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Santosh Helekar, MD, PhD

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

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

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

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

Modulation of Cortical Excitabilityand Function by Rapid Rotation of Strong Permanent Magnets in a Wearable Brain Stimulator
Helekar, S, Convento, S, Joseph, E, John, B, Shannon, C, Mathew, J & Yau, J 2018, The International Neuromodulation Society’s 14th World Congress, Sydney, Australia, 5/25/19 - 5/30/19, .

Alternating Electric Fields Induced by Fast Spinning Strong Magnets Modulate Mitochondrial Energy Metabolism in GBM Cells
Pichumani, K, Ijare, OB, Sharpe, MA, Baskin, DS & Helekar, S 2018, 23rd Annual Meeting and Education Day of the Society for NeuroOncology
, New Orleans, United States, 11/15/18 - 11/18/18, pp. vi39-vi40.

The strength and spread of the electric field induced by transcranial rotating permanent magnet stimulation in comparison with conventional transcranial magnetic stimulation
Helekar, S, Convento, S, Nguyen, L, John, BS, Patel, A, Yau, JM & Voss, HU 2018, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, vol. 309, pp. 153-160.

Therapeutic Repetitive Bifocal Magnetic Stimulation of Speech Areas in Developmental Stuttering
Rosenfield, DB, John, B, Swiney, K, Booker, J & Helekar, S 2018, 143rd Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association, Atlanta, United States, 10/21/18 - 10/23/18, pp. S115.

Helekar, S & Voss, HU 2017, , Patent No. WO2017193078 (A1).

Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds
Tokarev, K, Bruno, JH, Ljubicic, I, Kothari, PJ, Helekar, S, Tchernichovski, O & Voss, HU 2017, eLife, vol. 6, e25819.

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, S & Voss, HU 2016, IEEE Access, vol. 4, 7473846, pp. 2520-2528.

Helekar, SA 2013, . in SA Helekar (ed.), Animal Models of Speech and Language Disorders. Springer, Unknown Journal, pp. v-vii.

Animal models of speech and language disorders
Helekar, SA (ed.) 2013, . Springer New York.

Stuttered birdsong
Helekar, S, Salgado-Commissariat, D, Rosenfield, DB & Voss, HU 2013, . in SA Helekar (ed.), Animal Models of Speech and Language Disorders. Springer New York, pp. 185-208.

Altered auditory BOLD response to conspecific birdsong in zebra finches with stuttered syllables
Voss, HU, Salgado-Commissariat, D & Helekar, S 2010, PLoS ONE, vol. 5, no. 12, e14415.

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, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 4, 219.

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, S 2010, Developmental Neurobiology, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 28-40.

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, S & Bhattacharya, SK 2008, Journal of Proteome Research, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 2121-2132.

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, S 2007, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 104, no. 25, pp. 10667-10672.

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, .

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, .

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, .

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, .

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