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Lab Members

Dr. Ngwenya 

ngwenyaDr. 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 6 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 (LIFE) Grant, a NINDS/NIH K08 Grant and is currently funded by a NINDS/NIH R01 and DOD-ERP grants.

Tracy Hopkins

Tracy has over 30 years of research experience, much of which has been at UC. She has been the Ngwenya Lab manager since 2019 and specializes in histology, microscopy, and being the lab “mom.”

Faith Best

Faith is a PhD candidate in the UC Neuroscience Graduate Program. She is studying the cognitive impact of spreading depolarizations after traumatic brain injury in a rodent model and is an active student member of the National Neurotrauma Society.

Roshni Khatri

Roshni is UC undergraduate majoring in computer science on a pre-med track. She joined the Ngwenya Neurotrauma Laboratory in 2021. Although she has previously used her computer science skills to program robots and prevent cyber-attacks, she now uses her skills to decipher RNA-seq data.

Caroline Folz

Caroline is an MD Candidate at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She has a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Neuroscience and Public Policy and an MS in Global Medicine with plans to pursue a career in Neurosurgery and global health policy. She currently studies contusion evolution following TBI with a special interest in optimizing the role of machine learning in future clinical practice.

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