Paul Garcia, MD, PhD

Associate Professor; Chief, Neuroanesthesia Division

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 

Clinical Team Members

  • Xiao Shi

    Xiao Shi received her B.S. degree in 2017 from University of Michigan with honors in Statistics. She completed an honors thesis assessing gallbladder and colectomy surgical quality of hospitals in the state of Michigan. Xiao did her post-baccalaureate research in George Mashour’s lab with a focus on temporal EEG modulation. Her research interests include translational and clinical research in neuromodulation under sleep and anesthetic states. As a statistician in Dr. Paul Garcia’s lab, Xiao provides statistical support to Dr. Garcia and his collaborators on ongoing clinical projects. One of her recent projects focuses on predicting adverse clinical outcome using pre and intraoperative variables. She is determined to become a computational neuroscientist and contribute to the understanding of brain mechanisms.

  • Tuan Cassim

    Tuan Cassim received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from City College – City University of New York in 2017 and pursued his graduate education at Vrije University of Amsterdam, Netherland in cognitive neuropsychology. Tuan’s research and clinical interests lies in neuropsychology, neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive testing using methods such as EEG, tDCS and neuropsychological evaluations. During his graduate studies, he was trained in neuropsychology research and studied the effects of physical activity and cognitive phenotype in APOE-4 allele carriers. Tuan also has experience working in a lab focused on the psychophysiology of autism and the broader autism phenotype at the College of Staten Island- City University of New York. Tuan studied autistic traits as it relates to cardiac autonomic activity, interoceptive accuracy, and emotion processing. In his current role as a clinical research coordinator for the Neuroanesthesia Division at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Tuan participates in Dr. Paul Garcia’s clinical research studies focusing on the neurophysiology of the sedated brain investigating intraoperative EEG signatures, and their association with adverse postoperative outcomes such as delirium. Tuan plans to pursue a PhD in clinical neuropsychology.

  • Eitan Scher

    Eitan Scher received a B.A. degree from Rutgers University with honors in Psychology and a minor in Religion. He worked in multiple research labs during his undergrad and completed an honors thesis investigating the effects of meditation on temporal judgements. At Rutgers, Eitan also worked with DBT-RU, a dialectical behavioral therapy research and training clinic. Eitan’s research interests include meditation, the neurocognitive mechanisms of religious experience, mindfulness based therapeutic interventions and the integration of psychopharmacology and clinical psychology. As a clinical research coordinator in Dr. Paul Garcia’s lab, Eitan helps run multiple projects utilizing EEG (electroencephalogram) to minimize post-operative delirium and provide a better understanding of the unconscious brain. He hopes to become a neuropsychologist and use brain monitoring technologies to inform clinical practice.