Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Rhode Island Hospital
Our Team at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
Our physicians are nationally known for their expertise in advanced epilepsy care, and in the development of treatments for non-epileptic seizures. Rhode Island Hospital's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (CEP) offers epilepsy care that is on par with the very best in the world.
Our team of experts includes:
Gina M. Deck, MD, is a neurologist at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She specializes in epilepsy and her research interests include refractory epilepsy, seizures in the critically ill and women’s issues in neurology.
Dr. Deck is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Epilepsy Society, and the Rhode Island Neurological Society.
Dr. Edward Donnelly serves as medical director of Newport Hospital’s stroke program. Newport Hospital is a certified primary stroke center, meeting rigorous national standards for stroke patient care. A graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, Donnelly completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Rhode Island Hospital, where he also completed a residency in neurology. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Donnelly’s office is located in the Borden-Carey Building at Newport Hospital.
Lisa V. Knopf, MD, is board-certified neurologist at Lifespan. Dr. Knopf received her medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She completed her residency in neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, becoming chief resident of the program. She completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as well as a fellowship in epilepsy at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Knopf assisted and led several studies regarding neurology and epilepsy, and is the author of many published papers, book chapters and presentations. She is a member of several medical societies including the American Epilepsy Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Medical Association.
Charlene A. Tate, MD, MS, is a neurologist at Rhode Island Hospital and an associate professor of clinical neurosciences at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She won the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017.
Dr. Tate specializes in epilepsy treatment and electroencephalography (EEG). She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the Rhode Island Neurological Society, and the American Epilepsy Society.
Rachit Patil, MD, is a pediatric neurologist and epileptologist at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s hospitals. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Patil’s clinical interests include seizures in newborns and young children along with neurogenetics. He is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society. Dr Patil is board-certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with special qualifications in child neurology.
Dr Patil is fluent in English, Hindi and Marathi.
Wael Asaad, MD, PhD received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1993, then earned a PhD in systems neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, and his MD from Yale University in 2003. Asaad completed a general surgery internship and neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During his residency, he undertook additional training in functional neurosurgery. In 2011, he joined the department of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Asaad's clinical interests include functional neurosurgery for movement disorders and psychiatric disease, traumatic brain injury, and general neurosurgery of the brain and spine.
His basic science interests focus on the ways in which neuronal circuits in the frontal cortex and basal ganglia underlie visual-motor learning, memory and decision-making, and how a better understanding of these might lead to strategies to alleviate the cognitive aspects of psychiatric and neurological diseases, including traumatic brain injury and stroke.
Albert Telfeian, MD, PhD, leads the endoscopic spine surgery program. A world-renown leader in endoscopic spinal surgery with national and international patient referral base, has been also appointed as the Director of newly established Center for Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Spinal Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University. He is board certified by The American Board of Neurological Surgery and is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Previously he was an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and associate professor of neurosurgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Telfeian also serves as Vice Chair for Quality Improvement to improve the quality of care for patients.
He is a graduate of the MD/PhD program at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University and his neurosurgical residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed fellowship training in spine and functional epilepsy surgery at Switzerland’s Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Telfeian has published extensively in the areas of epilepsy, functional and spine surgery and is currently involved in the research and development of ultra-minimally invasive endoscopic techniques. He was the recipient of the American Association of Neurologic Surgeons Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Research Award, the American Epilepsy Society Young Investigator Award, and the J. Kiffin Penry Pediatric Epilepsy Award, and was named one of the nation’s 15 leaders in neurosurgery in the October 2011 edition of Newsweek.
- Smith SE, Kirkham FJ, , Deveber G, Millman G, Dirks PB, Wirrell E, Telfeian AE, Sykes K, Barow K, Ichord R.Outcome following decompressive craniectomy for malignant middle cerebral artery infarction in children. Dev Med Child Neurol 2010 Aug 30.
- Simon SL, Auerbach JD, Garg S, Sutton L, Telfeian AE, Dormans JP. Efficacy of spinal instrumentation and fusion in the prevention of postlaminectomy spinal deformity in children with intramedullary spinal cord tumors. J Pediatr Orthop 2008 vol 28, No. 2.
- Porter BE, Zhang G, Celix J, Hsu FC, Raol YH, Telfeian AE, Gallagher PR, Coulter DA, Brooks-Kayal AR.Heterogeneous GABAA receptor subunit expression in pediatric epilepsy patients. Neurobiol Dis 2005 Apr;18(3):484-91.
- Sestokas AK, Telfeian AE, Duhaime AC, Sutton L, Sestokas LO, Schwartz DM.Intraoperative motor cortex mapping in children with intractable seizures using motor evoked potential (MEP) threshold gradients. J Clin Neurophys 2005 Oct;22(5).
- Telfeian AE, Judkins A, Younkin D, Pollock AN, Crino P. Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma with cranial and spinal metastases in a patient with tuberous sclerosis. Journal of Neurosurgery (Pediatrics 5) 2004;100:498-501.
- Telfeian AE, Landa J, Drummond D. Congenital formation of an intraspinal osseous vertebral ring causing spinal cord compression. Spine 2004 Jan;29(1):E1-3.
Steven A. Toms, MD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon and vice chair for the department of neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital. He is a professor of neurosurgery, medicine and health services, policy and practice at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He has been the principal investigator of both basic and clinical research studies, including studies on the development of therapeutic approaches for primary brain tumors and cancer metastasis to the brain.
He is the director of the brain tumor program for Lifespan Health Systems and is jointly responsible for the Gamma Knife and Cyberknife units with radiation oncology. Dr. Toms has been published in more than 80 medical journals and multiple book chapters. He has edited one book and served as editor and reviewer for a number of publications. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the Society for Neuro-Oncology.
Konstantina Svokos, DO, is a neurosurgeon who specializes in pediatric neurosurgery. She has done both clinical and molecular research throughout her training and her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.
Dr. Svokos is fluent in English, Greek and Spanish. She is a member of the Society for Neuro Oncology, the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
Jennifer Davis, PhD is a clinical neuropsychologist and associate professor of psychiatry in The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She performs neuropsychological evaluations for differential diagnosis and monitoring of memory disorders. Her research interests include the development of interventions for behavioral and cognitive problems in memory disorders, including driving, caregiver burden, and cognition. She also assists the team in the clinical trials program. She received her graduate training at the University of Utah and completed her internship and fellowship training at Brown University.
Michael A. Friedman, MD is the director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Center and a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He performs diagnostic evaluations of new patients referred to the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and provides expert consultations for those with particularly difficult or challenging behavioral problems.
W. Curt LaFrance Jr, MD, MPH, FAAN, FANPA, DFAPA, is director of neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology at Rhode Island Hospital, staff physician at the Providence VA Medical Center, and a professor of psychiatry and neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Dr. LaFrance’s research interests include neuropsychiatric aspects of epilepsy, somatoform disorders and traumatic brain injury (TBI). His current research examines treatment response biomarkers for patients with seizures and head injuries using functional neuroimaging and biosensors/wearable devices. He has received the American Neuropsychiatric Association’s Career Development Award, the AAN’s Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award, and was listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World. His studies are published in neurology and psychiatry journals, and he is co-editor of Nonepileptic Seizures and co-author of Taking Control of Your Seizures: Workbook and Therapist Guide.
Seth A. Margolis, PhD is a neuropsychologist with Lifespan psychiatry and behavioral health. He specializes in disorders of aging, epilepsy, and the impact of chronic illness on patients’ cognition and mental health. Dr. Margolis performs neuropsychological evaluations for diagnostic and treatment planning purposes and is a consulting member of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center and Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Rhode Island Hospital.
His research primarily focuses on psychosocial aspects of illness and disability, the impact of cognitive impairment and psychiatric symptoms on activities of daily living such as medication management and money management, and the ecological validity of cognitive testing. He holds memberships in the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, International Neuropsychological Society, and National Academy of Neuropsychology.
Gregg Selke, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist at Bradley Hospital. He is also a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. As a neuropsychologist, he has expertise in a wide range of medical, neurologic, and psychiatric conditions.
Christine L. Trask, PhD, ABPP, is a clinical pediatric neuropsychologist and director of outpatient pediatric neuropsychological services at Lifespan. She is a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she received the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012. Dr. Trask’s research interests include the impact on children and their families from medical conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, hydrocephalus, and sickle cell disease. She is an assistant chair to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research at Rhode Island Hospital. She is also a member of the International Neuropsychological Society, the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, and the Behavioral Sciences Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group.
Geoffrey Tremont, PhD completed his PhD in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University, did his clinical neuropsychology internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and his fellowship at Brown University. He is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and director of neuropsychology at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals.
Dr. Tremont is board certified in clinical neuropsychology and conducts comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations in older adults with cognitive impairments. His primary research interests are psychosocial treatments for dementia caregivers, telephone-based assessment of mild cognitive impairment, and mind-body approaches for mild cognitive impairment.
Jeffrey P. Wincze, PhD, is a psychologist with Lifespan Physician Group. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, and he treats and conducts research on conversion disorders including nonepileptic seizures. His current research interests include developing a treatment protocol to aid clinicians in treating nonepileptic seizures and other conversion disorders.
Jerrold L. Boxerman, MD, PhD, FACR, specializes in diagnostic neuroradiology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is both a guest lecturer and associate professor of diagnostic imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He serves as medical director of the MRI Research Facility at Brown University, which is affiliated with the university's Institute for Brain Science. Dr. Boxerman is also co-chair for neuroradiology for the radiology committee of the Brown University Oncology Group, and is a fellow of the American College of Radiology.
Dr. Boxerman’s published work includes more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and seven book chapters, and he currently serves as a reviewer for multiple academic radiology journals. His research focus includes perfusion-weighted MRI for characterizing and determining the treatment response of brain tumors. Dr. Boxerman is a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology and holds a certificate of additional qualification in neuroradiology. He frequently provides neuroradiology expertise at clinical conferences at Rhode Island Hospital.
Jeffrey M. Rogg, MD, is director of neuroradiology and medical director of magnetic resonance imaging at Rhode Island Hospital. He is also an associate professor of diagnostic imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where he teaches cross-sectional imaging and neuroradiology. Dr. Rogg has been named as a featured “Best Doctor” by Rhode Island Monthly eight times.
Dr. Rogg has received many grants to pursue innovations in the medical field; he was the principal investigator of a study on concussions in athletes and an experiment concerning Gadovist safety and efficacy. In addition, his work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and other publications. He is currently a member of the board of directors for the American Board for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Safety and a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology.
Glenn A. Tung, MD, FACR, is professor of diagnostic imaging at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He has received the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching award ten times. Dr. Tung specializes in neuroradiology, sports medicine and musculoskeletal imaging and is a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology.
Additional Providers and Support Staff
Chanika Phornphutkul, MD, is the director of human genetics at Rhode Island and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and is an associate professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She provides genetic risk assessment as well as counseling for patients with a family history of genetic disorders. She is board certified in pediatric endocrinology and biochemical genetics.
Dr. Phornphutkul received her medical degree from the Chiang Mai University School of Medicine in Thailand, and completed her residency at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. She completed a fellowship at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Her clinical and research interests focus on biochemical genetics (metabolic disorders), the application of genomic information in clinical medicine and newborn screening.
Sandra Sylvestre, RN, CNRN, is the epilepsy nurse coordinator at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (CEP) at Rhode Island Hospital. In this role, she provides guidance and education to patients undergoing epilepsy treatment, from the first diagnostic stages to follow-ups.