Our Team

Principal Investigator 

Dr. Cohen received his MD from the University of Buenos Aires. He did his neurology residency at Georgetown University and received postdoctoral training in Clinical Neurophysiology at the Department of Neurology, University of California (Irvine) and in Motor Control and Movement Disorders at the Human Motor Control Section, NINDS.

In 1998, Dr. Cohen became chief of the Human Cortical Physiology Section, NINDS. He is a recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Award (Humboldt Foundation) and Barbro B Johansson Award in Stroke Recovery (World Stroke Organization), and is an elected member of the American Neurological Association.



Dr. Buch completed his undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Maryland, College Park, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2012 where he investigated brain network interactions underlying reaching and grasping behaviors in humans with Dr. Matthew Rushworth. He completed postdoctoral training under Dr. Leonardo Cohen where he pursued the use of brain-computer interface (BCI) approaches for the rehabilitation of hand motor function in patients following stroke (NINDS IRP) and traumatic brain injury (Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine). In 2016, Dr. Buch was appointed as Staff Scientist of the Human Cortical Physiology and Neurorehabilitation Section. In 2024, he was promoted to Associate Scientist.


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Tasneem Malik, FNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner

Tasneem Malik received her Master of Science degree in Nursing from Emory University in 2015.  She also has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and worked in occupational health and primary care for 6 years before joining NIH in 2022.  In addition to her clinical experience, she has over twenty years of public health experience with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Health focusing on vaccine preventable diseases, HIV and STD prevention programs, and antenatal surveillance, testing, and prevention of hepatitis B virus and congenital syphilis. 


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Michele Richman
Regulatory Specialist

Michele Richman provides regulatory support to all HCPS research projects. Prior to joining HCPS in 2019, Ms. Richman had over 9 years of experience working with the IRB of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). 


Clinical Fellows

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William Hayward, MD, PhD

Dr. Hayward completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Miami (FL), and obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Georgetown University Medical School.   He completed his clinical training in the MedStar Georgetown-NIH Neurology Residency Program. Dr. Hayward's research interests include understanding how non-invasive brain-state dependent stimulation can improve rehabilitation outcomes following brain injury or disease.  


Postdoctoral Fellows

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Fumiaki Iwane, PhD

Dr. Iwane received his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Kumamoto National College of Technology, Master’s degree in Engineering from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology and Ph.D. in Neural Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. His current work focuses on how brain activity predicts erroneous actions in skill learning.

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Dushyanthi Karunathilake, PhD

Dr. Karunathilake obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. She then completed her Master's and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Z. Simon. During her doctoral studies, she investigated the neural mechanisms in speech comprehension and explored age-related cortical changes in speech understanding using magnetoencephalography (MEG) data recordings. Currently, her research is focused on studying age-related changes in motor plasticity.



Predoctoral Fellows

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William Kistler

William Kistler received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is currently working under the guidance of Dr. Cohen and Dr. Sven Bestmann (UCL) as a student in the UCL-NIMH Joint Doctoral Program in Neuroscience. The focus of his thesis work is identifying the kinematic changes that drive early skill learning with the aim of optimizing rehabilitation interventions for persons affected by chronic stroke.


Visiting Fellows

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Lillian Chin, PhD

Dr. Chin is a 2023 Schmidt Science Fellow. She completed her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where her work focused on creating new “meta-materials” for robots that integrate force sensing using soft materials. For her current fellowship, Dr. Chin's focus is on translating her previous robotics work into clinical applications in the field of neurorehabilitation. Dr. Chin will join the faculty of the University of Texas-Austin’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department as an Assistant Professor for the 2024-2025 academic year.