Manel Vila-Vidal, PhD

manel.vila-vidal  [at] upf.edu

Postdoctoral Researcher and Adjunct Lecturer
Center for Brain and Cognition
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Co-founder at BrainFocus

About me

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and co-founder of BrainFocus.

As a researcher, I work at the crossroads of Computational, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience. My main research interests are: computational tools for epilepsy diagnosis and treatment, computational models and methods to estimate connectivity in the brain, the relationship of local activity and global connectivity fluctuations, brain functional alterations in psychopathology, translational research in data science and big data for clinical practice.

In October 2021, I defended my PhD thesis, where I worked on the development of clinical biomarkers for intracranial EEG (iEEG) in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, and I investigated the interplay between local and global scales in brain activity in the context of simple cognitive tasks. To pursue my Ph.D. research, I received funding from “laCaixa” Foundation. In 2018 and 2019, I also contributed to the implementation of a novel Research Program on human single-cell recordings to study human cognition in Hospital del Mar. My research led to the publication of two research articles (2017, 2020) and a book chapter (2020) as main author, several oral and poster presentations in international conferences and the development of an open-source software package.

From 2019, I am also leading a tech-transfer project called BrainFocus, which intends to turn the computational research we do into real clinical epilepsy care. We have filed two patents for automatic seizure focus identification and have been granted with two tech-transfer projects (100k€). A beta version of our product is currently being tested with our collaborators at Hospital Clínic (Barcelona, Spain) and we are open to establish connections with other leading epilepsy care hospitals around the world. You can visit us at www.brainfocus.tech.

Over the last years, I have also intermittently done research in Cross-cultural, Translation and Border Studies. From 2015 to 2017, I took a Master’s in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, where I investigated the role of literary space in the construction of the Slovenian and Italian identities in the city of Trieste during the XXth century. In 2018, I also took a leading role in a research study in Digital Humanities, at the intersection of Data Science and Translation Studies. The results of research in these fields led to the publication of 2 research articles and a Book Chapter.