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Leo Bonilha Laboratory

Current Personnel

Leo Bonilha, M.D., Ph.D.

I am a neurologist and clinical researcher. As a neurologist, I work with neurophysiology, epilepsy, language problems and stroke. I am a member of the Epilepsy, Behavioral Neurology and Stroke Divisions in my Department. As a scientist, my research focuses on understanding structural and functional network adaptations to brain injury, particularly regarding language impairments (aphasia) after stroke and its recovery. I also study neuronal networks associated with epilepsy and its response to treatment.

Structural and functional MRI are the main research tools used in my lab, but we also work heavily with neurophysiology (scalp and intracranial EEG) as well as behavioral language treatments for language.

One of the most gratifying aspects of my job is to work with students and post-docs. I am fortunate to lead a tremendous group of talented individuals, and I am always learning from all of them.

View CV.

Lynda Feenaughty, PhD, CCC-SLP, Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina and Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina.
Lynda is a post-doctoral scholar in the aphasia laboratory at the University of South Carolina. She received her PhD in communicative disorders from the University at Buffalo and her master’s degree in communicative disorders from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Her research interests include investigating acoustic and linguistic characteristics of speech to determine how cognition influences motor speech behavior and perceived speech adequacy in adults as well as using laboratory techniques such as neuroimaging to advance understanding of how the brain supports spoken language.


Katie Murphy
Katie is a speech-language pathologist for the team.  She began working at MUSC in 2012, shortly after graduation. In addition to her clinical roles, she also assists with IRB and regulatory materials, as well as research recruitment and enrollment.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys distance running and trying out new recipes.

Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht
Zeke obtained his medical degree at the University of Buenos Aires and completed doctoral work at Favaloro University, both in Argentina. He then moved to Charleston to work as a post-doctoral researcher in the Bonilha lab, working with brain connectivity, language, and post-stroke aphasia. He is currently training as a resident in Neurology while continuing to collaborate with different research projects in the lab. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors in the Charleston warmth and trying out every new restaurant that opens in town!

Barbara Khalibinzwa Marebwa
Barbara is a PhD student in the Bonhila lab. She moved to Charleston from Italy where she obtained her masters in Cognitive Science from the University of Trento. She is interested in cortical plasticity and the effect of stroke on the functional and structural organization of the brain. In her free time, she enjoys Zumba, yoga, and movies at the beach.

Emilie McKinnon
Emilie is another PhD student in our lab. She began working at MUSC in 2014 after obtaining her master's degree in biomedical engineering from the KU Leuven in Belgium. Emilie works on the advancement of diffusion MRI and its application to structural connectivity in patients with aphasia and aphasia recovery. Outside work, Emilie enjoys playing roller derby and going out to dinner!

John DelGaizo
Statistical and Research Analysist

Aparna Choudhury
Aparna serves as Dr. Bonilha’s study coordinator for his clinical trials, handling responsibilities like recruitment, regulatory matters, data management and general problem solving. She began working at MUSC at 2007 in various areas of research; she joined our group in January of 2016.  In her spare time she volunteers at the Children’s Hospital and likes to spend time with her friends and family.


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