Yama Akbari

picture of Yama  Akbari

Assistant Professor, Neurology
School of Medicine

Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery
School of Medicine

Assistant Professor, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic

M.D., University of California, Irvine, 2006
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2005, Neurobiology & Behavior
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1996, Psychobiology

Phone: (949) 824-1888
Email: yakbari@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
2113 Gillespie NRF
Mail Code: 4292
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Coma, Consciousness, and Cardiac Arrest; Neurophysiology and Optical Imaging of cerebral blood flow and brain metabolism; optimizing CPR after cardiac arrest; global cerebral ischemia; neural monitoring devices; translational research; clinical trials
Academic Distinctions
Selected awards since becoming a faculty member at UC Irvine:

2018, 2019 Physicians of Excellence Honoree, Orange County Medical Association
2018 Athalie Clarke Research Associates Dean’s Junior Physician/Scientist Award
2018 Hiruma/Wagner Award (Japan)
2017 NIH NIBIB Trailblazer Award
2017 Southern California Super Doctors Honoree
2015 Faculty Mentor of the Month, UC Irvine Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
2014-2016 Rising Star, Southern California Super Doctors
2014 UCI ICTS KL2 Awardee (Mentored Career Development Award)
2013 Best Abstract Award, American Heart Association, Resuscitation Science Symposium
2012 Cristanne Wijman Young Investigator Award of the Neurocritical Care Society
Research Abstract
Yama Akbari is a critical care neurologist and neuroscientist who is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery at UC Irvine, specializing in neuro-critical care. He is a physician-scientist who splits his time between clinical duties taking care of patients in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU) at UC Irvine Medical Center and running a basic science/translational research lab focused on consciousness, coma, and cardiac arrest/resuscitation.

Yama obtained a BS in psychobiology from UCLA followed by a combined MD/PhD program at UC Irvine, where his PhD was focused on molecular neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. He then completed a neurology residency at UCLA followed by a 2-year neurocritical care fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. In 2012, he was recruited back to UC Irvine as a tenure-track physician/scientist where he established UC Irvine’s first cardiac arrest and resuscitation laboratory. The lab was built to mimic a Neuro-Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU) to optimize translational potential, thus incorporating multimodal monitoring with neurophysiology, cardiac/pulmonary physiology, and signal processing of brain connectivity. In close collaboration with the Beckman Laser Institute, the multimodal platform broadened to include advanced optical imaging of cerebral blood flow and brain metabolism during cardiac arrest and resuscitation. The Akbari lab utilizes a wide range of in vivo and in vitro techniques carrying bench-to-bedside research investigating changes in cerebral hemodynamics, brain metabolism, and brain connectivity during hyperdynamic changes in perfusion during cardiac arrest (including clinical death) and resuscitation back to life. The goal of the lab is to improve our understanding of consciousness and coma due to various types of acute brain injury as well as improving resuscitation maneuvers for the treatment of cardiac arrest to protect the brain. Alongside taking care of critically ill patients and running his research lab, he also teaches students (undergraduates, graduate, and medical) as well as residents and clinical fellows.
See lab website above for a list of publications.
NIH NIBIB R21, EB024793 (2017-2020; PI: Akbari): "Multimodal Optical Imaging of Hyperdynamic Cerebral Responses to Cardiac Arrest & Resuscitation." Role: PI
UCI ICTS Pilot Grant (via NIH CTSA UL1 TR001414; 2018-2019): "Mechanisms underlying a novel, highly prognostic EEG signal during cardiac arrest and resuscitation." Role: PI
NIH NIA EB024793S1 (2018-2019; PI: Akbari): "Longitudinal High-Speed Optical Imaging of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease." Role: PI
NIH NINDS R21, NS096987 (2016-2018; PI: John Weiss): "Mitochondrial Zn2+ in ischemic neurodegeneration: In vivo tests of principle studies in a rat cardiac arrest model." Role: Co-I
Other Funding: Roneet Carmell Memorial Endowment Fund
Professional Societies
Neurocritical Care Society
Society of Critical Care Medicine
American Heart Association
Society for Neuroscience
American Academy of Neurology
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