep brain stimulation has been tried in many conditions including psychiatric diseases, epilepsy and cognitive impairment.
As a researcher, I am interested in other applications of deep brain stimulation, including its uses in cognitive impairment and to restore memory, as well as new potential targets for stimulation that may better ameliorate movement disorders. In the clinic, I am also working to identify better targets for deep brain stimulation in the hopes of helping more children with diseases of brain function.
My PhD thesis focused on neurogenesis, or the regrowth of brain cells, and memory enhancement. A key publication to build off my dissertation demonstrated, in animal models, that deep brain stimulation can cause new brain cells to grow and become connected, resulting in memory improvement.
As a doctorate in neuroscience, I achieved the highest possible level of training to conduct basic research. I earned the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Bisby Fellowship Award in 2008, a major national prize honoring and supporting my PhD research.
I also study less invasive ways to perform neurosurgery. Together with Dr. Ben Warf, I catalogued the efficacy of a novel, low-cost endoscopic surgery for hydrocephalus in North America. With Dr. Joseph Madsen, I have studied MRI-guided laser ablation in epilepsy.