Functional and Epilepsy Neurosurgery Division


The Division of Functional and Epilepsy Neurosurgery is dedicated to the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders through interventions that target and modulate specific brain circuits to improve function and quality of life.  Many brain disorders are caused by the dysfunction of specific neural circuits, so applying the latest technologies to modify or repair activity in these circuits can reduce symptoms and restore functions in ways medicine alone often cannot.

Neurosurgical treatments such as deep brain stimulation, responsive neurostimulation, MRI-guided focused ultrasound and MRI-guided laser ablation are used to treat movement disorders, epilepsy, and intractable psychiatric disease.  In addition, novel applications of these technologies to treat cognitive and memory disorders are currently under basic and clinical study within the Brown Neurosurgery program.

Brown University has long been a leader in the basic neuroscience or brain function and in the clinical treatment of functional brain disorders.  Ever since Herbert Jasper developed the first EEG laboratory at Brown in the early 1930s, Brown University faculty have continued to pioneer new approaches to study and understand the human brain.  These advances include new applications of deep brain stimulation, the first-in-human testing of brain-machine interfaces, and machine-learning innovations to understand neural signals.  Brown faculty have elucidated the complex interplay of opposing neural circuits underlying Parkinson’s Disease, the basic mechanisms of frontal lobe function, and the mechanisms of precision motor control.  Our division works closely with world-leading faculty in Neuroscience, Neural Engineering, Cognitive Science, and Neuropsychology to better understand basic brain function, to reveal the mechanisms of brain disease, and to develop new, more effective therapies that improve lives.

Major centers and programs within this division include:

Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center 

Epilepsy Surgery Program

Psychiatric Neurosurgery Program 

Our Team


Wael F. Asaad, MD, PhD

Sidney A. Fox and Dorothea Doctors Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Professor of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience
Vice-Chair, Research
Director, Functional and Epilepsy Neurosurgery Program
Director, Laboratory for Neurophysiology and Neuromodulation
Associate Director, Neurosurgery Residency Training Program
Director, Fellowship in Functional & Epilepsy Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery Team

Athar Malik, MD, PhD

Samuel I. Kennison, M.D. and Bertha S. Kennison Assistant Professor of Clinical Neuroscience
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Director, Brain Injury & Restorative Neurosurgery

Director, Restorative Neuroscience Laboratory

Konstantina A. Svokos, DO, MS

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics
Director, Fetal Neurosurgery
Co-Director, Neuroplastics
Co-Director, Center for Surgical Treatment of the Developing Brain and Spine

Shane Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Director, Computational Neuromodulation Laboratory
Director, Technical Design & Quantitative Applications

Conditions We Treat

Movement Disorders



Psychiatric Disorders

  • Intractable OCD
  • Intractable Depression (experimental)
  • Intractable Tourette’s Disease (experimental)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (experimental)


Neurosurgery Department

The Neurophysiology & Neuromodulation Laboratory

Other Labs


BrainLab AIRO Mobile CT Scanner with Navigation System

Custom 3D-Printed Targeting Platforms

Deep Brain Stimulation

Focused Ultrasound

MRI Guided Laser Ablation

Neuromodulation for Epilepsy

Neurosurgical Robot

Recent News

“New generation of surgical technology” comes to RI Hospital

Advances In The Treatment Of Movement Disorders Webinar

Brown Neurosurgery Launches Brain and Spine Robotic Surgery Programs!

Can Brain Surgery Help Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Dr. Wael Asaad Treats His First Essential Tremor Patient With Focused Ultrasound

Expert Conversations: Responsive Neurostimulation for Epilepsy

It’s Like Magic: Cutting-edge technology available in RI to treat essential tremors

Lifespan neurosurgeons perform incisionless brain procedure with new technology

New Procedure Can Treat Disabling Tremors, Such as Those Caused by Parkinson’s Disease

Rapid motor fluctuations reveal short-timescale neurophysiological biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease

RI Hospital Performs Incision-Less Brain Surgery

“Functional neurosurgery aims to restore quality of life to patients with a wide variety of chronic, debilitating neurological disorders.”

– Wael F. Asaad, MD, PhD

Rhode Island Hospital
Ambulatory Patient Center
(APC) 6
593 Eddy Street
Providence, RI 02903