György Buzsáki, MD, PhD
György Buzsáki, MD, PhDPrincipal Investigator, Biggs Professor of Neuroscience

Prof. György Buzsáki has published more than 400 papers and is among the top 1% most-cited neuroscientists. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Academia Europaea, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He sits on the editorial boards of several leading neuroscience journals. His main interest is neural syntax, that is the rules by which neuronal messages are segmented and read out.

Read more about György

Caleb Kemere, PhD
Caleb Kemere, PhDVisiting Professor (on sabbatical) from Rice University

Read more about Caleb’s research here: Kemerelab.com

Omid Yaghmazadeh, PhD
Omid Yaghmazadeh, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I joined the Buzsaki lab with a background in Electrical Engineering and Electronic Devices. I received my PhD in Organic Electronics from Ecole Polytechnique, France. My current research interest and focus is on the interactions of external electromagnetic fields with the brain.

 Yiyao Zhang, PhD
Yiyao Zhang, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

When I entered science world, I was strongly impressed by the mysterious neural universal. The deeper I know about it, the more I can’t get out of this world. In my opinion, the whole neural world is very similar with human society, but much more stable than us. I believe there is a universal rule to run the whole neural world and supervise every neuron, which is the characteristic brain spread EEG-oscillation during distinctive animal behavior. However, what group of neurons makes rules? How the rules dominate other neurons and how these separated regions communicate with these rules? The most details of these questions remain unknown. I am here to try to answer these questions.

 Mihály Vöröslakos, MD, PhD
Mihály Vöröslakos, MD, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Transcranial electrical stimulation is a popular method to boost memory or treat neuropsychiatric diseases, but we still don’t completely understand how neurons can respond to externally induced electric fields. As an MD, I am trying to focus on how the findings of basic research can be utilized in clinical applications. I use high-density extracellular recordings in rodents and EEG in humans during stimulation.

 Ipshita Zutshi, PhD
Ipshita Zutshi, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

I completed my BS-MS from BITS Pilani, India, and graduated in 2019 with a PhD from Stefan Leutgeb’s lab from the University of California, San Diego. During my PhD I worked on understanding how circuits within the medial septum generate theta oscillations, and whether local networks within the medial entorhinal cortex contribute towards  the functional firing properties of cell types. I am interested in a broad range of questions, with the goal of further understanding how different regions within the brain interact and communicate with each other to give rise to coherent perceptions and memories.

Thomas Hainmueller, MD, PhD
Thomas Hainmueller, MD, PhDPGY-III Psychiatry Research Track

My core interest are the brain mechanisms that enable the integration of new, unique experiences into a framework of preexisting knowledge and allow us to form an abstract, internal model of the world. This fascination has developed over the course of my training to become an MD and subsequent studies
to obtain a PhD in Biology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. In my previous research, I have applied a broad range of techniques, including patch-clamp recordings, electron microscopy and two-photon imaging of the mouse hippocampus in virtual environments to investigate the mechanisms that
allow the representation and storage of abstract information in hippocampal networks. Currently, I perform high-density electrophysiological recordings to investigate learning-related changes of single-cell activity and synaptic connectivity in the hippocampus. In addition, I’m completing residency training in Adult Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

When I’m not in the lab or clinic, I am involved in the organization of the ElMaMa kindergarten project in Watamu, Kenya. Check out our work under www.elmamakindergarten.org!

Gergely Komlosi, PhD
Gergely Komlosi, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Animals frequently make decisions in conflicting situations where both dangers and rewards are present. To explore the underlying neural mechanisms, I perform large-scale extracellular unit recordings that focus on the interaction between thalamic and hippocampal circuits. Educated as a Biologist (MS, PhD), I’ve been influenced by the idea that structure and function go hand in hand. Therefore, my experimental repertoire includes a combination of electrophysiological and anatomical techniques.

My work has been supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship.

Noam Nitzan, PhD
Noam Nitzan, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Current work investigating hippocampal output examines how information processed by the hippocampus is transmitted back to the neocortex. However, the significance and relevance of hippocampal outputs targeting subcortical structures are much less understood. Using high density extracellular recordings from the hippocampus and various subcortical areas, I aim to explore how the hippocampal code is deciphered by its downstream partners, and how disturbances to this communication result in memory disorders such as diencephalic amnesia.

Anna Maslarova, MD, PhD
Anna Maslarova, MD, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

During my PhD in Uwe Heinemann’s Lab, I became interested in how physiological hippocampal oscillations and pathophysiological activity in the form of epileptic discharges and spreading depolarizations interact and influence each other.  As a neurosurgeon, I often see epilepsy patients who suffer from memory deficits. During the last decade, targeted modulation of neuronal oscillations has been successfully applied to improve memory, mostly in rodents. Therefore, I am interested in how high-density hippocampal recordings from rodents compare to human hippocampal iEEG, as this understanding may help translate targeted modulation of neuronal oscillations to the human brain to treat memory deficits.

Adetta Elisabeth Heynold, MD
Adetta Elisabeth Heynold, MDPostdoctoral Fellow

The biggest motivation for my research have always been my patients. During my residency in Neurosurgery at the University Hospital in Erlangen, I more than once stumbled across their questions about the pathologies that afflict them and their brains. My particular curiosity lies in the electrical activity patterns in the medial temporal lobe, which are underlying memories about the world around us, but can also lead to devastating epileptic seizures. Coming from a background of electronics and automation, in which I trained prior to enrolling in medical school, I have always been curious to understand the bolts and wires of the hippocampal system. My current project aims to understand how the dentate gyrus gates physiologial and abnormal activity from the entorhinal cortex – and how to prevent it from letting seizures pass into the rest of the hippocampal formation.

Outside of the lab, I am a co-founder of the ElMaMa kindergarten project in Watamu, Kenya. Learn more about our work under www.elmamakindergarten.org!

Kathryn Mcclain, PhD
Kathryn Mcclain, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Kathryn attended college at UC Berkeley, studying math and physics. Now, during her PhD she works on developing quantitative models of information coding in the hippocampus. She is interested in how information is combined to formulate memories and enable learning.

Laura Helen si-wing Green, PhD
Laura Helen si-wing Green, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Laura is a graduate student in the lab, co-advised by John Rinzel. She completed her undergraduate degree in Integrated Science at McMaster University.  She is interested in computational models of neural circuits and using these models to understand how we form memories.

Ramon Garcia Cortadella, PhD
Ramon Garcia Cortadella, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

My main scientific interest is on understanding how slow brain dynamics coordinate long-range communication between brain regions, effectively structuring behaviour and cognitive processes.

Having a background in nanoscience and physics, during my PhD, I developed graphene transistor ECoGs for the mapping of field potentials in a wide frequency band in freely moving animals. This technology enables the study of brain dynamics related to metabolic constraints simultaneously with the synchronization of neuronal populations at high frequencies across large cortical areas. My current research focus is on understanding how spatiotemporal patterns of field potentials recorded from the cortical surface shape the communication between the hippocampus and various cortical regions during the process of memory consolidation.

Christopher Lafferty, PhD
Christopher Lafferty, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

The brain’s capacity to adaptively and autonomously restructure itself while disconnected from the world is critical for planning and remembering.  My research focuses on how interactions between the hippocampus and the cortex during sleep restructure brain networks to support memory consolidation.

The hippocampus is conventionally viewed as the cortex’s instructor, triggering the reinstatement of waking cortical activity patterns during sleep. However, recent data indicate that the cortex plays an active role in these interactions, suggesting that the consolidation process is more like a dialogue than a rehearsal. Consequently, the mechanistic details of how the hippocampus and cortex jointly coordinate systems-wide reactivations during sleep are not yet known. In particular, it is not clear how this dialogue might support the integration of new information into existing schemas. I plan to address these questions using a combination of in vivo electrophysiology and widefield imaging of cortical activity to study experience-dependent changes in hippocampal-cortical interactions during sleep.

Gladwin Osakwe
Gladwin OsakweLab Manager

Gladwin is our lab manager with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biomolecular Science from NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The complexity of the human mind, the chorus of neural signals firing in and out of unison, leading to the behaviors we see daily first brought him towards the neuroscience field. Now he is interested in the current techniques used to track, record, and decipher neural signals, with the intent to develop and use brain-computer interfaces in the future.

Roman Huszar
Roman HuszarGraduate Student

Short term plasticity affects the types of signals that can propagate through the synapse. For this reason, the preponderance of one subtype of short term plasticity (e.g., facilitation) is likely to constrain the neural dynamics that can emerge (e.g., LFP, cell sequences). I am currently working with existing lab data sets in order to map the short term plasticity dynamics across different states and brain regions. The long-term goal of the project is to increase our understanding of how short term plasticity affects emergent neural dynamics and, ultimately, neural computations.

Winnie Yang
Winnie YangGraduate Student

I am fascinated by how memory can be used to guide action: how our past memory can be flexibly used by the brain to guide behavior in new situations that we have never experienced before. Currently, I have two projects in the lab: Firstly, I am interested in the role of REM sleep for memory. Secondly, I want to understand how memory stored in the hippocampus can be organized in a cognitive map, which can be used through interaction between hippocampus and neocortex(e.g. PFC) for mental simulation and planning. I am combining computational tools with experiments to contribute to the understanding of these questions during my PhD.

ZheYang (Sam) Zheng
ZheYang (Sam) ZhengGraduate student

Sam is a Ph.D. student rotating in the lab. He did his undergraduate at UChicago, studying math and philosophy. He is interested in the intersection between machine learning and neuroscience. He is fascinated with the comparisons between how the machine and the brain learn. He also enjoys applying and developing machine learning tools to make sense of neural data. He is currently working on unsupervised sequence detection.

Elisa Chinigo
Elisa ChinigoGraduate student

Elisa is a graduate student in the lab, co-advised by Xiao-Jing Wang. Before NYU, she completed a BSc and an MSc at UCL, where she worked on successor representation models of flexible planning in spatial tasks. She is interested in hippocampal-neocortical interactions and how synchronous brain states can support memory consolidation during sleep.

Nicholas Paleologos
Nicholas PaleologosGraduate student

Nick is a MD/PhD student who recently joined the lab and is co-advised by Dr. Anli Liu. He works on the interaction between hippocampal physiology and metabolic functions as well as a few other projects together with Thomas.

Danielle Beam
Danielle BeamGraduate student

Danielle Beam is a MD/PhD student in the lab. Prior to coming to NYU, she completed a BA in psychology at Stanford University, where she worked with human intracranial EEG data to study emotion, perception, and experiential phenomena of brain stimulation. After undergrad, she spent two years at Cedars-Sinai working with human single neuron data to understand mechanisms underlying error monitoring and the effects of seizures on memory neurons. She is currently interested in network dynamics, and how differences in networks influence differences in behavior, memory, and disease processes amongst groups and individual animals.

Aryeh Rothstein
Aryeh RothsteinUndergraduate Student, volunteer

I recently completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology focusing on the neuroscience of psychology, during which time I worked in a lab looking at the behavioral effects of transcranial electrical stimulation. I’m interested in better understanding the physiological changes which arise from TES to better apply it therapeutically.

Tora Dohi
Tora DohiUndergraduate student

Tora is an undergraduate student at New York University with an interest in how memories are formed and retained. Currently, he is assisting postdoctoral fellow Ipshita Zutshi on one of her projects.

Griffin Henze
Griffin HenzeUndergraduate student

I am an undergraduate student at New York University. I am currently interested in the effects of electromagnetic stimulation on the brain and how it can be harnessed and studied to assist in the treatment of brain disorders. In addition, I am also interested in learning more about memories and how they are formed in the hippocampus.

Runjie (Tom) Yi
Runjie (Tom) YiMaster's student

I completing my MS in Physics/Biology and working with Omid. The factors that affect animal behavior via changes in neural activity is a fascinating topic. I’m currently using electrophysiological analysis to investigate the effect of Physical movement on neural activity.

Xinyi (Mirabella) Gu
Xinyi (Mirabella) GuUndergraduate student

Xinyi is a volunteer student in the lab working with postdoctoral fellow Yiyao Zhang. She is an undergraduate student double majoring in neuroscience and computer science at New York University. She is interested in studying the neural networks underlying learning and memory and how the brain performs logical thinking. 

Dhruvi Patel
Dhruvi PatelUndergraduate student

I’m currently working towards my BS in neuroscience & psychology at NYU’s College of Arts & Science. I’m interested in utilizing the power of optogenetic stimulation to explore the intricate circuitry & mechanisms underlying basic physiological processes such as sleep, resting immobility, and voluntary movement, as well as psychological processes like working memory & hippocampal-dependent memory consolidation. At the moment, I’m working with Dr. Nitzan to investigate the relationship between the mammillary bodies & the hippocampus, focusing on how communication & synchrony between the two can influence memory.

Kirill Kiselev
Kirill KiselevUndergraduate student

Kirill is a psychology major currently working in the lab with Winnie.

Ruicheng Li
Ruicheng LiMaster's student

Ruicheng is a master’s student in mathematics at NYU. He is interested in building functional and mechanistic models of the brain. He is currently working with Laura on the sequential reactivations in the hippocampus.

Deren Aykan
Deren AykanVisiting Master's student

Deren is a Master’s student in Cognitive Science who currently works with Misi in the lab.

Rui Shen
Rui ShenUndergraduate student

Rui, an undergraduate studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Chongqing, is interested in the brain’s encoding and decoding processes, particularly in spatial and sensory information. He is currently working with postdoctoral fellow Yiyao Zhang.

Lab members, 2023