Associate Professor of Neurology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Member, Research Institute
Weill Cornell Medical College
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 of Cornell University before rejoining as an associate member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in 2007. Dr. Helekar also holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and the Department of Biology at Texas A & M University. As a member of the Research Institute Neurosciences Research Program, he directs the Songbird Neurophysiology Laboratory in the Speech and Language Center of the Department of Neurology to study songbird models of stuttering and other speech problems. He also collaborates with other members of the Research Institute on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) 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 a reviewer for several international research foundations and scientific journals in his field. He serves on the editorial board of The Open Zoology Journal.
Dr. Helekar's research program focuses on developing and studying songbird models of speech disorders and developmental learning disabilities, how the brain encodes vocal sounds, and the neural basis of vocal learning and plasticity. His current experiments involve brain functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging and local field potential recordings, and long-term computerized monitoring of birdsong learning and proteomics of sensorimotor brain structures. He is also interested in quantitative analysis of functional brain networks to study how conscious behavior is orchestrated by the brain, and how these networks might be altered in patients with cognitive deficits.