Epilepsy Division Team

Epilepsy Division Team

Chief

Andres M. Kanner, MD
Professor of Clinical Neurology
Director of the International Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
Chief of Epilepsy Division
a.kanner@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Kanner is Board Certified in Neurology, Psychiatry and Clinical Neurophysiology.

Research Interests: Dr Kanner has had long-standing research interests in the areas of pharmacology of epilepsy, psychiatric aspects of epilepsy and surgical treatment of treatment-resistant focal epilepsy. He has authored or coauthored over 200 research publications, over 90 invited review articles and over 95 book chapters and has edited two textbooks and co-edited four. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Epilepsy Currents, the official journal of the American Epilepsy Society and has served in editorial boards of Epilepsia, Epilepsy & Behavior, CNS Spectrums and Epileptic Disorders.

Biographical Information: Dr. Andres M. Kanner is a Professor of Clinical Neurology and Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, which he joined on January 1st 2013. He is an Attending Epileptologist at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Prior to coming to Miami, he had been director of the Laboratory of Electroencephalography and Video-EEG-Telemetry, Associate Director of the Section of Epilepsy and of the Rush Epilepsy Center and Professor of Neurological Sciences and Psychiatry at Rush Medical College of Rush University in Chicago, IL, which he joined in 1991.

Dr. Kanner was born in Mexico City, where he grew-up and attended Medical School at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he graduated with honors. After graduating from medical school, he moved to the USA where he completed a residency in Psychiatry at the Long-Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, a residency in Neurology at the Department of Neurology of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and completed his training with a fellowship in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Kanner is quadruple-boarded in Neurology, Psychiatry, Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy.

Dr. Kanner has been the recipient of several awards including the J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Clinical Care in Epilepsy by the American Epilepsy Society in December 2010, the Epilepsy Ambassador Award from the International League against Epilepsy in August 2011 and the Award for Outstanding Medical Service from the Epilepsy Foundation of Chicago in November 2011. In 2012, the Quito Award of Epilepsy Ambassador for Latin America by the Latin American Commission of the International League against Epilepsy. He was invited to be the Lennox-Lombroso Lecturer at the 2013 meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, held in December 2013 and in 2016 he was invited to be the Pierre Gloor Lecturer at the annual meeting of the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation.

Dr. Kanner has served as Co-Chair of the Neuropsychobiology Commission of the International League against Epilepsy and as Past Chair of Epilepsy Section of the American Academy of Neurology. He has chaired the Practice Committee of the American Epilepsy Society.

Faculty:

Dr. Merridith LoweMerredith R. Lowe, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
mlowe@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Lowe is Board Certified by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Education:

New York Medical Center – Fifth Pathway Certificate July 1989 – June 1990
Westchester County Medical Center – Internship in Internal Medicine, PGY I July 1990- June 1991
Westchester County Medical Center – Residency in Neurology PGY II July 1991-June 1992
George Washington University – Residency in Neurology, PGY IV July 1992- June 1994
Education University of Miami – Epilepsy Fellowship July 1996 June 1997
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, M.D. July 1984- June 1988

Interests: Dr. Lowe’s interests include the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, the use of antiepileptic medication and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring.

Biographical Information: Dr. Merredith R. Lowe is Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, which he joined on April 1997. He is an attending neurologist at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Lowe is the Director of the Intraoperative Monitoring program in the epilepsy division. He is board certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Lowe attended Medical School at The Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico. After completing his medical degree he moved to New York and began a Fifth Pathway Program at New York Medical College followed by a First year Residency in Internal Medicine at Westchester County Medical Center in New York. He did his first year of Neurology Residency at Westchester County Medical Center in New York and the last two years of Neurology Residency at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington DC. In 1996 he joined the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine where he completed his fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology.

nullMaria R. Lopez, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology
Co-Director, Epilepsy Center for Excellence, Miami VA Medical Center
mrlopez@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Lopez is Board Certified by The American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Education:

Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud – MD, Medellin, Colombia January 1987-December 1993
Boston University Medical Center – Internship, Boston, Massachusetts July 1995-June 1996
Boston Medical Center – Neurology Residency, Boston, Massachusetts July 1996 – June 1999
Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy. – Boston, Massachusetts July 1999 – June 2001

Interests: Dr. Lopez areas of interest include psychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy, women’s issues in epilepsy, sleep and epilepsy and psychogenic non epileptic seizures. She has published on these topics and presented at national and international scientific meetings. Given her great commitment to education of neurology residents and epilepsy fellows, she has earned twice the highest teaching awards from the Department of Neurology at UM.

Biographical Information: Dr. Lopez is Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She is an attending Neurologist at the Miami Bruce Carter VA Medical Center, where she also serves as the Director of the Epilepsy Center of Excellence. Dr. Lopez is also the South Eastern Regional Director of VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence.
Dr. Lopez was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia where she graduated from Medical School. She completed her residency in Neurology at Boston Medical Center, Boston University and completed a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology and Clinical Epilepsy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard University. She has dual board certification in Neurology and Epilepsy by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Dr. Lopez joined the University of Miami and the Bruce Carter VA Medical Center in 2008 and became the director of its epilepsy center of excellence in 2011. The VA founded the Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) in 2008, under Public S.216 with the mission to revolutionize service for the Veterans suffering from epilepsy and other seizures disorders..
Dr. Lopez has 18 years of experience treating patients with Epilepsy. She is one of the very few neurologists in the USA with training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy which allows her to provide this type of treatment to Veterans who suffer from psychogenic non- epileptic seizures.
Dr. Lopez areas of interest include psychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy, women’s issues in epilepsy, sleep and epilepsy and psychogenic non epileptic seizures. She has published on these topics and presented at national and international scientific meetings. Given her great commitment to education of neurology residents and epilepsy fellows, she has earned twice the highest teaching awards from the Department of Neurology at UM.

Dr. Ramses RibotRamses Ribot, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Associate Director of Neurology Clerkship
r.ribot@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Ribot is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry

Education:

Tufts University School of Medicine, MD – June 2008
Rush University Medical Center, Internal Medicine – June 2009
Rush University Medical Center, Neurology Resident – June 2012
Rush University Medical Center, Fellowship, Clinical Neurophysiology, June 2013
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Fellowship, Epilepsy, June 2014

*Clinical and Research Interests:*His interests are in the areas of surgical treatment of epilepsy, psychiatric and memory problems in epilepsy, and genetics of epilepsy. He has been invited to give lectures on various topics of epilepsy at national and internationally meetings and has published his research in leading medical journals and textbooks on the treatment of epilepsy. Dr. Ribot is currently involved in clinical trials on the surgical treatment of Epilepsy

Biographical Information: Dr. Ramses Ribot is Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology and Director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics. He joined the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in 2013, initially as an instructor of Neurology and was appointed as assistant professor in 2014. His hospital appointments are at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Ribot is Board Certified by The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Neurology and Epilepsy.

Dr. Ribot was born in Cuba. He attended the University of Florida graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. He earned his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, MA. He then completed his residency in Neurology and Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, where he served as administrative chief resident. He completed a second Fellowship in Epilepsy at the University of Miami.

In his current role as the Associate Director of the Neurology Clerkship Dr. Ribot is directly involved in the education of medical students at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine. He also participates in the education of residents and fellows. Dr. Ribot was recognized for his dedication to teaching with the Department of Neurology Chairman’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016.

Dr. Ribot is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society where he served as a member of the Practice Management Committee from 2015 to 2018.

Dr. Leticia TornesLeticia Tornes, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology
Associate Vice-Chair for Graduate Medical Education
Director, Neurology Residency Program
ltornes@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Tornes is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry

Education:

University of Miami, School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, MD – June 2002 – May 2006
Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida, Internal Medicine – June 2006 – June 2007
Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida, Neurology Resident – July 2007- June 2010
Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida, Chief Resident – 2009 – 2010
Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida, Neurophysiology Fellow – July 2010 – June 2011
University of Miami, Miami, Florida, MS Instructor/Fellowship, July 2011 – 2013

Clinical and Research Interests: Her clinical and research interests include neuroimmunology and pregnancy in neurological disease.

Biographical Information: Dr. Leticia Tornes, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and the Residency Program Director at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and completed her Neurology training at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami where she served as Chief Resident during her last year of training. She then went on to complete a year of Fellowship training in Neurophysiology with an emphasis in Epilepsy. Dr. Tornes also completed a fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Miami’s Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center of Excellence.

In her current role as the Director of the Neurology Residency Program she is involved in both graduate and undergraduate medical education. Dr. Tornes was recognized for her dedication to teaching with the Department of Neurology Chairman’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Tornes is currently involved in multiple clinical trials with both the Epilepsy and MS groups. Her clinical and research interests include neuroimmunology and pregnancy in neurological disease. Recently, she was awarded the Howard Zweibel MS Research Award by the MS Society.

Dr. Naymee Velez-RuizNaymee Velez-Ruiz, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
nxv146@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Velez-Ruiz is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry

Dr. Naymee Velez Ruiz is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She is the Medical Director of the Jackson Memorial Video-EEG Monitoring Unit and EEG Laboratories and she is an Attending Epileptologist at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and Jackson Memorial Hospital. Dr. Velez- Ruiz is Director of the Women & Epilepsy Program at UHealth and has been the Epilepsy Fellowship Director since 2017, and has dedicated great part of her efforts to education in epilepsy.

Dr. Velez-Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico. After receiving her medical degree at the University of Puerto Rico, she trained in Neurology at Boston Medical Center. Subsequently, she completed a two-year Epilepsy Fellowship program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an additional one-year program in Academic General Neurology at the same institution. Her first faculty position was at the Epilepsy Division at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. While at Emory University, Dr. Velez Ruiz served as an attending Epileptologist, Assistant Professor of Neurology, and Medical Director of the Emory University Hospital Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

Dr. Velez-Ruiz joined the University of Miami Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in 2015. Her main interests include the treatment of patients with epilepsy refractory to antiepileptic drugs, epilepsy surgery including presurgical evaluations with intracranial monitoring, and women issues in epilepsy including the treatment of catamenial seizures and epilepsy during pregnancy. She is the Site Principal Investigator (PI) for the Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) Study, as well as co-investigator in several other projects on the subject of epilepsy surgery.
Dr. Velez Ruiz is member of the American Epilepsy Society, and she has been part of the Treatments Committee. She is a Contributing Editor for the Epilepsy Currents Journal, and reviewer for other recognized scientific publications. Dr. Velez Ruiz is committed to expanding the treatment options for patients with epilepsy refractory to medical treatment, and to improving the quality of care for women with epilepsy.

Dr. Kamil DetynieckiKamil Detyniecki, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
kamil.detyniecki@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Detyniecki is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry

Dr. Kamil Detyniecki is Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and Attending Epileptologist at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and Jackson Memorial Hospital. He is director of the clinical trials research program in epilepsy at UM and is the principal investigator of several clinical research studies. Dr. Detyniecki is dually boarded in Neurology and Epilepsy by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Detyniecki was born in Venezuela. He earned his medical degree from the Medical University of Warsaw, in Poland. After receiving his medical degree, he moved to the United States where he completed a residency in Neurology at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Subsequently, he completed a two-year Epilepsy Fellowship program at Yale University in New Haven, CT. He was part of the Yale faculty from 2010-2018, where he directed the Epilepsy Clinical Trials Program for 7 years and led over 10 studies as a principal investigator. In 2018, he moved to the University of Miami Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. His research interests and publications include collaborations with major academic institutions such as Columbia, Harvard and Yale University on topics such as effectiveness and tolerability of antiepileptic drugs, seizure clusters, and epilepsy surgery.

Dr. Detyniecki has directed symposia and lectured at many national and international epilepsy and neurology meetings. He is a fellow of the American Epilepsy Society where he serves as member of the Spanish symposium and CME review committees.

Dr. Alyssa PensirikulAlyssa Pensirikul,MD
Assistant Professor Clinical Neurology and Pediatrics
apensirikul@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Pensirikul is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry with a special qualification in child neurology

Dr. Pensirikul is assistant professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and is attending neurologists at the Jackson memorial – Holtz Children Hospital, where she has been directing the pediatric epilepsy program since 2013. Dr. Pensirikul practices general child neurology and specializes in pediatric epilepsy, with interests in neonatal neurology, neurogenetics, and the medical treatment of refractory epilepsy. Dr. Pensirikul is involved in the teaching of residents, fellows, and medical students.

Dr. Pensirikul is a graduate of Emory University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. She obtained her medical degree at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She completed a pediatric training at New York University, which was followed by a child neurology residency and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Alessandra Milesi-HalléAlessandra Milesi-Hallé
Assistant Professor Clinical Pediatric Neurology
axm2645@med.miami.edu

Board Certifications: Dr. Milesi-Hallé is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry

Dr. Alessandra Milesi-Hallé joined the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, where she is a Pediatric Neurology attending at at the University of Miami and JMH/Holtz Children’s Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatric Neurology.

She was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr. Milesi-Hallé obtained her medical degree from Souza Marques School of Medicine in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1996. She moved to the USA in 1997 to pursue her graduate studies and residency training. In 2005, she received a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her doctoral research interests in neuropharmacology included the pharmacokinetics of amphetamines and sex-differences in pharmacokinetics and metabolism of amphetamines and other psychoactive substances. After her PhD, Dr. Milesi-Hallé also obtained further post-doctoral training at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Milesi-Hallé went on to complete her Pediatric Internship at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Following her Pediatric Training, she completed her Pediatric Neurology Fellowship also at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, graduating in 2014. Her Pediatric Neurology Fellowship Training included a one-year Pediatric Neurology Basic Neuroscience Research Pathway awarded by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).

From 2014 to 2018, Dr. Milesi-Hallé was a pediatric neurohospitalist providing services to various hospitals in South Florida, including Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital and South Miami Hospital. During this time, she also maintained an outpatient pediatric neurology practice.

Her clinical interests include childhood epilepsy syndromes, clinical pharmacology of antiepileptic medications, and development of novel therapeutic options for refractory epileptic syndromes of childhood. She also sees children with a variety of neurodevelopmental conditions, including ADHD, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Child Neurology Society and American Epilepsy Society.

Dr. Marcella CouttsMarcela Coutts, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology

Board Certifications: Dr. Coutts is Board-Certified in Neurology and Psychiatry

Dr. Marcella Coutts is a Neurologist specializing in epilepsy at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center and is Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.
Dr. Coutts graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2006 from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Health Science in Pre-Pharmacy and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Following her undergraduate education, Dr. Coutts received a Masters in Neuroscience from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 2008. She then attended the University of Miami School of Medicine, graduating with her M.D. in 2012. She completed her Neurology residency in 2016 and a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology in 2017 both at the University of Miami.
Dr. Coutts is board certified in Epilepsy and Neurology by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Her interests include medical education, women’s health, and medical history. Current research focuses on the impact of mindfulness on Epilepsy and psychiatric co-morbidities.

Dr. Gustavo ReyGustavo J. Rey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology
g.rey1@med.miami.edu

Clinical and Research Interests: His clinical and research interests involve the neuro-behavioral and neurocognitive correlates of epilepsy, cognitive outcome following epilepsy surgical procedures,

Education: Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology

Biographical Information: Dr. Gustavo Rey is Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology in the Divisions of Neuropsychology and Epilepsy. He directs the neuropsychological evaluation of all patients seen in the inpatient services and outpatient clinics at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics as well as patients who are being evaluated for epilepsy surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Gustavo Rey completed his doctoral degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Houston, a combined University of Houston/Baylor College of Medicine Department of Neurology Internship, and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Neuropsychology at the University of Miami School Of Medicine, Department of Neurology.

He served as Head of the Neuropsychology Service at Miami Children’s Hospital Brain Institute for 15 years before joining the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Nurse Practioner

*Tricia Aponte King, APRN
Epilepsy Nurse Practitioner
taking@med.miami.edu
Mrs. King is the Epilepsy Nurse Practitioner at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the Epilepsy Division of the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She sees patients at the outpatient clinic of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Mrs. King is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner by American Nurse Credentialing Center.
Mrs. King graduated from Fairfield University in 1999 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. In 2002, she received a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing through the accelerated program at New York University, where she was a New York University Scholar.
Mrs. King began her nursing career at New York Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Medical Center as a pediatric and neonatal ICU registered nurse for almost 4 years. She then graduated from Columbia University in 2006 and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. Mrs. King has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in various medical specialties since 2006 in South Florida including internal medicine, cardiology, hematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation.
Mrs. King joined the University of Miami in 2009 and is working as a Nurse Practitioner at the International Comprehensive Epilepsy Center since 2016. She is one of the health care providers of epilepsy team and sees patients on a daily basis. She is also involved in coordination of the Epilepsy Foundation Florida clinics at the University of Miami. Her areas of interest include diagnosis and treatment of individuals with epilepsy and women with epilepsy.

Staff:

*Francisco M. Rodriguez
Sr. Division Administrator
Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromuscular Division
Frodriguez3@med.miami.edu

*Maru Malomeque, RN
Comprehensive Epilepsy Program Coordinator
mpalomeque2@med.miami.edu

*Cristina C. Jubis R, EEGT, EP T, MA
EEG Technician
cjuvis@med.miami.edu

*Pedro Figueredo
Clinical Research Coordinator
pfigueredo@med.miami.edu

*Raysy Matilla
Medical Administrative Assistant
rmatilla@med.miami.edu

*Lily Garcia
Sr. Administrative Assistant
l.garcia28@med.miami.edu