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AmirAli Farokhniaee

AmirAli FarokhniaeeAmirAli completed his bachelor degree in atomic-molecular physics at University of Tehran, Iran, and continued his grad studies in the USA beginning at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, and obtained his PhD degree in physics from University of Connecticut, CT. His research focus at the time was simulation and analysis of gradient frequency neural networks, with an emphasis on auditory neuroscience and sound/music perception applying rules of theoretical and computational neuroscience. As a side project, he started working with Dr. Sabato Santaniello on network models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) starting to learn about the field of DBS and human motor control. He started his first postdoc with Prof. Cameron McIntyre at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, getting trained in the field with the main focus on the role of hyperdirect pathway in modulating motor cortex activity during DBS and the role of short-term synaptic plasticity in delivering therapeutic benefits of DBS. After successful modeling of single neuron activity and suggesting novel DBS pulsing strategies, he moved on to expand his knowledge on the biophysically realistic network models of PD and DBS, working with Prof. Madeleine Lowery at University College Dublin, Ireland, as his second postdoc position. They developed a thalamo-cortical model of spiking neurons utilizing short-term synaptic depression based on previously seen brain connectivities that matches with PD situation. Their model is able to be used for identifying different DBS targets with diverse parameters set by the user.  He obtained an industrial fellowship by Science Foundation Ireland, which enabled him to work with a company pioneering adoptive DBS (aDBS) called Newronika for a year and a half, based in Milan Italy. Then he got back to his previous expertise in data analysis and data management and specifically used linear mixed models to investigate the changes in brain activity of patients with PD during different combinations of DBS and levodopa administration.  AmirAli is now the consultant of Grigioni foundation for Parkinson’s disease based in Italy and a senior researcher in the group of Prof. Ioannis Isaias, University Hospital Wurzburg, Germany, where they analyse brain signals such as local field potentials and EEG of the human gait during different tasks such as stand, walk, swing and speech at rest.