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.

Leo Bonilha, M.D., Ph.D.
View CV.

 

Anna Doyle, M.S. CCC-SLP

Anna is the Manager of Aphasia clinical trials for the Leo Bonilha Laboratory. She graduated from Rush University in 2014 with an M.S. in Speech Language Pathology and joined the lab in 2017. She is an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist. Anna has a strong interest in researching aphasia and apraxia of speech in adults post-stroke. In her free time she enjoys singing, cycling, paddle boarding, and enjoying the outdoors.

Anna Doyle 

 

Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht, M.D., Ph.D.

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 completed in May 2019 his residency in Neurology after four years of training at the Medical University of South Carolina. He will be staying at MUSC to complete fellowship training in Epilepsy while he continues his research in the Bonilha 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 Khalibinzwa Marebwa, Ph.D.

Barbara is a postdoctoral scholar in the Bonilha lab. She moved to Charleston from Italy where she obtained her masters in Cognitive Science from the University of Trento. She graduated in May 2019 from the PhD program Biomedical Imaging at the Medical University of South Carolina. 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 McKinnon, M.S.

Emilie is a M.D./Ph.D. 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.

 Emilie McKinnon

 

 Janina Wilmskoetter, Ph.D.

Janina is a postdoctoral scholar in the Bonilha Lab. She is a speech and language pathologist by trait and obtained her master's degree in Clinical Linguistics at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. After working for several years as a speech and language pathologist, she moved to Charleston to obtain her PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. In her dissertation Janina investigated the relationship between lesion locations and swallowing impairments in patients with acute stroke. In the Bonilha Lab she is focusing on structural brain connectivity and recovery from post-stroke aphasia. In her spare time, Janina enjoys running, learning kite boarding, yoga, traveling, and finding the best chocolate desserts in one of the many restaurants in beautiful Charleston. 

Dr. Janina Wilmskoetter Headshot

 

Skyler Fontenot, M.S., CCC-SLP

Skyler is an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist in the Bonilha Lab at the Medical University of South Carolina. She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Master of Science in Communication Disorders in May 2017. Skyler previously worked as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings including: rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and private practice. She has experience working with individuals with a wide range of communication disorders, with aphasia being of particular interest. She joined the Bonilha Lab in 2019 to participate in clinical research that will contribute to best clinical practices in aphasia recovery. In her free time, Skyler enjoys the beach, reading, and spending time with her two dogs.

 

Alana Batista, M.S.

Alana is a Neuropsychologist and PhD. student at the postgraduate program on the Department of Neurology of University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. She received her M.S. in Neurology at Federal State University of Rio de Janeiro in 2011 and joined the lab exchange program in December 2019.She has a strong interest in memory and executive functions deficits in left chronic stroke patients and its relationship with MRI image. In her free time, Alana enjoys singing Jazz and Bossa Nova, cooking and enjoying nature.

 

Kelly Krajeck

Kelly is the program manager in the Bonilha Lab and manages the operational aspects of running multiple multi-site, NIH funded clinical trials in aphasia and epilepsy.  She graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a degree in Health Promotion and is currently enrolled in MUSC’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program, graduating in May 2020.  Kelly helps to ensure sites meet enrollment goals and provides effective communication between all study stakeholders while managing day-to-day clinical trial activities and personnel.  In her free time, Kelly enjoys looking after her 4 chickens and 140lb dog.  She is also an active runner and competes in local and national triathlons.

 

Samantha Krantz

Samantha Krantz is a research specialist in the Bonilha Lab and works on various projects related to Epilepsy and translational neuroscience research. She graduated in May 2019 from the Honors College of Charleston with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health and Bachelors of Arts in Jewish Studies. Samantha has been working in neuroscience research for the past five years studying different neurological disorders. Outside of work, Samantha loves to volunteer at the MUSC Children's hospital and give back to her community!