The Pediatric Neurotrauma Lab, directed by Andrew Reisner, MD, is a multi-institutional collaboration between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University. Our mission is to establish a basic science research program focused on pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). We work to improve the health and quality of life of children living with acute neurological injuries, specifically TBI.

Through our large volume of pediatric neurotrauma patients, we use translational research to improve patient care. We collaborate with local and national researchers of all disciplines to advance the understanding and treatment of TBI.

The Pediatric Neurotrauma Lab’s mission is to facilitate research that can improve the treatment and outcomes of traumatic brain injuries in children.

Areas of Study include

  • Concussions 
  • Traumatic Brain Injury 
  • Biomarkers from aquired Brain Injury 

Click Below to Read More:


 Andrew Resiner, MD


Laura Blackwell, PhD 


Iqbal Sayeed, PhD



Maria Cordero, CCRP 

(Maria) is the Neurosciences Research Team Lead at the Scottish Rite Campus. She oversees studies under several Neurology disciplines, such as Neuroimmunology, Neurosurgery, Craniofacial, and Rare Disease Research. Maria graduated from Emory University with a degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, and a minor in French. She has over 15 years in research experience, spanning from processing study samples to multi-national clinical trials.


Meena Verma, MD 

Meena is a Pediatrician and clinical researcher with 20+ years of clinical experience, with subject matter expertise in medicine and design-execution of clinical research studies. A public health professional and passionate servant leader who led an acclaimed 501©3 non-profit. As an Executive Director and Chief Mentor, she led extensive domestic and global public health work. Meena is currently the Senior Research Coordinator at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She facilitates several research projects in the department of Neurology.


Arpit Dosanjh, MHA

Arpit is a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Neurosciences Team She works closely with Dr. Grace Gombolay, Dr. Chern and Dr. Kartik Reddy on research-based projects related to Neuroinflammatory conditions. Her research interest include neuroimmune disorders, epilepsy, Chiari Malformation, and brain tumors to mention a few.  


Makda Mulugeta 

Makda Mulugeta is a Research Assistant at the Pediatric Neurotrauma Lab and recent graduate of Emory University. She works on TBI studies and recently presented at the 2022 National Neurotrauma Society Conference.


Gabrielle Bailey 

Gabrielle Bailey serves as a Research Assistant for the Pediatric Neurotrauma Lab. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Human Health from Emory University with an emphasis on public health research development and both the biological and sociological spects of health practice. Gabrielle currently works on TBI studies and is also an MPH candidate at Emory. 


Current Students 2022:

Kendall Parsons

Annabelle Thomas

Megan Jungers

Eva de Valle Martinez

Ruhika Aguru


Former Students:

Keri Kramer

Ana Shin

Hannah Myers

Andrew Appert

Maggie Martinez


Click below to read some of our most recent abstracts and papers: 

  1. Reisner, A., Blackwell, L. S., Sayeed, I., Myers, H. E., Wali, B., Heilman, S., ... & Rostad, C. A. (2022). Osteopontin as a biomarker for COVID-19 severity and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children: A pilot study. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 247(2), 145-151.
  2. Gao, N., Zhang-Brotzge, X., Wali, B., Sayeed, I., Chern, J. J., Blackwell, L. S., ... & Reisner, A. (2020). Plasma osteopontin may predict neuroinflammation and the severity of pediatric traumatic brain injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 40(1), 35-43.
  3. Blackwell, Laura S., et al. "Patterns of osteopontin expression in abusive head trauma compared with other causes of pediatric traumatic brain injury." The Journal of Pediatrics 227 (2020): 170-175.
  4. Reisner, A., Ralston, A. K., Vats, A., Sawvel, M. S., & Blackwell, L. S. (2019). Commentary: guidelines for the management of pediatric severe traumatic brain injury: update of the brain trauma foundation guidelines, executive summary. Neurosurgery, 85(2), E384-E385.
  5. Murdaugh, D. L., King, T. Z., Sun, B., Jones, R. A., Ono, K. E., Reisner, A., & Burns, T. G. (2018). Longitudinal changes in resting state connectivity and white matter integrity in adolescents with sports-related Concussion–Erratum. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 24(8), 890-890.
  6. Reisner, A., Chern, J. J., Walson, K., Tillman, N., Petrillo-Albarano, T., Sribnick, E. A., ... & Vats, A. (2018). Introduction of severe traumatic brain injury care protocol is associated with reduction in mortality for pediatric patients: a case study of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s neurotrauma program. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, 22(2), 165-172.
  7. Watson, W. D., Suskauer, S. J., Askin, G., Nowak, S., Baum, K. T., Gerber, L. M., ... & Shah, S. A. (2021). Cognitive recovery during inpatient rehabilitation following pediatric traumatic brain injury: a pediatric brain injury consortium study. Journal of head trauma rehabilitation, 36(4), 253-263.
  8. Ilardi, D., Alexander, N., Xiang, Y., Figueroa, J., & Blackwell, L. (2022). Social-environmental factors as mediators of IQ and achievement differences across race groups in adolescents with high risk congenital heart disease. Child Neuropsychology, 1-18.
  9. Kashyap, N., Morris, M., Loerinc, L. B., Benoit, M., Blackwell, L., Howarth, R., & Gombolay, G. (2022). The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio is associated with intubation in pediatric anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis: A retrospective study. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 370, 577931.



2022 Annual Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference- 

  • Makda Mulugeta “Implications of Race and Socioeconomic Status on Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury Severity and Outcome” 
  • Andrew Appert “Increased levels of osteopontin in children with subdural hematomas due to abusive head trauma” 
  • Keri Kramer “Neuropsychiatric outcomes in children with traumatic brain injuries” 
  • Hannah Myers “Comparing plasma biomarker profiles in complicated versus uncomplicated mild TBI in children” 
  • Anabelle Thomas “Gender and age differences in recovery trajectories following pediatric concussion” 
  • Eva del Valle Martinez “Follow-up visit attendance in children following a traumatic brain injury”  


For a more comprehensive list of PNL's abstracts, peer reviewed publications, and presentations, click here.

APRIL 2023: 

Dr. Reisner Presenting at ICRAN 2023 in Bolivia 



JAN 2023:

The PNL Lab is now participating in the GEO-TBI study, "an international, prospective observational study on traumatic brain injury epidemiology". Read more about it here.


DEC 2022:

Dr. Reisner Presents at the 2022 Mediterranean Association of Neurological Surgeons: Cairo, Egypt Dec. 2022 











                    PATIENT STORIES & HIGHLIGHTS: 


Keep up with the lab on Twitter! 

Link to 2023 Pediatric Neurotrauma Lab CV Below:



Link to Dr. Reisner's CV Below: