Rafeed Alkawadri, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology


  • Director, Human Brain Mapping Program

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Alkawadri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh. He assumed the position in October 2018, after he was an attending epileptologist and neurophysiologist in the Department of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine and the Director, of the Human Brain Mapping Program and Evoked Potentials Laboratory for 6 years.  Dr. Alkawadri provides clinical care with emphasis on drug-resistant epilepsy and continues to investigate brain networks in collaboration with colleagues at the center and within the region.

Education & Training

  • Fellow, Cleveland Clinic, Epilepsy
  • Resident, University of Texas Southwestern, Neurology
  • Intern, University of Texas Southwestern, Internal Medicine
  • MD, University of Damascus, Syria

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests

Research: Artificial Intelligence; Brain; Brain Mapping; Evoked Potentials; Gyrus Cinguli; Organizational Innovation; Biomedical Research; Support Vector Machines; Brain-Computer Interface

Clinical: Anesthesia; Electroencephalography; Electrophysiology; Epilepsy; Intraoperative Care; Magnetoencephalography; Deep Brain Stimulation

Education: Evoked Potentials; History of Medicine; Neurosciences; Computational Biology; Biomedical Technology; Neurobiology; Neurophysiology;

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology: Neurology
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology: Epilepsy

Professional Organization Membership

  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Epilepsy Society
  • American Clinical Neurophysiology Society

Honors & Awards

  • Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Scholar Award
  • Young Investigator Research Award, American Epilepsy Society
  • Young Investigator Award, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (ACNS)
  • American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting Scholarship
  • Neurology Resident Teaching Award (UT Southwestern)

Selected Recent Publications

Sheikh MM, Koubeissi MZ, Spencer DD, Alkawadri RThe Neural Networks Underlying the Illusion of Time Dilation. Ann Neurol. 2022 Feb;91(2):295-297. doi: 10.1002/ana.26277. Epub 2021 Dec 13. PMID: 34841572.

Alkawadri R. Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Applications in Mapping of Epileptic Brain Networks Based on Intracranial-EEG: An Update. Front Neurosci. 2019 Mar 27;13:191. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00191. PMID: 30971871; PMCID: PMC6446441.

Vrselja Z, Daniele SG, Silbereis J, Talpo F, Morozov YM, Sousa AMM, Tanaka BS, Skarica M, Pletikos M, Kaur N, Zhuang ZW, Liu Z, Alkawadri R, Sinusas AJ, Latham SR, Waxman SG, Sestan N. Restoration of brain circulation and cellular functions hours post-mortem. Nature. 2019 Apr;568(7752):336-343. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1099-1. Epub 2019 Apr 17. PMID: 30996318; PMCID: PMC6844189.

Alkawadri R, Burgess RC, Kakisaka Y, Mosher JC, Alexopoulos AV. Assessment of the Utility of Ictal Magnetoencephalography in the Localization of the Epileptic Seizure Onset Zone. JAMA Neurol. 2018 Oct 1;75(10):1264-1272. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.1430. PMID: 29889930; PMCID: PMC6233852.

Alkawadri R, Gaspard N, Goncharova II, Spencer DD, Gerrard JL, Zaveri H, Duckrow RB, Blumenfeld H, Hirsch LJ. The spatial and signal characteristics of physiologic high frequency oscillations. Epilepsia. 2014 Dec;55(12):1986-95. doi: 10.1111/epi.12851. Epub 2014 Dec 3. PMID: 25470216; PMCID: PMC5123742.

Alkawadri R, So NK, Van Ness PC, Alexopoulos AV. Cingulate epilepsy: report of 3 electroclinical subtypes with surgical outcomes. JAMA Neurol. 2013 Aug;70(8):995-1002. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.2940. PMID: 23753910; PMCID: PMC5123738.

Yan Q, Gaspard N, Zaveri HP, Blumenfeld H, Hirsch LJ, Spencer DD, Alkawadri RThe connectivity index: an effective metric for grading epileptogenicity. J Neurosurg. 2019 Sep 27:1-8. doi: 10.3171/2019.4.JNS195. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31561212.