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Dr. Omurtag’s research focus is on the diagnostic utility of portable functional neuroimaging devices. Dr. Omurtag believes that integrating diverse types of signals holds the greatest promise for understanding the brain and for diagnosing its diseases. The brain performs information processing which is, under normal circumstances, tightly coupled with local vascular mechanisms. Dr. Omurtag utilizes simultaneous EEG and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to characterize neurovascular coupling and its implications. Both EEG and fNIRS are non-invasive techniques, potentially operating within a miniaturized system, measuring complementary types of information about the brain. EEG is sensitive to the organized synaptic activity while fNIRS measures hemoglobin concentration changes in superficial cortical layers by placing near-infrared light probes on the scalp. Dr. Omurtag takes advantage of the strengths of each modality. Dr. Omurtag is an inventor of microEEG, a battery operated wireless EEG device approved by the FDA. He supervised the use and validation of microEEG for seizure detection in Emergency Departments. In parallel, he conducted a study of the accuracy and reliability of EEG interpretation. He holds two U.S. patents. Dr. Omurtag is part of BRAIN. Dr. Omurtag’s work has received funding from NIH and NSF. He has served in NIH study sections on Neuroscience and Ophthalmic Imaging Technologies. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. His post-doctoral training was at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in computational neuroscience.

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