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Reviewers of the quarter

Bioelectronic Medicine would like to recognize the efforts of its exceptional peer reviewers, for their excellent service. The following individuals have exceeded expectations as far as acceptance rate, the number of completed reviews, and timeliness, for each of the listed three-month periods. The journal cannot succeed without its peer reviewers, and we thank the hard-working members of our network.

Third Quarter of 2023

Dr. Beniamina Mercante
University of Sassari
Sassari, Italy

First Quarter of 2023

Dr. Alejandra Gonzalez-Gonzalez
Baylor College of Medicine
Duncan Neurological Research Institute
Texas Medical Center, Texas, USA

New Content ItemAlejandra Gonzalez is a Neurophysiologist and Biomedical Engineer passionate on understanding the physiology of brain-periphery communication and its neuromodulation. She incorporates new technologies for translational research in bioelectronic medicine. She is a Grass fellow and young investigator in the Neurological Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston TX).

Fourth Quarter of 2022

Dr. Aidan Falvey
Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
Northwell Health, New York, USA

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Dr. Aidan Falvey is a research scientist at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research who works with Dr. Valentin Pavlov and Dr. Kevin Tracey. His research amalgamates physiology and immunology with bioelectronic medicine. In particular, Dr. Falvey investigates the functional and anatomical integrity of cholinergic signaling in diseases states and how cholinergic signaling can be modulated, pharmacologically and electrically, to mitigate inflammatory disorders.                 
Dr. Falvey since joining the Pavlov/Tracey team in late 2020 has taken his interdisciplinary approach to research and has been integral to several exciting projects. These projects include: the first to demonstrate that targeting a brainstem nucleus (The Dorsal Motor Nucleus of the Vagus) with electricity can mitigate and improve survival in a clinically relevant mouse of sepsis – cecal ligation and puncture – without inducing bradycardia; and he has shown that the FDA-approved drug for Alzheimer’s Disease – galantamine – can be used to mitigate the initial stages of acute respiratory distress syndrome in mice and improve their long-term disease indices. Currently, Dr. Falvey is investigating a novel aspect of Alzheimer’s disease in the hopes of better characterizing this debilitating disorder to lead to new, future, therapeutics.

Second Quarter of 2022

Dr. Christine B. Sethna
Division Director of Pediatric Nephrology
Department of Pediatrics
Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Northwell Health, New York, USA

New Content ItemChristine Sethna, MD, EdM, is the division director of pediatric nephrology in the Department of Pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Sethna is the Director of Pediatric Fellowships and Director of Resident Scholarly Activity for the Graduate Medical Education program at CCMC. She is a member of the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine Admissions Committee and Faculty Council. Dr. Sethna is an active member of numerous professional and scientific societies, including the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), American Society of Nephrology and Society for Pediatric Research. Dr. Sethna is the course director for the ASPN Pediatric Nephrology Board Review Course.  She was the former section editor of nephrology for American Academy of Pediatrics Grand Rounds and is the current section editor for Frontiers in Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology.  Dr. Sethna received the designation of Nephrotic Syndrome Specialist from the Nephcure Kidney International Foundation.

The overall focus of Dr. Sethna’s research program is on nephrotic syndrome and cardiovascular outcomes in children with kidney disease. As a clinical researcher in nephrology, she has served as local PI for several multi-center trials of kidney diseases, including the ongoing NIH-sponsored NEPTUNE and CureGN consortiums. Her current research centers around transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome in children.  She will be heading a NIH-funded pilot feasibility clinical trial for taVNS in children with nephrotic syndrome.

Fourth Quarter of 2021

Dr. Michela Chiappalone
University of Genova, Italy

New Content ItemMichela Chiappalone is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering of the University of Genova, Italy. She obtained a PhD in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from University of Genova in 2003. In 2002 she was a visiting scholar at the Dept of Physiology, Northwestern University (Chicago, IL, USA). She obtained a Post Doc position at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). In 2013 she got a Researcher (Team Leader) position in IIT. In 2015 she was a visiting Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, KS, USA). Since March 2021, she has been appointed as Associate Professor of Bioengineering. In 2021, she was named IEEE EMBS Distinguished Lecturer. She has authored 77 papers published in International Journals, more than 60 peer-reviewed contributions to International Conferences, 8 Book Chapters and gave more than 70 scientific talks at International/National Conferences and Research Institutions. She is also the Editor of two books.

Prof. Chiappalone’s research interests are in the field of Neuroengineering, with a twofold perspective: from one side developing neuroprosthetic devices that can act directly at the level of a neuronal injury to replace the functioning of a living network and from the other side designing electroceutical-based protocols able to promote neuronal plasticity and thus rehabilitate the injured networks. She is also interested in the exploration of novel electrophysiological biomarkers of neuropathologies and behavioral recovery, both in animal models and in humans, as related to the analysis of brain signals at different spatio-temporal scales (spikes, LFP, EEG) and to connectivity investigations. In order to reach this objective, she strongly believes in the importance of a continuous dialogue between patients, clinicians and researchers to foster new technological solutions that can have rapid and well-accepted applications and positively impact the life of disabled people.

Third Quarter of 2021

Dr. Samantha R. Santacruz
The University of Texas at Austin

New Content ItemSamantha R. Santacruz, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Santacruz received her B.A. degree with honors in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley in 2006, her M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rice University in 2010, and her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at Rice University in 2014. She was awarded the Best Thesis Award for her doctoral work on engineering new methods of deep brain stimulation, supervised by Drs. Behnaam Aazhang and Caleb Kemere. She completed her postdoctoral work in Dr. Jose Carmena’s lab at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Santacruz’s research is focused on systems-based neurotherapies to both treat neural pathologies, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia, and to better understand the neural mechanisms responsible through data-driven models and machine learning techniques. Her research focus is on developing closed-loop systems, such as brain-machine interfaces and deep brain stimulation, and understanding the neural mechanisms that underlie successful application or treatment using nonhuman primate (NHP) models. The goal of her work is to translate this research into the clinical realm and to advance the state-of-the-art of neural interfaces through the development of new neurotechnologies.

Fourth Quarter of 2020

Dr. Siavash Bolourani
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York

New Content ItemDr. Siavash Bolourani is the general surgery resident and on research leave at Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Trained in medicine and computer science, his interest lies at the intersection of big data informatics and medicine. In his academic role, he has worked on research projects focused on predicting health care outcomes using machine learning techniques. During the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, he worked to develop a model that can predict respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients in the emergency department. He is also a PhD candidate in molecular medicine working on the role of Col inducible RNA binding protein in Pulmonary fibrosis.

Third Quarter of 2020

Yilong Ma, Ph
Professor of Molecular Medicine
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York

New Content ItemMy academic endeavors center on the development and validation of rigorous neuroimaging methodology and disease-related biomarkers in a variety of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. This is primarily involved with the design of optimal protocols to acquire and analyze multi-tracer positron emission tomography (PET) and multispectral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in human subjects and animal models in non-human primate and rodents. I am specialized in directing multimodal brain mapping studies with specific molecular markers for dopaminergic function, microglia activation and protein aggregates, as well as general markers for cerebral glucose metabolism, blood flow and brain atrophy. My work has brought major advances in the translational neuroscience research on the diagnosis, progression and therapeutic interventions in parkinsonism, dementia, depression and compulsive disorders.

As part of our scientific mission I have been coordinating multi-center research collaborations to share resources and expertise with colleagues nationally and internationally. This ongoing activity provides impetus to: (1) validate novel disease-related metabolic brain network biomarkers for early differential diagnosis and prognosis in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), Huntington’s disease (HD), rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD); (2) establish the streamlined central platform to acquire, transfer and analyze PET/MRI scans for multi-site clinical trials of novel therapies in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, and for preclinical interventional studies in non-human primates and small animals; and (3) disseminate standardized protocols and novel analytical techniques, and share related software and disease-related brain networks with the neuroimaging community worldwide.

More recently I have led multi-center MRI/PET studies to discover and cross-validate novel disease-related brain network biomarkers with advanced multispectral MRI methods for anatomical and functional imaging of brain tissue integrity, cerebral blood flow and resting-state BOLD activity. This can further enhance our ability to investigate differential diagnosis, disease progression and prognosis in patients with PD, MSA, PSP and AD as well as in their prodromal phenotypes like RBD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It is important to assess candidacy and efficacy in patients participating in early interventions using more economical means.

By using molecular and network imaging biomarkers I have contributed my expertise to several clinical trials of medical and neurosurgical interventions such as dopamine cell transplantation, ablative lesioning and deep brain stimulation in patients with PD and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD). Currently I have been in charge of clinical trial designs with multimodality neuroimaging to improve efficacy and understand the mechanisms of action in emerging experimental therapies of gene therapy and stem cell transplantation. I am also interested in inflammation biomarkers in the brain and blood associated with onset and disease progression in parkinsonism and lupus. This may help develop and evaluate targeted immunotherapies of neuroprotection and symptomatic relief in these disorders in the future.

Second Quarter of 2020

Dr. Hojjat Salmasian
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School

New Content ItemDr. Hojjat Salmasian is the Medical Director of Data Science and Analytics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and is also an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Trained in medicine and informatics, he is a leader in the use of advanced data science and informatics approaches to measure and improve quality, safety, experience, and value of healthcare. In his academic role, he leads research projects focused on improving medication safety, reducing wrong-patient order entry, measuring healthcare quality and safety, and improving the efficiency and value of healthcare delivery processes. He lectures on clinical informatics and data science, and mentors clinical informatics fellows at HMS on projects focused on digital medicine, applied clinical informatics, or the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and healthcare.

First Quarter of 2020

Eric H. Chang, Ph.D.
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

New Content ItemDr. Chang is a neuroscientist who works at the intersection of electrophysiology, neurology, and immunology. His research focuses on how electrical and chemical signals enable communication between the nervous system and immune system. Through the use of technologies adapted from the fields of neuroscience and bioengineering, Dr. Chang’s work is aimed at understanding how neurons and nerves in the peripheral nervous system regulate basic physiological functions and inflammatory responses in the body. Recent work in the lab has been focused on optogenetic stimulation of specific vagus nerve fibers to modulate levels of circulating proinflammatory cytokines that are chronically elevated in a host of disorders. Another recent project involves monitoring the responses of neurons to specific inflammatory mediators to determine whether neurons encode cytokine-specific information, and if so, at which level of the nervous system. These studies will provide much needed insight into how electrical signals, which are the currency of the nervous system, lead to molecular changes at the level of immune cells. 

The overarching goal of Dr. Chang’s research is to obtain a better understanding of the neural circuitry underlying neuro-immune communication. This circuit-level understanding can then be used to implement improved bioelectronic therapies for treating disease and, ultimately, improving lives. 

Fourth Quarter of 2019

Professor Sergio Iván Valdés Ferrer
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán

Professor Sergio Iván Valdés FerrerI'm a Neurologist-turned-scientist. My lab is broadly interested in the interactions between nervous and immune systems in health and disease. We are actively exploring the role of cholinergic agonists in HIV-induced immune dysfunction. At this moment, we are also exploring novel pharmacological approaches in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection as a way to mitigate the inflammatory cascade leading to organ failure and death. From a clinical perspective, we are also interested in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus, in particular in spinal cord inflammation and stroke. The lab is currently funded by the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACyT), as well as the Pfizer Scientific Institute. We are proud to collaborate with the labs of Yi Zuo (UCSC), Kevin J. Tracey (Feinstein Institute), Roman Sankowski (Freiburg University), and José C. Crispín (INNSZ; Mexico).

Third quarter of 2019

Professor Jared Huston
Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine 
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

New Content ItemThe focus of Dr. Huston’s research is to understand how the central nervous system maintains homeostasis and protects against traumatic injury. Trauma is a leading cause of death and disability around the world. In the United States, the most common preventable cause of death following trauma is uncontrolled hemorrhage. Therapies to improve hemostasis are limited.

The brain monitors and regulates systemic inflammation through the vagus nerve. This pathway, termed the inflammatory reflex, is comprised of afferent and efferent vagus nerve signaling. The efferent arm, or cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, signals through the vagus nerve to target T lymphocytes in spleen. Acetylcholine release following vagus nerve stimulation inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine production via the a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on macrophages. Electrical or mechanical vagus nerve stimulation prevents lethal organ injury in models of systemic inflammation, shock, and sepsis.

In addition to inhibiting inflammation, vagus nerve stimulation reduces traumatic hemorrhage. Electrical vagus nerve stimulation significantly decreases blood loss and time to cessation of bleeding following peripheral soft tissue injury in swine. Vagus nerve stimulation also accelerates clot formation specifically at the site of tissue injury. These findings have also been observed in small animal models of both peripheral and visceral traumatic hemorrhage. Dr. Huston’s research group is currently investigating the mechanisms underlying these findings. This technology, known as the Neural Tourniquet, is currently undergoing clinical trials, and hopefully it will lead to improved patient outcomes following hemorrhage.

Second quarter of 2019

Professor Ulf Andersson
Karolinska Institutet

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Professor Andersson is a senior professor in pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. As a pediatrician of 45 years, he has taken care of children with inflammatory diseases. During this period, he continuously performed parallel basic studies in immunology in order to develop novel therapy and biomarkers for inflammatory diseases. The backbone of this work has been and still is formed on a close collaboration with Kevin Tracey´s research group at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in New York.  Together, they have been involved in pioneering studies of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and in the discovery and exploration of HMGB1 as the archetypical alarmin.

First quarter of 2019

Professor Bruno Bonaz
Grenoble Institute of Neurosciences

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I am Professor of Gastroenterology in the Grenoble Faculty of Medicine and Hospital in Grenoble, France. I am a member of the team “Cerebral Stimulation & Systems Neuroscience” (team leader: Olivier David) at the Grenoble Institute of Neurosciences (GIN, INSERM U1216;, and I was previously the team leader of the group Stress and Neurodigestive Interactions at the GIN. I have worked on brain-gut interactions for more than thirty years, both at the pre-clinical and clinical level, focusing on irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases with a special interest on the role of stress and the autonomic nervous system in the physiopathology of such diseases. In particular, I am working on the anti-inflammatory (anti-TNF) properties of the vagus nerve (VN) through VN stimulation (VNS). We have shown that VNS has an anti-inflammatory role in a model of colitis in rats and, in a translational approach, we have recently published the first pilot study of VNS in patients with active Crohn’s disease. I really think that Bioelectronic Medicine, targeting the autonomic nervous system (e.g. the VN), opens new therapeutic avenues in the domain of gut inflammatory disorders and others. I am also interested in interoceptive awareness, based on the involvement of the VN in interoception, functional digestive disorders, and inflammatory bowel diseases. I am also interested in the role of complementary medicines, such as hypnosis I practice with my patients, which are known to increase and re-balance vagal tone through a homeostatic way, and I am the principal investigator of a clinical trial of hypnosis in Crohn’s disease. I am presently the President of the International Society of Autonomic Neuroscience (ISAN).

Dr Yao-Chuan Chang
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

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My research interests include Neural Engineering, Neurostimulation, Neuromodulation, and Optical Imaging. My current research focuses on:

  • Designing and conducting experiments on the delivery of neurostimulation strategies to peripheral nerves in a fiber-and function-specific manner.
  • Developing in vivo and in vitro assays for reading out the fiber-specific effects of peripheral neurostimulation, including methodologies from electrical and optical neurophysiology, as well as from automatic and cardiovascular physiology.
  • Designing and implementing closed-loop neuromodulation systems for the in vivo delivery of adaptive, responsive neurostimulation that observes the state of the organism and/or the organ whose function required modulation.

Annual Journal Metrics

  • Citation Impact 2023
    Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 0.817
    SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): N/A

    Speed 2023
    Submission to first editorial decision (median days): 3
    Submission to acceptance (median days): 41

    Usage 2023
    Downloads: 332,742
    Altmetric mentions: 1,664