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Prof. Vasileios Christopoulos


Assistant Professor | Bioengineering UC Riverside | Google Scholar

Prof. ChristopouIos is an Assistant Professor in the UC Riverside Department of Bioengineering and Cooperating Faculty in the Graduate Neuroscience Program. He is also a Visiting Associate at the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC). Prior to joining UC Riverside, Dr. Christopoulos was a Research Faculty at Caltech and Director of Neurotechnology at the T&C Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center at Caltech. He received his PhD in computer science, with minor in Cognitive Sciences, from the University of Minnesota, having worked with Prof. Apostolos Georgopoulos and Prof. Paul Schrater. He was also a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Richard Andersen at Caltech.

His research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms of higher order cognitive functions in humans and non-human primates, such as decision-making, motor learning and motor control. In the recent years, he has extended his research to clinical studies in patients with brain and spinal cord injuries, including intracortical Brain-Machine Interface in individuals with tetraplegia, functional ultrasound imaging in the patients who undergo surgery for treating brain and spinal cord disorders.

Post-doctoral scholars


Kofi Agyeman, PhD

PhD student | Bioengineering UC Riverside

Kofi was graduated from Columbia University with a BSc in Electrical Engineering. He then received a MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the City College of New York and a PhD from the Bioengineering department of UC Riverside. His research interests focus on functional ultrasound imaging in neurological research.  He is also exploring innovative imaging data processing and interpretable machine learning tools that can be leveraged to decode neural correlates of induced functional changes from measurements of transient cerebral and spinal cord hemodynamic changes. 

Graduate students


Shan Zhong, MSc

PhD student | Neuroscience 

Shan received his BSc in Biological Science in 2016, and MSc degree in Neurobiology in 2020 at University of Science and Technology of China, with thesis advisor Prof. Yong Shen. He is currently studying the mechanism of action-based decision making and motor control, and investigating the functional deficits in action regulation in neurological disorders.


Helma Zareian, MD

PhD student | Biophysics

Helma graduated from medical school in 2023 and completed her medical internship at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. During medical school, she worked as a research assistant in the neurology department and Systems Artificial Intelligence Network, gaining insight into bridging the gap between neurodegenerative disorders and artificial intelligence. Her research focuses on Functional Ultrasound Imaging (fUSI) of the nervous system. She is an aspiring physician and believes that addressing complex problems in today's world is impossible unless we embrace interdisciplinary methods.


Argishti Stepanian, MSc

PhD student | Neuroscience 

Argishti received his BSc in Physiology & Neuroscience from UC San Diego in 2017 and his MSc in Biology at Cal State LA in 2020. During his MSc project, he examined the role of inflammation on the amyloid beta peptide in Alzheimer’s disease. Argishti has also worked in care roles for those suffering from physical and mental disabilities and intends to conduct research on neural imaging and intervention modalities for neurological disease.

Undergaduate students


Erik Hakopian (MSRIP and UC LEADS recipient) 

BSc student | Neuroscience UC Riverside

Erik is a neuroscience undergraduate at UCR with a background in Computer science. He is interested in a future where humans can transfer and upload complex logic/knowledge/information to their brains in a matter of seconds and increase the bandwidth of the conscious human brain. Thus, he is interested in researching the mechanisms behind the brain’s memory, how it stores and recalls information, and novel ways to record brain signals. Besides neuroscience, in his undergraduate path, he is focused on gathering and strengthening his knowledge in interdisciplinary fields such as computer science, electrical engineering, signal processing, and machine learning to make this future a reality.


Graduate students

Harpreet Multani

MSc student | Bioengineering UC Riverside

Harpreet graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a BSc in Bioengineering. Currently, he is a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside attaining his MS in Bioengineering. He is interested in research within brain-machine interfacing and brain mapping.

New Position: Engineer at HP Communications, Inc.


Undergraduate students

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Shanze Syed (MSRIP recipient) 

BSc student | Bioengineering UC Riverside

Shanze is a Bioengineering student at UCR interested in exploring the realm of neuroengineering. Her research interests include understanding the mechanism of cognitive and motor control and using neuromodulation methodologies to restore these functions. 

New Position: Graduate student of Bioengineering at UCSD


Richard Tobing

BSc student | Computer Science UC Riverside

Richard is a 4th year computer science student at UCR currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree. Richard is interested in the intersection between computer science and neuroscience. He aims to use AI-based tools to aid in the study of neuroscience. In the long term, he wants to attain a greater understanding of the human mind and its growing relationship with technology because he believes that similarities can be drawn  between the complex silicon constructions in our laptops, and the organic mound of  grey matter encapsulated in our skulls.


New Position: AI Trainer / Prompt Engineer

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Houssam Nasser 

Bsc student | Biology UC Riverside

Houssam is a premed Biology major at UCR. He is graduating in Fall 2021 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He wants to take a gap year to get involved in medically related research before he goes to medical school. He thinks that assisting Dr. Christopoulos in his research to investigate the mechanisms underlying decision-making and study dysfunctional circuits in neurological disorder is a great opportunity to meet these objectives. Houssam also has a special interest in learning how to use novel imaging techniques and interpret data.


Sandy Wahba

BSc student | Bioengineering UC Riverside

Sandy Wahba is an undergraduate bioengineering student at UCR. She is currently interested in brain-machine interphase and motor learning for exploring circuit dysfunctions in neurological disorders.  

New Position: Shield T3 LLC


Tiffany Doan

BSc student | Bioengineering UC Riverside

Tiffany Doan is an undergraduate students in bioengineering and computational mathematics at the University of California, Riverside. Her research interests generally lie in infant systematic neuroscience and biomechanics.

New Position: Associate Quality Engineer at Abbott


Merril Ghabour

BSc student | Bioengineering UC Riverside

Merril Ghabour is a Biomedical Engineering major at UCR. She is currently in her 4th year, and is working towards a 5th year to graduate with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Spring 2022. She is assisting Dr. Christopoulos in his research lab to discover the mechanisms underlying spatial awareness, decision making, and motor learning. 


John-Paul Sassine

BSc student | Computer Science UC Riverside

John-Paul Sassine is pursuing a BSc in Computer Science at the University of California, Riverside. Interested in Blockchain decentralization, Smart Contracts, Back-End Systems, Web3, and the symbiosis between man and machine through the growing development of Brain-Machine Interfaces. 

New Position: Software Engineering Intern at FORMLESS

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Lauren Tran

BSc student | Psychology UC Riverside

Lauren Tran is pursuing a BSc in Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She is interested in computational neuroscience, decision-making and neural prosthetics.

New Position: California State University, Long Beach

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