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Santosh Helekar, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Member, Research Institute
Associate Research Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Neurophysiology and Neuromodulation Lab


Dr. Santosh A. Helekar earned his medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) from the University of Bombay in 1982. He earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine. He held faculty appointments in the Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neurology at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and Weill Medical College (WMC) of Cornell University before rejoining as an associate member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2007. Dr. Helekar also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Biology at Texas A & M University. As a member of the Research Institute Neurosciences Research Program, he directs the Neurophysiology and Neuromodulation Laboratory in the Speech and Language Center of the Department of Neurology, where he conducts neuroscientific research on stuttering, chronic ischemic stroke, motor control, and conscious perception using neuroimaging and magnetic brain stimulation with a new portable wearable device developed by him and Dr. Henning Voss of WMC. He also collaborates with other members of the Research Institute on functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of neurological conditions. Dr. Helekar has been a member of the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and Alzheimer's Association grant review boards. He has also been an E-print editor of Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and a reviewer for several international research foundations and scientific journals in his fields of interest. He serves on the editorial board of The Open Zoology Journal.

Description of Research

Dr. Helekar's current research program focuses on the development and refinement of multifocal magnetic brain stimulation using a new portable wearable device called Transcranial Rotating Permanent Magnet Stimulator (TRPMS) invented by him and Dr. Henning Voss of Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Ongoing projects in his laboratory involve studying the effects of TRPMS stimulation using brain functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and electrophysiological approaches for application in basic neuroscience research and neuromodulatory therapy in neurobehavioral disorders, including stuttering and chronic ischemic stroke. He is also interested in quantitative functional network-based analysis and theoretical research related to neural processes underlying conscious perception.

Areas Of Expertise

Vocal learning Speech and language disorders fMRI Conscious perception Neurophysiology Neuromodulation Motor control
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship , Baylor College of Medicine
PhD , Baylor College of Medicine

Method and apparatus for providing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to a patient
Helekar, S & Voss, HU 2016, , Patent No. US9456784B2.

Transcranial Brain Stimulation with Rapidly Spinning High-Field Permanent Magnets
Helekar, SA & Voss, HU 2016, IEEE Access, vol 4, 7473846, pp. 2520-2528. DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2016.2568739

Helekar, SA 2013, Unknown Journal, pp. v-vii. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-8400-4

Animal models of speech and language disorders
Helekar, SA 2013, . Springer New York. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-8400-4

Stuttered birdsong
Helekar, SA, Salgado-Commissariat, D, Rosenfield, DB & Voss, HU 2013, . in Animal Models of Speech and Language Disorders. Springer New York, pp. 185-208. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-8400-4_7

Altered auditory BOLD response to conspecific birdsong in zebra finches with stuttered syllables
Voss, HU, Salgado-Commissariat, D & Helekar, SA 2010, PLoS ONE, vol 5, no. 12, e14415. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014415

Functional brain network changes associated with maintenance of cognitive function in multiple sclerosis
Helekar, SA, Shin, JC, Mattson, BJ, Bartley, K, Stosic, M, Saldana-King, T, Read Montague, P & Hutton, GJ 2010, . in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. vol. 4. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2010.00219

The development of stimulus-specific auditory responses requires song exposure in male but not female zebra finches
Maul, KK, Voss, HU, Parra, LC, Salgado-Commissariat, D, Ballon, D, Tchernichovski, O & Helekar, SA 2010, Developmental Neurobiology, vol 70, no. 1, pp. 28-40. DOI: 10.1002/dneu.20751

Proteomics of the nucleus ovoidalis and field L brain regions of zebra finch
Benjamin, A, Kashem, M, Cohen, C, Caldwell Busby, JA, Salgado-Commissariat, D, Helekar, SA & Bhattacharya, SK 2008, Journal of Proteome Research, vol 7, no. 5, pp. 2121-2132. DOI: 10.1021/pr7008687

Functional MRI of the zebra finch brain during song stimulation suggests a lateralized response topography
Voss, HU, Tabelow, K, Polzehl, J, Tchernichovski, O, Maul, KK, Salgado-Commissariat, D, Ballon, D & Helekar, SA 2007, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 104, no. 25, pp. 10667-10672. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0611515104

Differential effect of nicotine on the developmental phases of song learning in zebra finches
Salgado-Commissariat, D & Helekar, S 2006, Neuroscience 2006 - Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, United States, 10/14/06 - 10/18/06, .

Auditory evoked responses to click stimuli mature late in development in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)
Maul, KK, Tchernichovski, O, Mitra, PP & Helekar, S 2006, Neuroscience 2006 - Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, United States, 10/14/06 - 10/18/06, .

Preservation of the shape of auditory evoked responses to birdsong stimuli despite degradation of their spectrotemporal structure in zebra finches
Helekar, S, Salgado-Commissariat, D, Diep, D, Langot, P, Maul, KK, Tchernichovski, O & Parra, LC 2006, Neuroscience 2006 - Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Atlanta, United States, 10/14/06 - 10/18/06, .

Spatial profiles of song stimulus-evoked responses on the brain surface of adult zebra finches
Helekar, S, Maul, KK, Tchernichovski, O & Salgado-Commissariat, D 2005, Neuroscience 2005 – Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, November 12 – 16. Washington, United States, 11/12/05 - 11/16/05, .

The influence of neuromodulators on song-related plasticity in the songbird zebra finch
Salgado-Commissariat, D, Rosenfield, DB & Helekar, S 2004, Neuroscience 2004 – Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, United States, 10/23/04 - 10/27/04, .

Nicotine-mediated plasticity in robust nucleus of the archistriatum of the adult zebra finch
Salgado-Commissariat, D, Rosenfield, DB & Helekar, SA 2004, Brain Research, vol 1018, no. 1, pp. 97-105. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2004.05.051

Invariance of temporal profiles of surface auditory evoked responses to song stimuli with respect to stimulus intensity in zebra finches
Helekar, S, Dixit, S, Rosenfield, DB & Salgado-Commissariat, D 2004, Neuroscience 2004 – Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, United States, 10/23/04 - 10/27/04, .

Modulation of ?/a frequency profiles of slow auditory-evoked responses in the songbird zebra finch
Espino, GG, Lewis, C, Rosenfield, DB & Helekar, SA 2003, Neuroscience, vol 122, no. 2, pp. 521-529. DOI: 10.1016/S0306-4522(03)00549-9

Development and adult phase plasticity of syllable repetitions in the birdsong of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)
Helekar, SA, Espino, GG, Botas, A & Rosenfield, DB 2003, Behavioral Neuroscience, vol 117, no. 5, pp. 939-951. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7044.117.5.939

The temporal profiles of global auditory evoked responses reflecting conspecific song syllable discrimination and autogenic song syllable recognition in zebra finches
Helekar, S, Espino, GG & Rosenfield, DB 2003, 6th IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience, Prague, Czech Republic, 7/10/03 - 7/15/03, .