Claassen Lab: Disorders of Consciousness Lab (DoC-Lab)

Location and Contact Information

Milstein Hospital Building
177 Fort Washington Avenue
8th floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigator

  • Profile Headshot
    • Head of Neurocritical Care and Medical Director of the Neurological Intensive Care Unit
    • Chief, Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology


Our mission is to develop accurate predictions of outcomes and to support the recovery process of unconscious critically ill patients. Applying machine learning algorithms, we focus on detecting covert consciousness in electrophysiological and imaging data of unresponsive patients and build prediction tools based on advanced statistical modeling. We aim to support the recovery process with innovative technology and work on brain computer interfaces to support communication with unresponsive patients.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Determining the behavioral phenotype of patients with covert consciousness
  • Elucidating the mechanistic underpinnings of covert consciousness using structural and functional MRI
  • Determining the impact of aphasia on the ability to detect command following in unconscious appearing patients
  • Investigating novel stimulation paradigms such as storytelling, music, and event related potentials to understand brain function in unresponsive appearing patients
  • Medication and physical therapy interventions to support recovery of consciousness
  • Brain computer interface development to connect to unresponsive appearing patients
  • Outcome expectations and technology acceptance in patients, families, and health care workers

News feature:

By David J. Craig

A Physician’s Journey into the Minds of Coma Patients

In studying people with severe brain injuries, Columbia neurologist Jan Claassen hopes to better identify those likely to regain consciousness. [read more]


For a complete list of publications, please visit

Some People Who Appear to Be in a Coma May Actually Be Conscious. Scientific American 2022

‘It’s Gigantic’: A New Way to Gauge the Chances for Unresponsive Patients. New York Times. 2019


To make a donation, please contact:

Matthew Reals
Senior Director of Development

Donation by Check

Please make payable to Trustees of Columbia University, indicate Dr. Claassen's research on the memo line, and mail to:

Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Office of Development
Attn: Matthew Reals
516 West 168th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10032

Online Donation
To make your donation by credit card, please follow this link.


  • ​​​​Lucie Kruger, BS

  • Adu Mattory, BA

  • Andrey Eliseyev, PhD

  • Athina Vrosgou, MSc

  • Ayham Alkhachroum, MD

  • Benjamin Rohaut, MD, PhD

  • Brian Fidale, MD

  • Caroline Der Nigoghossian, PharmD

  • Eva Franzova, MD

  • Greer Waldrop, MD

  • Hans Peter Frey, PhD

  • Jennifer Egbebike, BA

  • Kevin Doyle, BA

  • Laruen Grobois, BA

  • Lizbeth Cespedes BSN, RN

  • Lucy Paniker, PA

  • Mariam Yazdl, RN

  • Wei-Ting Chiu, MD

Lab Members

  • Ángela G. Velázquez

    • Assistant Director, Clinical Research
    Angela Velazquez, MD
  • Qi Shen, PhD

    • Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Neurology; Data scientist and biostatistician
    Qi Shen, PhD
  • Jerina Carmona, MPH

    • Clinical Research Coordinator
    Jerina Carmona, MPH
  • Satoshi Egawa, MD

    • Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Neurology
    Satoshi Egawa, MD
  • Joshua Kahan, MD, PhD

    • Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow in the Department of Neurology
    Joshua Kahan, MD, PhD
  • Elizabeth Carroll, MD

    • Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow in the Department of Neurology
    Elizabeth Carroll, MD
  • Sweta Patel, PA

    • Physician Assistant
    Patel Sweta
  • Ian J. Gonzalez, REEGT

    • Neurophysiology Technician
  • Gregory Heinonen, BS

    • Medical Student
  • Lorenzo Casertano, PT

    • Physical Therapist
  • Vedant B. Kansara, MSc

    • Data Coordinator
    Vedant Kansara, MSc
  • Sandy Song, BS

    • Clinical Research Coordinator
    Sandy Song, BS