Our Team

Lab Director and PI

Ghazala Saleem.

Dr. Saleem was born in Pakistan. Her first name Ghazala, which was given to her at birth and has Arabic origin, means “big wide eyes.” Wonders of nature and scientific intricacies intrigue Dr. Saleem. As a child, she was always curious about finding solutions to problems.

Once, in the eighth grade, she suffered a muscular sprain, and her mother offered her a drink of milk and turmeric as a remedy to alleviate the pain. Instinctively, she searched for scientific evidence behind this cultural treatment, and at that moment her young mind awakened to the significance of scientific inquiry. This quest to find scientific solutions has remained intact throughout her studies and has reinforced now through her career as a clinician-scientist.

Dr. Saleem is trained as both an occupational therapist and a neuromotor scientist. She has long-term research goal of achieving a better understanding of brain injuries in socially/medically vulnerable populations and promoting enhancement in the prevalent neurorehabilitative therapies.

Faculty Links

  • View all published research on PubMed

Research Staff

Amy An.

Amy An is a third-year Physical Therapy student and a research assistant in the Brain Function and Recovery (BFR) Lab. Prior to working as a research assistant, Amy worked as a Violence Prevention Leader at Health Promotion Office in Michael Hall. Amy has a background in Peer Education and Trauma-Informed Care which she uses to raise awareness in sexual violence prevention in the college population. Amy is currently working with Dr. Saleem and other members of the BFR team on Tele-Brain Injury Assessment and Physiological study in survivors of intimate partner violence. 

Isaac Asante.

Isaac Asante is a senior majoring in public health. Isaac works in the Brain Function and Recovery (BFR) lab as a research intern. He works with Dr. Saleem on research related to intimate partner violence (IPV) -related brain injuries in women. Along with Dr. Saleem, he assists in identifying how IPV-related mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) affect the health domain of women survivors of IPV. They also assess challenges that prevent survivors and women experiencing IPV from seeking professional care and or health care. Currently, he is working on a literature review on IPV in Pakistani women. He hopes to understand how culture and other risk factors play a role in IPV in Pakistan. Isaac has participated in scientific writing, poster abstract, research conferences. Also, he has assisted in the writing of a manuscript. Isaac hopes to work in the health care field one day and, he enjoys working in the lab with Dr. Saleem and the rest of the students in the lab.

Jacob Braun.

Jacob Braun is a medical student at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. His research interests lay in pediatric neurology, specifically pediatric concussions and external factors. Jacob is currently conducting research in the Brain Function and Recovery Lab, where he is researching the effects of social determinants of health on pediatric concussion outcomes. Dr. Saleem and the rest of the Lab support this research.

Madeleine Champagne-Shafer.

Madeleine Champagne-Shafer is an MD student at the UB Jacobs School of Medicine, whose research interests lie primarily in health equity and community health, specifically understanding the experience of women who are living with traumatic brain injuries from intimate partner violence. In the lab, Madie is currently collaborating with other lab members to use telehealth and physiological assessments to understand the underpinnings of intimate partner violence-related brain injury. She enjoys learning from Dr. Saleem and working with the rest of the lab on this important research.

Wenjie Ji.

Wenjie Ji is a PhD student in Rehabilitation Science, whose research interest lies primarily in autonomic nervous function in individuals with neurological diseases/injuries. She is now working on a tele-brain injury assessment and a physiological study in female survivors with intimate partner violence. These studies aim to effectively identify brain injury and detect autonomic dysfunction and motor/cognitive impairments through objective assessments in intimate partner violence survivors. Wenjie holds a great passion for her work in the Brain Function and Recovery Lab. Her work is much supported by Dr. Saleem, and she enjoys interdisciplinary collaboration with other students in this lab.  

Muhammad Subhan Zahid Nazir.

Muhammad Subhan Zahid Nazir is a graduate student researcher in Behavioral Neuroscience & Applied Behavior at the University of Central Oklahoma. He has received formal education and training from Pakistan, UK, Malaysia and the U.S. Subhan has a background in Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering & Psychology. He is working with Dr. Saleem in the BFR lab on IPV research, particularly investigating the prevalence and consequences of IPV trauma in Pakistani women. Subhan is also actively working on developing collaborations in Pakistan and the US to help recruit IPV survivors. Subhan is motivated to raise awareness about the ramifications of IPV for Pakistani women and is determined to take initial steps to positively change the narrative surrounding IPV and Pakistani women.

Tasnim Tarannum is an undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Society, Medicine, and Health at the University at Buffalo. Her research interests lie in cognitive impairments and neurological diseases and current treatments. Currently, she is working on collecting data for the tele-brain injury assessment and a physiological study in female survivors of intimate-partner violence population. Tasnim enjoys collaborating and learning from her research mentor and fellow team members at the Brain Recovery and Function Lab. She is also working on an extended literature review on cognitive impairments of mild traumatic brain injury in survivors of intimate-partner violence for publication.