Dr. Ranmal Samarasinghe received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. He completed his residency in adult neurology at UCLA in 2017 and then completed an NIH funded post-doctoral research and clinical fellowship at UCLA from 2017-2020. During this period, Dr. Samarasinghe obtained clinical training in epilepsy and neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring. He also performed research developing stem cell-based models of epilepsy and autism, which is the foundation of his own laboratory.
Dr. Samarasinghe’s laboratory seeks to understand the mechanisms of neural network formation and dysfunction in epilepsy and autism. His efforts are focused on 3D brain-like structures called human brain organoids that are grown in a laboratory dish and that are derived from stem cells. Brain organoids can be generated from the stem cells of individual patients and may provide unique insights into the causes of human neurological diseases such as epilepsy and autism. His laboratory is developing and utilizing multiple methodologies including whole-organoid multiphoton based calcium indicator imaging, voltage sensors, traditional extracellular recordings, high throughput genomic screens, and super-resolution synaptic imaging to interrogate the developmental trajectory of nascent neural networks in organoid models. Dr. Samarasinghe will also continue to manage patients with epilepsy and autism in his clinic and perform neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring for surgical cases performed at UCLA and affiliated hospitals.