Heidi Schambra, MD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Heidi Schambra is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Director of the Neuro-Epidemiology division, and Director of the Mobilis Lab. Dr. Schambra received her BS in Neuroscience from Brown University and MD from Emory University. She trained in Neurology at Harvard University, and received subspecialty training in Neurorehabilitation at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. She additionally completed a postdoctoral fellowship studying motor learning and noninvasive brain stimulation with Dr. Leonardo Cohen at NINDS/NIH. Dr. Schambra was on faculty at Columbia University until 2016, when she joined NYU School of Medicine. When not in lab, she can be found bird watching, taxonomizing clouds, fly fishing with her husband, and menacing New York on her Citibike.


Avinash Parnandi, MS, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Quantitative Rehabilitation

Dr. Parnandi is an experimental computer scientist with interests in wearable sensing, control systems, and machine learning for health-related applications. He received an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology (Nagpur, India), a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from USC, and a doctorate in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. His research is driven by a strong desire to understand human physiology and to build hardware and software tools to address health and mobility issues. For his postdoctoral work, Dr. Parnandi is developing computational models to learn the data patterns of functional movements made with the arm, and to quantitate movement abnormality post-stroke. Besides research, Dr. Parnandi enjoys traveling, reading, and watching any form of motorsport.

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Charalambos “Bobby” Charalambous, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Neuromodulation

Dr. Charalambous is a movement and rehabilitation scientist. He received an undergraduate and master’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University Northridge, a master’s degree in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California, and a doctoral degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science from the Medical University of South Carolina. Before joining the Mobilis lab, he underwent postdoctoral training with Dr. Darcy Reisman at the University of Delaware. He is interested in understanding neurophysiological and biomechanical mechanisms underlying motor control and learning in healthy and impaired humans, and in using noninvasive brain stimulation to assess and modulate motor pathways. For his current postdoctoral work, Dr. Charalambous is developing neurophysiological approaches to probe and modulate subcortical pathways that may play a role in recovery after stroke. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising and cooking.  

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Sharmila Raju, MS

Research Coordinator, Neuromodulation

Sharmila graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Human Biology, and from Columbia University with an M.S. in Human Nutrition, focusing on nutritional biochemistry. Prior to her graduate studies, Sharmila was a neuroscience research assistant studying the use of functional MRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat psychiatric disorders. At Columbia University, she used molecular techniques to study the gut-brain axis and metabolism. Sharmila is interested in using transcranial magnetic stimulation to study the subcortical pathways involved in motor skill recovery. In her spare time, she is an avid martial artist and runner.


Anita Venkatesan, MD MPH

Research Coordinator, Quantitative Rehabilitation

Dr. Anita Venkatesan is passionate about improving health outcomes through integration of technology in healthcare and patient education. She graduated from University of California Irvine with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering followed by a Doctor of Medicine from St. George’s University School of Medicine. During her clinical rotations, she developed a strong desire to understand trends in healthcare and to implement interventions, which prompted her to pursue a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from New York University. During her MPH, she was involved in the Stroke Prevention through Social Networks pilot study where she educated stroke patients and their families on risk factors and encouraged them to develop lifestyle changes together. In her spare time, she enjoys concerts, theater, sports, comedy shows, playing guitar, traveling, exploring NYC, trying different foods, and stepping up her pun game.


Volunteers, Quantitative Rehabilitation

  • Candace Cameron

  • Sirajul Islam

  • Sanobar Jaka

  • Sanya Rastogi

  • Ronak Trivedi

  • Adisa Velovic

Past Lab Members

Audre Wirtanen, BA (Research Coordinator) - Alexander Technique teacher

Elisa Stern, BA (Research Coordinator) - Masters program, UCL & Yale

Natasha Pandit, BA (Research Coordinator) - medical school, SUNY Syracuse SoM

Jing Lin, MD (Research Internship) - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency program, NYU SoM