Our Research

Deep Brain Stimulation

MRI Laser Surgery

Optogentics & Robotics


The Halpern-Malenka laboratory is housed in the Pritzker Lab focused on dissecting the mesocorticolimbic circuit using in vivo electrophysiology, in vitro slice electrophysiology, genetic mouse models, and novel techniques including optogenetics and Clarity.

Cutting Edge Technology

As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Halpern and his team conduct parallel studies in the human brain using electrophysiology and reward-based computer tasks during surgical procedures. 

These in vivo studies in humans are complemented by advanced functional neuroimaging techniques including fMRI, PET-fMRI, DTI, and cutting edge anatomic and structural exams using a 7 T MRI, all of which are aimed at examining mechanisms of disease and novel interventions.

Dr. Halpern's robust background in ethical analyses and meta-analytic techniques lends itself to investigating the socioeconomic implications of his research, and multiple such studies are underway to test how and where clinical trials should be focused. 

Improving Patient's Quality of Life

Dr. Halpern's stereotactic and functional practice aimed at improving the daily life of patients with Parkinson's, tremor, dystonia, epilepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette's and chronic pain lends itself to complement his laboratory research. This unique neurosurgical practice also provides Dr. Halpern an opportunity to identify novel indications for these focal and minimally invasive procedures, many of which are entirely reversible and adjustable to patients' symptoms, like deep brain stimulation and responsive neurostimulation.

Dr. Halpern is also the neurosurgeon-investigator on a multi-site clinical trial of Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor. As a national leader in such stereotactic procedures as well as cranial-based intra-MRI laser surgery and robotics, Dr. Halpern is well-suited to be at the forefront of his own field's expansion into new indications and less invasive, neuromodulatory procedures.