"Science is a way of life."
To quote the physicist Brian Greene: "Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that's precise, predictive and reliable - a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional."
Scientific discovery relating to the brain holds great personal meaning for me. I am privileged to contribute to this mission through my research, and to work with a variety of innovative teams to make these discoveries practical and accessible to the world.
Dr. Koga began his medical career as a researcher in brain development funded by the MacArthur Foundation in association with Tulane Medical School and Harvard University Child Development Laboratories. In this capacity he established the Institute of Child Development in Romania and was elected a Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004. In his clinical career he attained the rank of Associate Professor and has published widely, lectured and performed surgery on four continents, and established the Surgical Isotelesis Laboratory.
Dr. Koga has invented and described new concepts to the field of surgical technologies including Isotelesis in surgical automation, and the Coefficient of Coherence in brain imaging. He is currently a co-investigator in a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant developing advanced MRI software in collaboration with Synaptive Medical Inc. and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He holds several biomedical patents, and is active in biotechnology research for surgical devices.
Dr. Koga has served as a research consultant and biotechnology developer for the following industry partners:
Quantification of White Matter
Distortion and Recovery
I have been working to expand the clinical applications of tractography from the realm of surgical planning to developing outcome measures and broader neuroradiology applicability.
The use of dynamic 3D tractography maps enhances spatial reasoning in neurosurgery during the planning, execution and post-operative outcome evaluation. Current technology requires verification of the neuroanatomy by the surgeon but the software has the potential to increased procedural safety and reduce neurological deficits.
My research widens the possible uses of automated whole brain tractography, as well as describing its technical limitations.
Contributions to Science
Engineering for the
Operating Room Environment
I have used a simulation laboratory model towards integration of multiple technologies in the operating room. Isotelesis is a theoretical point of computational singularity in the operating room, defined as a ‘zero data loss state” when human and artificial intelligence in the operating room converge on the surgical task. By changing the benchmark for all OR technology towards data-sharing we propose a convergence between all machine tasks in the room, leading to an artificial intelligence network.
Beside the advent of new technologies we require integration of existing technologies towards an AI environment where the role of the surgeon can evolve from manual tasks to executive processing tasks. Understanding the concept of isotelesis in surgery can help technology firms, software engineers, and surgeons recalibrate the framework of expectations and the manner in which the surgical act is executed.
I have spent considerable research time in refining and developing new surgical approaches using a simulation laboratory model based on vascularized cadaver models with artificial blood flow and CSF. My original focus was skull base corridors but I have expanded this to include subcortical trajectories for white matter surgery.
I spent the first five years of my research career as director of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project which was and remains the only RCT in the world to track the development of children raised in institutions (orphanages) and compare their brain development to an interventional arm of children placed in foster care, and a control arm of normal children in a community.
This work included funding from the MacArthur Foundation, USAID, and the NIH and took place at Tulane University, Harvard Medical School, University of Minnesota and University of Maryland. I participated in all the group’s publications following the cohorts from birth to age five. The findings have been presented to the Plenary proceedings of the WHO in Copenhagen and multiple European governments.