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Tufikameni Brima, Ph.D.

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Cognitive Neuroscience Lab - Rochester

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Professional Background

Dr. Brima received her Bachelors (2006) and Masters (2008) in physical therapy from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Developmental epilepsy/Human Biomechanics from Charles University in Prague. Dr. Brima's background, working with post-stroke patients, prompted her curiosity in cerebral function and cognitive processing, which led her to the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, where she was trained in the field of neuroscience. Brima joined the laboratory of Professor. Hana Kubova Ph.D., were her research formed part of a large effort in understanding the nature of altered cerebral function following acquired insults to the brain. Under the mentorship of Professor. Jakub Otahal MD. Ph.D., she optimized a model of early life photothrombotic ischemic stroke in Sprague-Dawley rat pups. She characterized the impact of stroke on sensorimotor behavior, cerebral morphology and electroencephalography (EEG) activity. In collaboration with Professor. Pavel Mars Ph.D., they evaluated post-stroke susceptibility to Pentylenetetrazol induced seizure in rats. Shortly after receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Brima joined Dr. Aristea S Galanopoulou MD. Ph.D.'s laboratory at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Department of Neurology, to study developmental epilepsy specifically infantile spasms, a direct consequence of cerebral injury in neonates. Her work consisted of elucidating the efficacy and tolerability of various promising candidate drugs in an effort to suppress or ameliorate infantile spasms. This involved the induction of a multiple-hit model of infantile spasms in Sprague-Dawley rat pups, the characterization of seizure and behavioral phenotype in these rats, electrophysiology - Neonatal EEG/EMG head mount implantation, data acquisition, and EEG analysis. Dr. Brima joined Professor. John Foxe Ph.D.'s laboratory at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Neuroscience in 2015 as a post-doctoral associate. Her work involved understanding the basic principles of multisensory encoding, integration and cross-sensory processing in typical and clinical population groups. Brima was promoted to the position of Research Assistant Professor and continued her work as a faculty member in the laboratory of Dr. Foxe Ph.D. Currently, her main research involves the use of EEG to investigate neural correlates in rare genetic diseases and in populations with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Brima's career goal is to leverage her integrative training to understand how neurodevelopmental disorders of varied etiologies impact sensorimotor function as well as cognitive and perceptual processing by identifying and developing objective measures of brain function (i.e. neuromarkers) that could be tracked in a noninvasive and unbiased manner. These biomarkers are imported not only in tracking disease progression but also in understanding the effect of current and future therapeutic intervention.


Dr. Brima uses high-density electrophysiology and Magnetic Resonance Imaging to investigate neural correlates in rare genetic neurodevelopmental diseases such as Batten disease and Rett syndrome. The aim of her current study is to identify disease markers specific to these diseases. Her long-term goal is to develop objective quantitative measures of brain function (i.e. neuromarkers) that can be tracked in a noninvasive and unbiased manner. These neuromarkers could serve as ideal disease markers that can validate clinical trial outcome measures and track disease progress especially in populations where conventional evaluation is challenging.


Journal Articles

Brima T, Otáhal J, Mareš P. "Increased susceptibility to pentetrazol-induced seizures in developing rats after cortical photothrombotic ischemic stroke at P7." Brain research.. 2013 Apr 24; 1507:146-53. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Brima T, Mikulecká A, Otáhal J. "Impacts of perinatal induced photothrombotic stroke on sensorimotor performance in adult rats." Physiological research. 2013 62(1):85-94. Epub 2012 Nov 22.