Meet the Team

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Meet Our Neuroscience Team

Our Neuroscience Institute is home to board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuroimaging specialists. Our physicians work with a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, therapists, social workers and child life specialists to care to children with all types of neurological conditions. Our experienced and professional team of neurologists and neurosurgeons is recognized as one of the nation's best according to U.S. News and World Report.

Neuroscience Institute Leadership

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Frederick Boop, MD, is the co-director of Neuroscience Institute and Chairman of the Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is also the co-director of the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Boop is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery and specializes in pediatric neuro-oncology, epilepsy surgery and cranosynostosis. He is the secretary of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and has served as president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons, Southern Neurological Society as well as chairman of Council of State Neurosurgical Societies.

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James Wheless, MD, is co-director of the Neuroscience Institute and professor and chief of Pediatric Neurology at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He also serves as director of the Neuroscience Institute's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in epilepsy, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Dravet Syndrome. He serves on the boards of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), International Epilepsy Consortium National Tuberous Sclerosis Association, The Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy and Epilepsy.com.

Neurology

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Elena Caron, MD, is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and specializes in genetic and acquired neuromuscular disorders.

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Stephen Fulton, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in general pediatric neurology, epilepsy and neurometabolic disorders.

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Masanori Igarashi, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in general pediatric neurology, neuromuscular disorders and cerebral palsy.

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Robin Jack, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in general pediatric neurology, neonatal neurology, tics and tourette's syndrome .

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Amy McGregor, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in general pediatric neurology and epilepsy.

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Basan Mudigoudar, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in general pediatric neurology and epilepsy.

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Amy Patterson, MD, is a pediatric neurologist. Her clinical areas of special interest include epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis and neonatal neurology.

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Mari Rivas-Coppola, MD, specializes in treating children with epilepsy. She also works as a general neurologist and sees patients who suffer from various neurological disorders, including headaches, multiple sclerosis, developmental delays and tuberous sclerosis.

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Namrata Shah, MD, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in general pediatric neurology, neuromuscular disorders, multiple sclerosis and demyelinating disorders.

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Sarah Weatherspoon, MD, is a pediatric neurologist. Her clinical areas of special interest include epilepsy in infants and epilepsy surgery.

Neurosurgery

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Michael DeCuypere, MD, treats both adult and pediatric patients and specializes in minimally invasive neurosurgery. Dr. DeCuypere’s research interests include exploring the complex molecular biology of glioblastoma and medulloblastoma.

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Stephanie Einhaus, MD, is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery and specializes in epilepsy surgery, cranial endoscopy and craniosynostosis.

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Paul Klimo, MD, is Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Dr. Klimo specializes in brain tumors, spinal surgery, epilepsy surgery, vascular neurosurgery and endoscopy.

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Michael Muhlbauer, MD, is associate professor at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Dr. Muhlbauer specializes in general pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric spine and spine tumors, GAMMA knife in pediatrics and neurosurgical trauma.

Neurointerventional Radiology

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Lucas Elijovich, MD, is the medical director of Neurointerventional Services. He is certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry in vascular neurology, neurocritical care and neurology.

Neuroradiology

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Asim F. Choudhri, MD, is a radiologist and assistant professor at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in the Department of Radiology where he is also an assistant chair of research affairs. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology with a subspecialty in neuroradiology and a certificate in diagnostic radiology. His specialties include neuroradiology, spine imaging, functional neuroradiology, head and neck imaging and non-invasive neurovascular imaging.

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Jorge A. Lee Diaz, MD, is a radiologist and assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

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Adeel Siddiqui, MBBS, is a board-certified radiologist and specializes in pediatric neuroradiology.

Clinical Neuropsychology

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Billy Holcombe, PhD, is a pediatric neuropsychologist. He is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center

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Christen Holder, PhD, is the clinical director of Pediatric Neuropsychology and specializes in epilepsy, congenital heart disease and high-risk newborn populations.

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Jessica Pliego, PhD, is a pediatric neuropsychologist. She is assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Neurosciences

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Abbas Babajani-Feremi, PhD, is a biomedical engineer with expertise in advanced signal-processing methods.

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Shalini Narayana, MBBS, PhD, is an expert in the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and other non-invasive imaging with interests in changes in motor and cognitive neural systems.

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Roozbeh Rezaie, PhD, is an expert in functional neuroimaging with interests in the application of EEG and MEG to the surgical management of epilepsy and the organization of brain function in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Neuro-ophthalmology

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Lauren Ditta, MD, specializes in pediatric neuro-ophthalmology. She treats children with a wide range of abnormal eye movements including complex strabismus, nystagmus, cranial nerve palsies affecting eye movement and congenital cranial dysinnervation syndromes.

Nurse Practitioners

Epilepsy Coordinator

Karen Butler
Karen Butler, RN, BSN

Program Coordinator

Brandy Vaughn
Brandy Vaughn, RN, BSN

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