Children are incredibly resilient and courageous in the face of chronic and even life-threatening illnesses. They find moments of happiness amidst the grim reality of their disease. I find this inspiring, motivating and heartwarming.
I’m a pediatric epilepsy specialist. I work with patients who have childhood epilepsy, including drug-resistant epilepsy and other types of epilepsy that are difficult to manage. I have a special interest in the surgical treatment of epilepsies.
I love being a neurologist, particularly an epilepsy specialist, because I think it is one of the last remaining ways to apply clinical methods. I find it humbling and inspiring that we can study so much about brain function and dysfunction just with our unaided senses.
As I care for my patients, I believe the best thing I can do is give families insight into their child’s epilepsy. I try my hardest to bring the best science to the table and help families understand the available options, including their merits and potential limitations. I want to help families make the most informed choice about their child’s care.
Our epilepsy clinics at Cincinnati Children’s offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and management of children with epilepsy. During the clinic visit, families have an opportunity to consult with other specialists, such as clinical psychologists, neuro-pharmacists, dietitians and social workers. Our goal is to develop the best diagnostic and treatment plan, including medications, dietary therapies and epilepsy surgery.
In addition to my clinical work, I am an active researcher. My research interests include human brain mapping, intracranial electroencephalogram (EEG) — including electrocorticography
(ECoG) and stereo-EEG, epilepsy outcomes and status epilepticus.
A key issue during epilepsy surgery is to understand the functional significance of the cortical areas around and next to the surgery site. We do this with functional brain mapping. We perform brain mapping by electrically stimulating implanted electrodes in patients undergoing intracranial EEG as part of their presurgical evaluation.
This practice, adopted from adults, comes with challenges, particularly in younger children and those with limited ability to participate in the testing. My main area of research focuses on developing new neurophysiological methods for language mapping in children. This work could extend the understanding of human brain language networks and improve children's safety and access to epilepsy surgery.
I am also involved in the analysis of epilepsy outcomes to inform and improve patient care, to use a telehealth platform to coordinate epilepsy-related expertise, and with a multicenter effort on status epilepticus.
When I’m not working, I enjoy meditation and hiking. I am an avid reader and a vegetarian foodie.
Epilepsy in children; drug-resistant epilepsy; epilepsy surgery; EEG/ECoG/stereo-EEG
Human brain mapping; intracranial EEG (ECoG/stereo-EEG); epilepsy outcomes; status epilepticus
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics