Valentina Zapata, M.Sc.

I received a BSc and an Biomedical Engineering at Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia in 2016 and 2019, respectively. During my undergraduate studies, I developed a collaborative neurofeedback approach aimed to treat ADHD symptoms in children. After graduating from my undergraduate studies, I brought my ADHD treatment approach to market and pediatric patients in Santiago de Chile, Chile. In 2016-2017, I worked as an intern at the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris, France, where I developed a prototype of a portable system to record and analyze brain activity from a device within the ear. In another internship at the same Institute, I led a research project on the Brain-Gut axis, inquiring how negative and positive emotions affect the electrical activity in the scalp and the gastrointestinal system. During my MSs studies and research, I characterized functional connectivity profiles of brain networks across sleep stages.

In 2019, I joined the Neural Dynamics and Modulation Laboratory (previously at the University of Minnesota) as a Research Scholar. I worked on the development of tools to characterize how electrical activity in brain circuits are altered in Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, and how deep brain stimulation (DBS) modulates these brain circuits. I studied the spatio-temporal dynamics and resonance properties of stimulation-evoked responses in the basal ganglia using directional DBS leads. I also worked on the development of tools to isolate and localize seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy using spatio-temporal decomposition techniques. Currently, I am a volunteer-researcher in the laboratory, where I continue my research on Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and DBS.

Research Interests:

I am interested in the development of neuromodulation therapies and neuroprosthesis for neurodegenerative disorders and spinal cord injury that can impact the life of patients. I aim to help move these technologies from research to market and make them widely available.