The Team


Principle Investigator 

Taufik A. Valiante

Taufik Valiante completed his residency in the Neurosurgery Training Program at the University of Toronto in 2002, and an Epilepsy Surgery Fellowship at the University of Washington, Seattle, under the mentorship of Dr. George Ojemann in 2003. In 2007 he established a state of the art five-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at the Toronto Western Hospital, significantly increasing surgical services to those with medically refractory epilepsy throughout the Province of Ontario. Through his involvement with professional and not-for profit epilepsy organizations, he is a strident advocate for the standardization of epilepsy care.

He is currently the Director of the Surgical Epilepsy Program at the Krembil Brain Institute, a Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute, and has a cross-appointment at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. His neurosurgical staff appointment is at the Toronto Western Hospital, and he is currently Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto.




Lab Members


Victoria Barkley

Research Technical Assistant

Victoria is a Research Technical Assistant and serves as liaison between Dr. Valiante's trainees, collaborators, EMU staff clinicians and research candidates. Specifically, she works with patients who are eligible to participate in electrocorticographic  (ECoG) studies. She is also responsible for clinical data collection and post-operative reconstructions.


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Anett Schumacher

Lab Manager

Anett is manager of The Neuron to Brain Laboratory and helps coordinating day-to-day life. She is a Behavioural Neuroscientist and enjoys the lab environment, making it her passion to support other researchers in their career. She assists with inquiries regarding open positions, collaborations and technical support, and provides guidance for lab internal processes and members of the lab.


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Associates and Fellows


David Groppe

Scientific Associate

David is a clinical neuroscientist/data scientist trying to develop ways to mine the vast amounts of data acquired from epilepsy surgery candidates to improve epilepsy therapies and our understanding of the functional organization of the human brain.


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Homeira Moradi 

 Scientific Associate

Homeira investigates the impact of intrinsic cellular properties of human cortical neurons on network activity in cortical slices obtained from neurosurgical procedures. Her work focuses on the role of electrophysiological properties of single neurons in generating electrical oscillations in the brain, and using these data to build a human cell model through a collaboration with Dr. Francis Skinner. 

To perform these experiments, she uses in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, including patch clamp techniques and local field potential recordings. In addition, she uses 3D image reconstruction of neurons using immunohistochemistry and CLARITY.

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Andrea Gómez Palacio

Andrea’s previous research has focused on performing in the large-scale recordings in several animal models to investigate neuronal interactions that underlie plastic states. One of her main interests is to understand how brain stimulation modifies these interactions in order to use it as a rehabilitation tool.

Her current research focuses on performing and analysing single-unit activity in Individuals with medically-intractable epilepsy. Such studies pose a unique opportunity to answer questions related to the neuronal mechanisms involved in human cognitive processing.

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Marjan Rafiee

Marjan works at the intersection of engineering, neuroscience, and using music to provide a therapeutic option for individuals with Epilepsy. She is interested in reducing the seizure frequency in individuals with epilepsy by listening to music, and improving her understanding on how the brain activity of individuals with epilepsy changes by listening to music. She has been leading the related research line in the lab since 2016 by running different aspects of a clinical research study on this topic including the study design and coordination, participants’ enrolment, data collection, and analyzing the acquired data.

Marjan got her Master of Engineering (MEng) and PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Birmingham in England. She changed her research field afterwards to the exciting world of neurobiology and neuroscience through an opportunity created by a collaboration between Dr. Frances Skinner and Dr. Taufik Valiante in 2015, which she will be always grateful for. She believes she is a neuroscientist and considers herself fortunate to be able to use her skills and research interests to have a meaningful impact on individuals’ lives.

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Azadeh Naderian