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People

Faculty

Maryam M. Shanechi
shanechi@usc.edu
Maryam Shanechi is an assistant professor and the Viterbi Early Career Chair in Electrical Engineering at USC. Prior to joining USC, she was an assistant professor at Cornell University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2014. She received the B.A.Sc. degree with honors in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto in 2004 and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2006 and 2011, respectively. She works at the interface of statistical inference and signal processing, machine learning, and control to develop algorithmic solutions for basic and clinical neuroscience problems. Some applications of interest include developing closed-loop brain-machine interfaces (BMI) for motor function, for control of anesthesia, and for deep brain stimulation to treat neuropsychiatric disorders. She is also the PI of a joint US/UK multidisciplinary university research initiative (MURI) to lead the development of cognitive BMIs for enhanced decision accuracy. Her work combines methodology development with in vivo implementation and testing. She has received various awards including the NSF CAREER Award, the MIT Technology Review World’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35), the Popular Science Brilliant 10, the CalBRAIN Inaugural award, the NAE and NAS frontiers invitations, the Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal, the W.S. Wilson medal, and the national Canadian doctoral fellowship (NSERC).

Postdoctoral Scholar


Ramin Bighamian
Ramin Bighamian is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USC. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology in 2008 and 2011, and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland (UMD) in 2017. His current research is to model the neural mechanisms underlying multisensory processing and decision making, and to design closed-loop brain-machine interfaces for enhanced decision accuracy. Ramin’s Ph.D. research focused on physiological modeling of hemodynamic responses and designing automated critical care systems based on a control-theoretic approach. His work was acknowledged by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for in-silico testing of closed-loop systems. He received the UMD Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship 2016-17, the Best Student Paper Award at ASME-DSCC 2015, and was named a fellow of Future Faculty Program in the Clark School of Engineering UMD. His research on controlling the cardiovascular state was sponsored by the biomedical company “Nihon Kohden” for both domestic and international patent filing.

Graduate Students


Yuxiao Yang
Yuxiao Yang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USC. Prior to joining USC, he spent a year as a Ph.D. student at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. He recieved the B.S. degree from Tsinghua University in 2013, majoring in Electronic Engineering. He recieved the McMullen fellowship from Cornell University in 2013. He was selected as the top three winners of the IEEE EMBC best student paper competition in 2015. His research focuses on the design of closed-loop stochastic controllers to control various brain states such as depression or unconsciousness.


Han-Lin Hsieh
Han-Lin Hsieh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USC. He recieved the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Taiwan University in 2013. He received the Viterbi fellowship at USC in 2014. His research focuses on the design of closed-loop brain-machine interface control architectures for motor function.


Omid Ghasem-Sani
Omid Ghasem-Sani is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USC. He received a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and an M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering both from Sharif University of Technology, in 2013 and 2015 respectively. He received the Annenberg fellowship from USC in 2015. He is interested in developing closed-loop control systems for neuromodulation to treat neuropsychiatric disorders.


Hamidreza Abbaspour
Hamidreza Abbaspour is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2015. His interests lie at the interface of statistical signal processing, control, and neural engineering.


Chuanmeizhi Wang
Chuanmeizhi Wang is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2015. He received the Annenberg fellowship from USC in 2015. He works at the interface of signal processing, control, and neural engineering to develop closed-loop stochastic controllers for various brain states.


Nitin Sadras
Nitin Sadras is a Ph.D. student in the department of Electrical Engineering. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2016. He is interested in signal processing and its applications to neuroscience.


Parima Ahmadipouranari
Parima Ahmadipour is a Ph.D. student in the Electrical Engineering department at USC. She received her B.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Sharif University of Technology in 2014. Parima earned a M.Sc. degree in Neural Engineering and Neurosciences with a minor in Computational Neuroscience from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2017. Her masters thesis was on investigating how residual volitional motor commands modulate effects of epidural electrical stimulation of spinal cord in patients with spinal cord injury participating in a clinical study. Parima is interested in developing closed-loop brain machine interfaces with applications in both basic and clinical neuroscience.


Christian Song
Christian Song is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He received B.S.E. degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University in 2017. He received the Annenberg felloship from USC in 2017. He is interested in developing closed-loop brain machine interfaces for applications in clinical neuroscience.

Undergraduate Students


Isabel Díaz Miranda
Isabel Díaz Miranda is an undergraduate student of mechatronics engineering at ITAM in Mexico City. She will receive her B.S. degree in Spring 2018. She has been an active member of the student council and was the treasurer for the 2016 term. On the summer of 2016 she received a scholarship to be part of the MIT Delta V entrepreneurship program. She is part of the USC-IME 2017 internship and her interests are in signal processing for BMIs.


Tsam Kiu Pun
Tsam-Kiu Pun is an undergraduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USC. She will receive her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering in Spring 2018. She has been receiving the Provost fellowship every semester ever since 2015 and won the interdisciplinary award at the 2017 Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work. Her research focuses on brain-machine interface and closed-loop stochastic control system of various brain states.

Lab Alumni


Allison Connolly
Allison Connolly was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USC who specializes in medical device design. She received a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2009 and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2014. Her doctoral dissertation work utilized electrophysiology to understand the neural mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and deep brain stimulation in humans and animal models. She has collaborated with several medical device companies to test and develop novel electrodes and stimulation algorithms. Currently, Allison is interested in the design of closed-loop systems for control of neuromodulation for neuropsychiatric disorders.