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Our Team

Meet the lab team members below and see our Collaborators page to learn about our partners. We welcome requests for information about our work and collaboration opportunities; see About Us to learn more.

Principal Investigator

Vicki Tysseling

Vicki Tysseling, PT, PhD

v-tysseling( at )
(312) 908-8160

View Tysseling's Faculty Profile

Research Assistant Professor

Mingchen Jiang

Mingchen Jiang, MD/PhD

m-jiang( at )
(312) 503-4814

View Jiang's Faculty Profile

Postdoctoral Fellow

Amr Mahrous

Amr Mahrous, PhD

amr.mahrous( at )

The ultimate goal of my research is the development of novel treatment options for patients with motor disabilities. Using animal models of neurological diseases, I study specific pathophysiological changes following traumatic injury, such as spinal cord injury (SCI), and degeneration of spinal neurons, as in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These disease changes are then investigated as potential therapeutic targets to alleviate motor dysfunction. In a current project, I am studying the mechanisms of spinal cord stimulation and its therapeutic potential following SCI. The work is focused on the type of neuronal pathways recruited by surface stimulation of the spinal cord, synaptic integration of these pathways in motoneurons, and changes in response after injury. This project aims at identifying stimulation protocols that can generate functionally-relevant motor outputs following complete SCI. In another project, I investigate the mechanisms underlying the development of muscle spasms following different types of SCI (complete and incomplete injuries). This includes changes in single neuron behavior, synaptic excitation-inhibition balance, and the effect of injury severity. The goal of this project is to develop more specific pharmacological treatments to alleviate muscle spasms without compromising the remaining motor function after injury.

Research Staff

Derin Birch

Derin Birch, MS

Research Technologist III

d-birch( at )
(312) 503-1791

Graduate Students

Owen Shelton

Owen Shelton

OwenShelton2021( at )

Miranda Torres

Miranda Torres

MirandaTorres2026( at )

Undergraduate Students

Karaj Singh

Karaj Singh

KarajSingh2022( at )

I am a junior at Northwestern University majoring in Biological Studies with a concentration in Health and Human Disease and minoring in Spanish and Cognitive Science. Throughout my time in the Tysseling lab, I have performed data extraction, data analysis and helped develop analysis protocols for the flexor withdrawal and sacral cord preparation experiments. I extract data by identifying muscle spasm responses on Spike2 that are fit for analysis based on the determined protocol. I then filter through and consolidate the raw data, preparing it for statistical analyses. Eventually, I aspire to use this experience to enhance my future in healthcare!