Tass Lab Team

Peter A. Tass, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurosurgery

Dr. Peter Tass investigates and develops neuromodulation techniques for understanding and treating neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, dysfunction following stroke and tinnitus. He creates invasive and non-invasive therapeutic procedures by means of comprehensive computational neuroscience studies and advanced data analysis techniques. The computational neuroscience studies guide experiments that use clinical electrophysiology measures, such as high density EEG recordings and MRI imaging, and various outcome measures. He has pioneered a neuromodulation approach based on thorough computational modelling that employs dynamic self-organization, plasticity and other neuromodulation principles to produce sustained effects after stimulation. To investigate stimulation effects and disease-related brain activity, he focuses on the development of stimulation methods that cause a sustained neural desynchronization by an unlearning of abnormal synaptic interactions. He also performs and contributes to pre-clinical and clinical research in related areas.

Staff Scientist

Justus Kromer, PhD

Justus Kromer's research is devoted to improving deep brain stimulation techniques causing long-lasting symptom relief in patients suffering from neurological disorders, e.g. Parkinson's disease. Being a theoretical physicist in the group of Peter Tass, Justus Kromer performs computer simulations in order to understand stimulation-induced rewiring of synaptic connectivity in symptom-related brain regions.

During his PhD studies at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, he gained expertise in the fields of stochastic processes, nonlinear dynamics, and computational neurosciences. He was trained in both, computational studies and theoretical modelling. His general research is devoted to understanding and manipulating noisy nonlinear systems with application to biology such as neuronal networks and signal processing systems, e.g. sensory neurons and chemotactic agents.


PostDoc

Daniel Ehrens, PhD

Daniel obtained his Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering at the ITESM in Mexico City and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His PhD was focused on translational research in epilepsy. Specifically in developing algorithms to track dynamic brain states involved in seizure genesis and the efficacy of electrical stimulation in steering the epileptogenic network away from seizure.

Daniel’s current interests include the integration of functional and structural connectivity into large-scale network models to develop virtual environments that test optimal stimulation protocols for the treatment of epilepsy in the clinic. As well as non-invasive stimulation techniques and quantitative analysis of brain states that could interfere with seizure initiation and propagation.


Kanishk Chauhan, PhD

Kanishk Chauhan earned his PhD in Physics from Ohio University, specializing in nonlinear dynamics, statistical and biological physics, and computational neuroscience. During his doctoral studies, Kanishk focused on developing mathematical models of plastic neuronal networks. He utilized tools from information theory and network science to investigate the coevolution of network activity and connectivity, particularly in relation to synchronization. His work also involved  developing stimulation methods to counter synchrony.

At Peter Tass Lab, Kanishk is engaged in developing biologically realistic and computationally feasible models of neuronal networks associated with Parkinson's disease. His work aims to reliably model the effect of therapeutic stimulation, with the goal of advancing the development of more efficient stimulation protocols. Additionally, Kanishk is involved in EEG data analysis to understand the  representation of the non-invasive vibrotactile stimulation in the brain.


Clinician Scientist

Tina Munjal, MD

Tina is a resident physician in the clinician-scientist training program in the Stanford Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from Rice University and her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She also completed a research fellowship at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining the Tass lab, her research involved the cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, the molecular genetics of inherited hearing loss, and the optimization of music listening for cochlear implant users. She is now investigating acoustic coordinated reset neuromodulation and other neuromodulation techniques for the treatment of subjective tinnitus. 


Clinical Research Coordinator & EEG Neuroscientist

Jessica Kalinova Yankulova, BA, MA

Jessica obtained her Bachelors and Masters in Psychology from San Francisco State University where she specialized in understanding action selection and decision making on a mechanistic level.  Jessica is currently a clinical research coordinator associate working on non-invasive neuromodulation and neurofeedback for patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Jessica hopes to further her studies and one day pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Clinical Research Coordinator & EEG Neuroscientist

Ellyn Daly, BS, BA

Ellyn obtained degrees from UC Davis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (BS) and Philosophy (BA). Prior to joining the Tass Lab, her research included studying oculomotor mechanisms involved in reward-mediated visual attention and interests in mechanisms of conscious experience. She is studying the role of neuromodulation for patients with neurological disorders.

 

Bioengineering PhD Student

Yasmine Kehnemouyi, BS

Yasmine obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, concentrating in medical devices and bioelectronics. She then worked in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University under Dr. Helen Bronte-Stewart in the Human Motor Control and Neuromodulation Laboratory, where she worked on biomarker development and exploring the mechanism of STN-DBS in improving motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Additionally, she worked on designing algorithms for a closed-loop STN-DBS system for mitigating freezing of gait in PD patients.

Yasmine is now a second year Bioengineering PhD student interested in working at the intersection of neuroengineering, neurotechnology, and clinical neuroscience. Her current interests include using computational techniques to quantitatively model and understand the long-term effects of non-invasive stimulation on inducing neuronal desynchronization to improve motor and non-motor symptoms in PD and in turn, optimizing patient, demand-specific coordinated reset (CR) stimulation configurations that allow this neuronal desynchronization to persist chronically. She is also interested in specifically exploring the effects of CR stimulation on augmenting the senses of hearing and smell in PD patients.

DARE fellowship MD student

Jakob Sørensen

Jakob Sørensen, MD student, is undergoing a transformative research year in the Tass Lab as a DARE-fellow, sponsored by the Lundbeck Foundation. His primary objective within the Tass Lab centers on developing a non-invasive neuromodulation paradigm as a treatment for spasticity. Concurrently, Jakob contributes to the characterization and development of the vibrotactile Glove devised by the Lab.

Prior to joining the Tass Lab, Jakob conducted four years of fundamental neuroscience research in the Berg Lab at the University of Copenhagen, where he contributed to research in neuromodulation, populational dynamics in spinal networks and neural engineering. Through these efforts, Jakob aims to combine fundamental neuroscience, with his clinical knowledge to assist in developing novel neuromodulation therapies, ultimately improving the lives of individuals with neurological disorders. This research year will mark the completion of his MD degree.

Stanford Collaborators

External Collaborators

Department of Neurosurgery

The Tass Lab is part of the Department of Neurosurgery.