Ranmal Aloka Samarasinghe’s primary scientific goal is to understand the developmental processes that result in neural network formation; the relationship between network activity, neural oscillations, and cognition; and how dysregulation of network formation and activity can result in autism and epilepsy.
He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 followed by residency training in adult neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2017. He then completed a National Institutes of Health–funded postdoctoral research and clinical fellowship at UCLA (2017–2020). During this period, he obtained clinical training in epilepsy and neurophysiological intraoperative monitoring. He also worked in the laboratory of Bennett Novitch at UCLA developing stem cell–based models of epilepsy and autism.
Samarasinghe’s laboratory seeks to understand the mechanisms of neural network formation and dysfunction in epilepsy and autism with a focus on human brain organoids. His laboratory is developing and utilizing multiple methodologies, including whole-organoid multiphoton-based calcium indicator imaging, voltage sensors, traditional extracellular recordings, transcriptomics and super-resolution synaptic imaging to interrogate the developmental trajectory of nascent neural networks in organoid models.