Pundik, Svetlana, MD, MSc

Svetlana-Pundik-web2Research Statement

As a Stroke Neurologist I treat patients during the first minutes to hours after stroke onset. Aggressive acute stroke therapies are able to prevent more severe disabilities. However, many patients still experience persistent significant sensory and motor deficits. Fortunately, intensive rehabilitation can restore some lost function. The goal of our studies is to further improve quality of life of stroke survivors months to years after stroke. My research interests focus on identifying and understanding the neuroplastic changes in brain structure and function with the goal of designing complementary approaches to enhance functional recovery after stroke. Our interdisciplinary research team that includes biomedical engineers, physical therapists and neurologists, is using state of the art neuroimaging techniques to study neuroplasticity in response to rehabilitation. We are developing new approaches to boost recovery through the use of non-invasive brain stimulation, e.g. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Therefore, the two main research directions are in:

  • Characterizing brain plasticity that drives recovery of sensory and motor function following brain injury and stroke.
  • Developing methods to enhance functional recovery after stroke by non-invasive brain stimulation (TMS or tDCS) of viable brain areas to facilitate restorative neuroplasticity.

Professional Affiliations

  • Investigator, Cleveland FES Center
  • Stroke Neurologist, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
  • Medical Director, Stroke Program at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH


Publications (Select)

  • Potter-Baker KA, Bonnett CE, Chabra P, Roelle S, Varnerin N, Cunningham DA, Sankarasubramanian V, Pundik S, Conforto AB, Machado AG, Plow EB. Challenges in Recruitment for the Study of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Stroke: Lessons from Deep Brain Stimulation. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2016 Feb 2. pii: S1052-3057(16)00011-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2015.12.044. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26851211.
  • Kaddumukasa M, Kayima J, Kaddumukasa MN, Ddumba E, Mugenyi L, Pundik S, Furlan AJ, Sajatovic M, Katabira E. Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of stroke: a cross-sectional survey in rural and urban Uganda. BMC Res Notes. 2015 Dec 26;8(1):819. doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1820-6. PubMed PMID: 26708348; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4691295.
  • Potter-Baker KA, Bonnett CE, Chabra P, Roelle S, Varnerin N, Cunningham DA, Sankarasubramanian V, Pundik S, Conforto AB, Machado A, Plow EB. A game of hide and seek: Is it possible to recruit more patients for NIBS studies in stroke? J Neurol Sci. 2015 Nov 15;358(1-2):472-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2015.08.030. Epub 2015 Aug 21. PubMed PMID: 26320611; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4629798.
  • McCabe J, Monkiewicz M, Holcomb J, Pundik S, Daly JJ. Comparison of robotics, functional electrical stimulation, and motor learning methods for treatment of persistent upper extremity dysfunction after stroke: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Jun;96(6):981–990. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.10.022 Pubmed PMID: 25461822
  • Blixen C, Perzynski A, Cage J, Smyth K, Moore S, Sila C, Pundik S, Sajatovic M. Using focus groups to inform the development of stroke recovery and prevention programs for younger African-American (AA) men. Top Stroke Rehabil. 2015 Jun;22(3):221–230. doi: 10.1179/1074935714Z.0000000006 Pubmed PMID: 26084323
  • Fang Y, Daly JJ, Hansley J, Yao WX, Yang Q, Sun J, Hvorat K, Pundik S, Yue GH. Hemispheric Activation during Planning and Execution Phases in Reaching post Stroke: A consort study. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Jan;94(3):e307. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000000307 Pubmed PMID: 25621675
  • Kaddumukasa M, Katabira E, Salata RA, Costa MA, Ddumba E, Furlan A, Kakooza-Mwesige A, Kamya MR, Kayima J, Longenecker CT, Mayanja-Kizza H, Mondo C, Moore S, Pundik S, Sewankambo N, Simon DI, Smyth KA, Sajatovic M. Global medical education partnerships to expand specialty expertise: a case report on building neurology clinical and research capacity. Hum Resour Health. 2014 Dec 30;12(1):75. doi: 10.1186/1478-4491-12-75 Pubmed PMID: 25547168
  • McCabe J, Monkiewicz M, Holcomb J, Pundik S, Daly JJ. Comparison of Robotics, Functional Electrical Stimulation, and Motor Learning Methods for Treatment of Persistent Upper Extremity Dysfunction After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Nov 15; doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.10.022 Pubmed PMID: 25461822
  • Blixen C, Perzynski A, Cage J, Smyth K, Moore S, Sila C, Pundik S, Sajatovic M. Stroke recovery and prevention barriers among young african-american men: potential avenues to reduce health disparities. Top Stroke Rehabil. 2014 Oct;21(5):432–442. doi: 10.1310/tsr2105-432 Pubmed PMID: 25341388
  • Pundik S, Falchook AD, McCabe J, Litinas K, Daly JJ. Functional Brain Correlates of Upper Limb Spasticity and Its Mitigation following Rehabilitation in Chronic Stroke Survivors. Stroke Res Treat. 2014;2014:306325. doi: 10.1155/2014/306325 Pubmed PMID: 25101190
  • Daly JJ, Hrovat K, Holcomb J, Pundik S. Brain control of functional reach in healthy adults and stroke survivors. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2014;32(5):559–573. doi: 10.3233/RNN-130361 Pubmed PMID: 24613940
  • Pundik S, Xu K, Sundararajan S. Reperfusion brain injury: focus on cellular bioenergetics. Neurology. 2012 Sep 25;79(13 Suppl 1):S44–51. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182695a14 Pubmed PMID: 23008411
  • Pundik S, Holcomb J, McCabe J, Daly JJ. Enhanced life-role participation in response to comprehensive gait training in chronic-stroke survivors. Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(18):1535–1539. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.650308 Pubmed PMID: 22324654

Research Programs

 Contact Information

Contact Name: Svetlana Pundik
Contact Number: (216) 791-3800 x3732
Contact Email: sxp19@case.edu
Research Program Assistant: Jessica McCabe
Contact Number: (216) 791-3800 x3830
Contact Email: jmccabe@fescenter.org