Our Researchers

Casa Colina's researcher team conducts basic, translational, and clinical research, striving to rapidly transform scientific advances into improved patient care and outcomes.

Casa Colina Research Institute Team

Emily Rosario, PhD – Director of Research Institute

Dr. Emily Rosario, PhD is a Neuroscientist and current Director of the Research Institute at Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare. She has over 15 years of research experience in rehabilitation medicine, age-related disease and dysfunction, neurologic disorders, and endocrine dysfunction at both the basic science and clinical level. She has nearly 40 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of neuroscience, neurologic disorders, and rehabilitation including several publications in high impact journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Journal of Neuroscience, Neurology, and Frontiers in Neurendocrinology. Dr. Rosario has received several awards and grants funding her research from the Alzheimer’s Association, the UniHealth Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically, the Eye Institute, National Institute of Aging, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. She has been invited to present her work both nationally and internationally at over 50 conferences including the International conference for Alzheimer’s disease, World Congress on Traumatic Brain Injury, and Society for Neuroscience.

Caroline Schnakers, PhD – Assistant Director of Research Institute

Since the beginning of her career, Dr Schnakers focused her research on severely brain-injured patients recovering coma and, more particularly, on the detection of conscious cognitive activity using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. She has shown the difficulty to detect signs of consciousness (40% of error rate) and the difference of sensitivity between existing coma scales to detect these signs. In parallel, she has developed electrophysiological paradigms for detecting conscious cognitive activity without the intervention of motor and verbal functions (using mental tasks) in severely brain-injured patients who are unable to actively interact with their surroundings. Finally, she has created and validated the first scale allowing pain assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness. In 2010, she has received the Young Investigator Award from the International Brain Injury Association in recognition of her work. She has published more than 70 articles (H-index: 38) and she is the editor of a book titled “Coma and Disorders of consciousness” (Springer-Verlag, Paris, 2011; Springer-Verlag, London, 2012).

Laura Espinoza, DPA, MSW – Patient Navigator

Stephanie Chang, BSN, RN, CCM – Patient Navigator

Ashley Tolentino, RN – Patient Navigator

Niko Fullmer, BS – Research Coordinator

Henry Millan, BS – Research Associate

James Divine, BS – Research Associate

Collaborators

University of California

California Institute of Technology

University of La Verne

Princeton University

Western University of Health Sciences

Re-Walk

Harvard University

University of Southern California