Paul Garcia, MD, PhD

Associate Professor; Chief, Neuroanesthesia Division

Basic Science Research Description

Dr. Garcia's research has focused on neurophysiology (including human/rodent EEG and patch-clamp electrophysiology) and behavioral testing in animal models. His translational laboratory research focuses on models of neuronal degeneration caused by age, anesthesia, or other pharmacologic exposure. He has transitioned some of this research into the human/clinical realm. His clinical research projects involve investigating intraoperative EEG signatures and their association with adverse postoperative outcomes. Early recognition of cognitive problems can aid in preventing an escalation of clinical acuity and bring down hospital costs. Specific sequences observed in frontal EEG during emergence from general anesthesia are associated with pain and delirium in the recovery room. Understanding the generation of these signals can lead to improved care for patients in the care of anesthesiologists.

You can view a complete list of Dr. Garcia's publications here or read more about his research and lab here.

He may be contacted at pg2618@cumc.columbia.edu 

Lab Team Members

  • Seyed Mohammad Taghi Mansouri

    Dr. Mansouri received his PharmD degree from Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2003 and Ph.D. in pharmacology from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2008. From 2008 to 2017 he served as Assistant Professor in Jundishapur Medical School and participated in teaching pharmacology to medical students. As PI or co-Investigator on Ahvaz Jundishapur Medical School projects, he focused on the pharmacology of pain and inflammation, drug addiction, brain injury and cognition. His research led to more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. He also successfully directed 3 PhD student theses at his former laboratory. In 2018, as an Associate Research Scientist, he joined Dr. Garcia’s lab and started working on a project to examine the impact and the mechanism(s) by which brain stimulation affect anesthesia-induced perioperative neurocognitive disorders in rodent models of cognitive dysfunction. He uses a combination of techniques including brain stimulation, EEG recording, pharmacology, biochemistry and behavioral analysis to address these questions. He is hoping that his translational research opens a new window to find novel strategies that promote favorable cognitive recovery trajectories after surgical anesthesia especially in vulnerable patients.

  • Matthew Nelson

    Matthew Nelson graduated in 2017 from the University of Chicago with a B.A in Psychology. In 2019, he received his M.S. from Georgetown University where he explored the effects of opioid withdrawal on the immune system within the brain. Having worked in several research laboratories, his interests include discovering the underlying causes of neurocognitive disorders, memory loss, and altered states of perception. He continues to pursue a career combining his passions in research and its implementations within medical care. Within Dr. Paul Garcia’s lab, Matthew helps develop and execute multiple research projects using both EEG and tDCS (Transcranial direct current stimulation).

  • Stephen MacNeille

    Stephen MacNeille graduated from Wesleyan University in 2015 before working as a software engineer in New York City. He is currently a student at the Columbia post-baccalaureate premedical program and his interests include technology and neuroscience as well as working with his hands. Here, he is helping Dr. Garcia investigate neurophysiological patterns that relate to emergence and recovery from anesthesia.