The Catholic University of America

Sahana N. Kukke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering, the Catholic University of America
202-319-5466 phone
202-319-4287 fax
kukke (at) cua (dot) edu

Advisor, Neuroscience Minor, the Catholic University of America

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, the George Washington University

Faculty, Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery, Georgetown Univ

B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, June 1999
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, May 2002
Ph.D., Bioengineering, Stanford University, June 2009
Postdoc, Rehab Medicine & Human Motor Control, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Kukke's broad research interest is in the way sensation and movement are coupled and controlled in humans.  She is particularly interested in the sense of touch, and how it guides movement of the upper extremity.  Her research seeks to explore ways by which enhanced tactile sensation can lead to behavioral changes, primarily in hand use, and correlated neurophysiological changes, measurable using electroencephalography (EEG).  Dr. Kukke is also interested in understanding mechanisms of impaired sensorimotor control in individuals with childhood-onset brain injuries, and translating research findings on tactile-motor control of the hand to improve functional movements in this clinical population.  She is a member of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, the Neural Control of Movement Society, and the Society for Neuroscience. 

BE 398: Junior Biomechanical Design (Fall semester)
BE 597: Biomedical Research Methods (Fall semester)
BE 499: BE Senior Project Laboratory (Spring semester)
BE 521/421: Neural Control of Movement (Spring semester)
BE 418: Sensors in Neurorehabilitation

ENGR 494: Independent Study

Representative Publications
Shields J, Park JE, Srivanitchapoom P, Paine R, Thirugnanasambandam N, Kukke SN, Hallett M. Probing the interaction of the ipsilateral posterior parietal cortex with the premotor cortex using a novel transcranial magnetic stimulation
technique. Clin Neurophysiol. 2015 Jul 21. pii: S1388-2457(15)00719-1. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2015.06.031. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26253032.

Kukke S, Curatalo L, de Campos A, Hallett M, Alter K, Damiano D. Coordination of reach-to-grasp kinematics in individuals with childhood-onset dystonia due to hemiplegic cerebral palsy. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2015 Jul 20. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26208359.

Thirugnanasambandam N, Khera R, Wang H, Kukke SN, Hallett M. Distinct interneuronal networks influence excitability of the surround during movement initiation. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Aug;114(2):1102-8. doi: 10.1152/jn.00791.2014. Epub 2015 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 26041828; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4588516.

Kukke SN, de Campos AC, Damiano D, Alter KE, Patronas N, Hallett M. Cortical activation and inter-hemispheric sensorimotor coherence in individuals with arm dystonia due to childhood stroke. Clin Neurophysiol. 2015 Aug;126(8):1589-98. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Nov 15. PubMed PMID: 25499610; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4433430.

Kukke SN, Paine RW, Chao CC, de Campos AC, Hallett M. Efficient and reliable characterization of the corticospinal system using transcranial magnetic stimulation. J Clin Neurophysiol. 2014 Jun;31(3):246-52. doi:10.1097/WNP.0000000000000057. PubMed PMID: 24887609.

de Campos AC*, Kukke SN*, Hallett M, Alter KE, Damiano DL. Characteristics of Bilateral Hand Function in Individuals With Unilateral Dystonia Due to Perinatal Stroke: Sensory and Motor Aspects. J Child Neurol. 2014 Jan 5. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24396131. *co-first authors

Chao CC, Karabanov AN, Paine R, Carolina de Campos A, Kukke SN, Wu T, Wang H, Hallett M. Induction of Motor Associative Plasticity in the Posterior Parietal Cortex-Primary Motor Network. Cereb Cortex. 2013 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23968834.

Poston B, Kukke SN, Paine RW, Francis S, Hallett M. Cortical silent period duration and its implications for surround inhibition of a hand muscle. Eur J Neurosci. 2012 Oct;36(7):2964-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08212.x. Epub 2012 Jul 9. PubMed PMID: 22775302; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3463678.

Kukke SN, Sanger TD. Contributors to excess antagonist activity during movement in children with secondary dystonia due to cerebral palsy. J Neurophysiol. 2011 May;105(5):2100-7. doi: 10.1152/jn.00998.2009. Epub 2011 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 21325680.

Ben-Pazi H, Ishihara A, Kukke S, Sanger TD. Increasing viscosity and inertia using a robotically controlled pen improves handwriting in children. J Child Neurol. 2010 Jun;25(6):674-80. doi: 10.1177/0883073809342592. Epub 2009 Sep 30. PubMed PMID: 19794098; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2878373.

van Doornik J, Kukke S, Sanger TD. Hypertonia in childhood secondary dystonia due to cerebral palsy is associated with reflex muscle activation. Mov Disord. 2009 May 15;24(7):965-71. doi: 10.1002/mds.22282. PubMed PMID: 19353733.

van Doornik J, Kukke S, McGill K, Rose J, Sherman-Levine S, Sanger TD. Oral baclofen increases maximal voluntary neuromuscular activation of ankle plantar flexors in children with spasticity due to cerebral palsy. J Child Neurol. 2008 Jun;23(6):635-9. doi: 10.1177/0883073807313046. Epub 2008 Feb 15. PubMed PMID: 18281622.

Ben-Pazi H, Kukke S, Sanger TD. Poor penmanship in children correlates with abnormal rhythmic tapping: a broad functional temporal impairment. J Child Neurol. 2007 May;22(5):543-9. PubMed PMID: 17690059.

Sanger TD, Kukke SN. Abnormalities of tactile sensory function in children with dystonic and diplegic cerebral palsy. J Child Neurol. 2007 Mar;22(3):289-93. PubMed PMID: 17621498.

Sanger TD, Kukke SN, Sherman-Levine S. Botulinum toxin type B improves the speed of reaching in children with cerebral palsy and arm dystonia: an open-label, dose-escalation pilot study. J Child Neurol. 2007 Jan;22(1):116-22. PubMed PMID: 17608320.

Kukke SN, Triolo RJ. The effects of trunk stimulation on bimanual seated workspace. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2004 Jun;12(2):177-85. PubMed PMID: 15218932.

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