Meet the Guardians

The University of Florida “Guardians of the Neuroaxis” of the division of Neurocritical Care, are dedicated to a variety of research projects – all with the ultimate goal to positively impact patients with acute neurological illness. Our ongoing projects reflect the diversity of interests and expertise of the neurocritical care faculty – spanning clinical, basic science, translational, educational, and quality improvement realms, our projects include: innovations in neuroscience and neurocritical care education, prognostication in neurocritical illness, expanding understanding in traumatic brain injury and brain edema, exploring the gut-brain axis, establishing new treatment avenues for headache in the neuroICU, and expanding clinical treatment for post-cardiac arrest survivors with status epilepticus, among others. We hope our scientific endeavors will help patients and families in many ways – by saving neurons, improving the odds of recovery, or providing solace in times of distress – all while inspiring the next generation of academic neurointensivists.

More about our Lab.

Our Leaders

Katharina Busl

Katharina Busl MD, MS

Professor Of Neurology And Neurosurgery; Associate Chair Of Clinical Operations; Chief, Division Of Neurocritical Care; Director, UF Health Shands Neurointensive Care Unit; Associate Program Director, Neurocritical Care Fellowship
Phone: (352) 294-5000
Carolina B Maciel

Carolina B Maciel MD, MSCR

Associate Professor Of Neurology And Neurosurgery; Director Of Research, Division Of Neurocritical Care, Critical Care Encephalographer, Division Of Epilepsy
Phone: (352) 273-5550

Our Faculty

Pouya A Ameli

Pouya A Ameli MD, MS

Assistant Professor Of Neurology And Neurosurgery, Division Of Neurocritical Care
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Jenna L Ford

Jenna L Ford MD

Assistant Professor Of Neurology, Division Of Neurocritical Care
Phone: (352) 294-5000
Michael A Pizzi

Michael A Pizzi DO, PhD

Assistant Professor Of Neurology And Neurosurgery, Division Of Neurocritical Care
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson DO, MS

Assistant Professor Of Neurology And Neurosurgery, Division Of Neurocritical Care; Neuroscience Course Director UF College Of Medicine; Program Director, Neurocritical Care Fellowship
Phone: (352) 273-5550
William Roth

William Roth MD

Assistant Professor Of Neurology And Neurosurgery, Division Of Neurocritical Care
Phone: (352) 273-5550

Our Fellows

John Bruno

John Bruno M.D.

NCC Fellow 2022-24
Phone: (352) 265-0077
Amjad Elmashala

Amjad Elmashala MD

Neurocritical Care Fellow, 1st Year
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Shweta Goswami

Shweta Goswami MD

Neurocritical Care Fellow, 2nd Year
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Shilpa Haldal

Shilpa Haldal MBBS

Neurocritical Care Fellow, 1st Year
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Nicholas J Nelson

Nicholas J Nelson MD

Neurocritical Care Fellow, 1st Year
Hemanth Pasupuleti

Hemanth Pasupuleti MD

Neurocritical Care Fellow, 2nd Year
Phone: (352) 273-5550

Administrative and Research Staff

Bakhtawar Ahmad

Bakhtawar Ahmad M.B.B.S

Research Scholar
Phone: (352) 273-5758
Sema Akkus

Sema Akkus MD

Densch Research Scholar
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Kaitlyn J Dickinson
Phone: (352) 733-0541
Ruthi N Peterson

Ruthi N Peterson

Neurocritical Administrative Support Assistant
Phone: (352) 294-8957
Daniela Pomar Forero

Daniela Pomar Forero MD

Research Scholar For Acute Neurology Clinical Trials Program
Phone: (352) 327-1751
Ralisa Pop

Ralisa Pop BSN, RN, CCRC

Clinical Research Nurse
Phone: (352) 294-5693
Jessica C Spana

Jessica C Spana

Clinical Research Coordinator III
Phone: (352) 273-5550

NCC Research Collaborators

Edilberto Amorim

NCC Collaborator – File Express
Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE

Fazila Aseem

RedCap Collaborator
Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE

Jorge Cespedes

Research Coordinator
Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE

Lawrence Hirsch

NCC Research Collaborator
Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE
Phone: (203) 785-3865

Clio Rubinos

RedCap Collaborator
Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE

Brandon Waters

RedCap Collaborator
Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE
Phone: (984) 974-4401

Jayant Yadav

Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE

Exceptional Student Researchers

Post Bachelor and Professional Students

Michael Neshwiwat, BS Neuroscience, BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Alyson Moriarty, BS Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Major, Minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Megan Centrella

Gairman Fisher

Anum Keen

Viktoriya Gibatova

Ursula Medeiros Araujo de Matos 

Kyra Schmidt, NCC RedCap Collaborator

4th Year Students

Brian Nuñez, Biology major, Minor in Spanish

Ji-Min Jang, Biology Major

Priyanka Devaguptapu, Health Education and Behavior Major

Rachel Hines , Piano Performance Major

Sahil Patel, Pre-professional Biology Major, Minor in Pathogenesis


3rd Year Students

Bailey Chagnon, Nutritional Sciences Major

Bryn Jemmi, Pre-professional Biology Major, Minor in Economics

Ebrahim Khan, Biology Major

Gabi Ramos, Biology Major

Kevin Marti, Microbiology Major, Public Health Minor

Kyle Zamajtuk, Biology Major, Minor in Innovation  

Maiya-Mari Messina, Pre-Professional Biology and General Psychology Major

Noelle Taylor, Biology Major, Minor in Health Disparities

Shehryar Bokhari, Health Science Major

2nd Year Students

Ansley Grashof, Biomedical Engineering Major

Areebah Ahmed, Biology Major, Minors in Anthropology and Health Disparities in Society

Arravintha Gobinathan, Microbiology Major

Gabriela Carrazana, Nutritional Sciences Major, Minor in Disabilities in Society

Hanaa Salman, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Major

Privank Patel, Biomedical Engineering Major

Michael I. Fernandez, Applied Physiology and Kinesiology Major, Nutritional Sciences Minor

Samirah Ocampo, Health Science Major

Suman Sonty, Classical Studies and Biology Major


1st Year Students

Sameer Ponnaluri, Microbiology and Cell Science Major

Students and Trainees Outside of UF College of Medicine

Nilan Bhakta

Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE
Phone: (352) 273-5550

Melody B Eckert

Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE
Phone: (352) 273-5550

Viktoriya A Gibatova

Department: MD-NEURO-NEUROCRITICAL CARE
Phone: (239) 246-3122

See our Testimonials!