Ghost in the Machine: Melding Brain, Computer and Behavior

Dr. Brian Litt and his newly awarded NIH Pioneer award were highlighted in Penn Medicine News today.

Part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the Pioneer award supports scientists with outstanding records of creativity pursuing new research directions to develop pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical, social science, and behavioral research.

Brian Litt, MD

Brian Litt, MD

Read the full article from Penn Medicine News here.

Localizing Epilepsy ‘Hotspots’

Dr. Kathryn Davis and the Davis lab were highlighted in the Penn newsletter, Penn Today.

The Davis lab’s research centers around utilizing both the advancing fields of invasive neurophysiology and neuroimaging to better localize epileptic networks in medication refractory epilepsy patients.

Find the full article on Penn Today here.

2020 Undergraduate Summer Research

The CNT has been lucky enough to work with many talented undergraduates this past Summer through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowship Program.

The Fall 2020 CURF Research Expo gave all students the opportunity to showcase their projects, links to their presentations are below.

Sofia Mouchtaris – Bioengineering, class of 2023                                                                                                                                     Impact of RNS Volume Conduction at the Seizure Onset Zone

Ramya Muthukrishnan – Computer Science, class of 2022                                                                                                                     Automated Segmentation of Postoperative Epilepsy Imaging

Ellie Chen – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, class of 2022.                                                                                         3T to Low-field MRI Scan Transformation using GANs

Kevin Mathew – Finance, Behavioral Economics and Computer Science, class of 2023

Lena Armstrong – Cognitive Science and Computer Science, class of 2023                                                                                       Machine learning of EEG to help diagnose epilepsy: predicting functional connectivity from structural connectivity

Jessica Ling – Bioengineering, class of 2023

Funding Available! Call For T32 Trainee Applications.

Applications are NOW OPEN for Dr. Litt’s NIH Neuroengineering and Medicine T32 Training Grant.

To begin your application complete this form.

Goal: to train predoctoral engineering students and physician postdoctoral fellows in neuroengineering and its clinical translation, including device development, neuro-stimulation, machine learning, algorithm development, cloud computing, nanotechnology, and materials science

Funding: covers stipend, tuition, travel and research supplies for 1-2 years

  • Predoctoral trainees: Engineering PhD students who have completed their course work
  • Postdoctoral trainees: MD clinical fellows (preferably)
  • Trainees must be US citizens or resident aliens (green card holders)

Applications due by Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm

To begin your application complete this form.

Research proposal presentations to the T32 review panel will take place Wednesday, January 8, 2020

More Information: on the Litt Lab website under Education & Outreach and on the CNT website.

For questions email Everett Prince at

Flavia Vitale

Dr. Flavia Vitale receives K12 Career Development Award

Dr. Vitale has received the Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Engineering Career Development Award (IREK12). This award will support her on wearable EMG sensors to study fundamental mechanisms involved in neuromuscular disorders and support targeted rehabilitation strategies.Flavia Vitale

The Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Engineering Research Career Development Program (IREK12) in Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences (MRS) recruits and trains scholars with engineering and other quantitative backgrounds to become successful rehabilitation scientists in basic, translational and/or clinical research.

To read more about the program:

To learn more about the Vitale Lab:

Annual BE Graduate Group Research Symposium

Save the date: 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Annual Bioengineering Graduate Group 
Research Symposium
Beginning at 1pm, check in at 12:30pm
Singh Center for Nanotechnology
Galleria and Glandt Forum
Please RSVP using the google form below:
The Symposium will feature:
Graduate Student Research Talks
Graduate Student Poster Session and Competition
Refreshments and afternoon snack break
Key Note Speaker:
Jonathan M. Rothberg, Ph.D
“Building the Future of Medical Technology”
Human health is the new frontier of technological progress—the area where technology has the greatest potential to improve the human condition. Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, the inventor of next-generation DNA sequencing who was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barack Obama, has spent his career leveraging advances in artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and cloud computing to usher in a new age of precision medicine. With his 4Catalyzer incubator, Dr. Rothberg is working at the intersection of healthcare and technology to build devices that save lives and make healthcare more accessible. Dr. Rothberg will discuss his vision on where medical technology is headed in the decades to come, and how his companies are working to build that future.

MINS Year of Brain Science Technology

The 2019 Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences (MINS) Year of Brain Science Technology Student Kick-Off Symposium will take place Friday, September 13th from 1pm-6pm. Ph.D. students Nicolette Driscoll and Brendan Murphy helped coordinate this event as members of the MINS Year of Brain Science Technology Student Committee.

Among a number of speakers are lab members Nicolette Driscoll and Robert Pierson.

Nicolette Driscoll – “Carbon Nanomaterial for Neural Interfaces”

Robert Pierson – “Automatic Classification of Huntington’s Disease Severity Using a Wearable Device”


The lab goes to ICTALS

Many of our own lab members attended and participated in the International Conference for Technology and Analysis of Seizures (ICTALS) in Exeter, UK.

ICTALS 2019 aims to bring together neurologists, neuroscientists, researchers from quantitative disciplines and people with lived experience of epilepsy in order to work as a community to advance our understanding of epilepsy and develop practical ways to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Kathryn Davis gave a talk titled “Localizing seizure “hotspots” with quantitative neuroimaging”

MD/PhD candidate John Bernabei gave a talk titled “Virtual resection predicts surgical outcome for drug-resistant epilepsy”

Dr. Arian Ashourvan presented a poster titled “Long-term changes in response to neurostimulation and
synaptic dynamics in the epileptic brain”

Dr. Fadi Mikhail presented a poster titled “Interictal network integration-segregation and recruitment in the identification of the seizure onset zone”

MD/PhD candidate Andy Revell presented a poster titled “Localizing seizure foci in intractable epilepsy using structure and function correlation”

PhD candidate Brittany Scheid presented a poster titled “Controllability of brain networks in patients receiving responsive neurostimulation”

Brian Litt, MD

Dr. Brian Litt – Neurosurgery Grand Rounds

Dr. Brian Litt has been invited to speak at Penn’s Neurosurgery Grand Rounds on Thursday, August 15th. He will give a talk titled “Neuroengineering Collaboration in the CNT: Hardware, Software, and Wetware.”

Grand Rounds will take place at 7am-8am in the Smilow Research Center.

Penn Health Tech

Funding Available: Medical Devices and Health Technology Development Pilot Award

Penn Health-Tech and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation invite faculty and staff from the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to submit proposals for pilot funding by September 23, 2019 at 5pm. The goal of this funding is to support the development of medical device and health technology projects that address important unmet medical needs. Proposals that cross departments and schools and promote sharing expertise are strongly encouraged.

Selected proposals will receive

  • Pilot funding: From $5,000 up to $50,000
  • Mentorship and project support: Advisors will help you refine your design, build partnerships and work towards achieving proof of concept
  • Access to experts


  1. Create a SurveyMonkey account using your University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine, or Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia email address.
  2. Verify your email address.
  3. Fill out the application in its entirety. To preview a sample application, click here.
  4. Submit your application by 5 PM on Monday, September 23.