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Lab Members

Dr. Ngwenya 

Dr. Ngwenya is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology & Rehabilitation Medicine at University of Cincinnati. She is also the Director of the Neurotrauma Center at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Ngwenya earned her joint MD, PhD degree from Boston University School of Medicine. Her graduate thesis defined the generation and maturation process of adult born neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of young and aging rhesus monkeys. She then underwent training in Neurological Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Her research efforts during residency demonstrated that the process of new neuron generation is abnormal after a rodent model of traumatic brain injury. After completion of residency, she worked as a Clinical Instructor at the University of California San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital while obtaining fellowship training in Neurotrauma and Neurocritical Care. Dr. Ngwenya joined University of Cincinnati in 2016 as an academic neurosurgeon who specializes in neurotrauma, and also treats patients with general neurosurgery conditions. She is actively engaged in clinical trials and translational research. Her neurotrauma laboratory focuses on mechanisms underlying poor cognitive recovery, with an emphasis on adult neurogenesis, and an ultimate goal of improving outcomes in patients with traumatic brain injury. She is currently Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on 3 active clinical trials and is co-founder and a member of the executive leadership of the Collaborative for Research on Acute Neurological Injuries (CRANI). Dr. Ngwenya’s laboratory research has been supported by UCGNI Neurobiology Research Center Pilot Grant, a Local Initiative for Excellence Foundation Grant, and is currently funded by a NINDS/NIH K08 Grant.

Yara Alfawares

Yara Alfawares is an undergraduate student at the University of Cincinnati working to earn a B.S. in Neurobiology and Biological Sciences. With this, she hopes to attend Medical School where the plan would be to work towards becoming a surgeon (although with an open mind regarding specialties). She is currently studying how spreading depolarizations effect glutamatergic signaling in the brain.

Contact Us

Department of
Neurosurgery

231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670769
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0515

Mailing Address
University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
Department of Neurosurgery
PO Box 670515
Cincinnati Ohio 45267-0515