Current Lab Members


Rajesh Kumar, PhD

Dr. Kumar earned a doctoral degree in Radiology from Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, UP, India in 2002. He received Postdoctoral training in Neurobiology at the Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA from December 2002 to June 2006. Dr. Kumar worked as an Assistant Researcher from July 2006 to September 14, 2013 in the Department of Neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Kumar joined the Department of Anesthesiology with a secondary appointment in the Department of Radiological Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA on September 15, 2013. He has expertise in various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy procedures. Dr. Kumar’s research is based on the evaluation of the neural tissue integrity, resulting from breathing or cardiovascular effects, in brain areas of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and heart failure (HF) using MR procedures. It helps understand the brain processes that affect autonomic, memory and mood regulations in patients with these conditions. Dr. Kumar has been funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) since August 2012. His current NIH R01 studies involve determination of the pathological stage and nature of white matter damage, using diffusion tensor imaging, including fiber tractography, diffusional kurtosis imaging, and magnetization transfer imaging procedures, in recently-diagnosed, treatment naïve OSA subjects, and examination of how damaged brain autonomic regulatory areas (hypothalamus, insula cortex, and cerebellum) respond to an autonomic challenge, using diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI procedures, and the laterality of functional responses to that challenge in HF subjects. Dr. Kumar has published over 80 peer-reviewed research manuscripts, 5 book chapters, and presented over 140 abstracts in national and international scientific meetings.


Ashish Sahib, PhD

As a Post-doc, Dr. Sahib is responsible for the analysis and acquisition of structural and functional data in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Currently he is involved in the investigation of structural changes in patients with OSA. Dr. Sahib received his PhD degree in Neural and behavioral sciences from Tuebingen University, Germany, in 2016. His PhD research work focused on in understanding the dynamic functional changes in patients with interictal epileptiform discharges (IED) during simultaneous EEG-fMRI acquisition. He received his bachelors of engineering degree in electronics and telecommunication from GOA University and his masters in Bio-medical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology. His areas of interest include understanding the neural basis of cognition, emotion and memory through various structural and functional MRI procedures in clinical as well as healthy population.


Bhaswati Roy, PhD

Dr. Roy is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Kumar & Dr. Woo’s lab, conducting research on brain changes in patients with heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea and congenital heart disease. She received an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship in 2017. Dr. Roy graduated with a Ph.D. in neuroimaging from the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in 2012. Her Ph.D. dissertation, focused on developing tools for multiparametric quantification in brain disorders. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Roy worked at Fortis Memorial Research Institute as a research associate on several brain disorders. Prior to Ph.D., she received her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of North Bengal and Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur.

Xiaopeng Song, PhD

Dr. Song is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Kumar’s lab, conducting research on functional and structural brain changes in patients with heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea and congenital heart disease. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Peking University in 2016. He received his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2011. His research interests lie in introducing intelligent computation algorithms to medical image processing, developing new fMRI signal analysis procedures, and the relevant applications in clinical research.

Luke Ehlert

Born and raised in Oregon, Luke Ehlert first came to Los Angeles to attend Occidental college where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 2015. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, his interest in research lead him to UCLA where he joined the Kumar lab in 2016. Currently Luke works as a subject recruitment coordinator for the Kumar labs sleep apnea related studies.


Milena Lai

Milena grew up in Detroit, Michigan where she attended Michigan State University and earned her Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience and Psychology in 2017.  Milena participated in neuroscience and developmental psychology labs during her college career. After moving to Los Angeles, she joined the Kumar Lab in spring of 2018. She now manages the different studies going on in the lab as well as their IRB applications.