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Our Researchers

Casa Colina Research Institute Team

Emily Rosario, PhD – Director, Research Institute

Emily Rosario, PhDDr. Emily Rosario is a neuroscientist and current Director of the Research Institute at Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare. She has more than 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), 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, Research Institute

Caroline Schnakers, PhD Since the beginning of her career, Dr. Caroline Schnakers focused her research on severely brain-injured patients recovering from 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 received the Young Investigator Award from the International Brain Injury Association in recognition of her work. Dr. Schnakers has published more than 70 articles (H-index: 38), and she is the editor of Coma and Disorders of Consciousness (Springer-Verlag, Paris, 2011; Springer-Verlag, London, 2012).

Amy Zheng, PhD – Research Scientist

Dr. Amy Zheng is a cognitive neuroscientist and research scientist at Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare. She has more than 10 years’ experience in neuroimaging and clinical studies, both in academic and industry settings, covering various neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, disorders of consciousness, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Her research integrates multimodal approaches such as neuromodulation, neuroimaging, genetics, and behavioral methods to enhance rehabilitation in brain-injured populations and to identify novel biomarkers for improving diagnosis and prognosis.


As an innovator in rehabilitative care, Casa Colina is committed to clinical research that leads to improved outcomes for patients recovering from stroke, brain injury, and other catastrophic conditions. The Casa Colina Research Institute collaborates with renowned institutions like UCLA, Caltech, USC, Harvard, Princeton, Western University of Health Sciences, and University of La Verne. The institute has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, UniHealth Foundation, Disability Communications Fund, and many more.

For more information on current research projects at Casa Colina, please contact 909/596-7733, ext. 2220.

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