Vaishnav Krishnan, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Baylor College of Medicine

Vaishnav Krishnan, M.D., Ph.D. Photo

Position

Address

Laboratory of Epilepsy and Emotional Behavior (Lab)
6550 Fannin St Smith Tower
Neurosensory BCM NA200
Ph: 713-798-2238
Houston, Texas 77030
United States
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Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center (Clinic)
7200 Cambridge St
9th Floor
Houston, Texas 77030
United States
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Certifications

  • Adult Neurology (2014)
    American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

  • Clinical Neurophysiology (2017)
    American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

  • Epilepsy Medicine (2018)
    American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Education

  • BS from New York University
    05/2003 - NY, New York United States

  • MD-PhD from University of Texas Southwestern Med. Center Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
    06/2010 - Dallas, Texas United States

  • Internship at Parkland Memorial Hospital/University of Texas Southwestern
    06/2011 - Dallas, Texas United States

  • Residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
    06/2014 - Boston, Massachusetts United States

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
    06/2016 - Boston, Massachusetts United States

  • Clinical Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
    06/2016 - Boston, Massachusetts United States

Professional Statement

I am proud to be a physician-scientist at the Baylor Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. I am an adult neurologist with expertise in treating epilepsy (an "epileptologist") and the interpretation of electroencephalograms (EEGs) and other neuromonitoring techniques (a "clinical neurophysiologist"). I have a special interest in caring for patients with epilepsy and comorbid mental health conditions (such as depression/anxiety, psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, schizophrenia, or autism). My laboratory uses mouse models of epilepsy to explain how certain brain "lesions" that produce hyperexcitability (or medications that treat hyperexcitability) may give rise to pervasive alterations in emotional behavior and social drive (www.bcm.edu/krishnanlab). I received a PhD in Neuroscience as a part of a combined MDPhD program. For my PhD, I used mouse models of psychosocial stress to understand how certain molecular and cellular changes in specific brain regions underlie whether an animal may be vulnerable or resilient to the psychopathological effects of chronic stress. After my clinical training, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology, where I examined how the experience of recurrent seizures result in long lasting alterations in neuronal physiology that may give rise to changes in sociability. My scientific goals are to understand the biology underlying the intersections between seizures, epilepsy and psychiatric symptoms/mental health disorders. I hope to build a systematic approach to treating epilepsy as a spectrum disorder, where a distributed network-based "lesion" gives rise to both "ictal" changes (brief, paroxysmal and stereotyped abnormalities of neurological function) and "interictal" changes (pervasive aberrations in mood, anxiety, activity or sociability). My goal is for this work to be translated into a comprehensive pathophysiology-based approach to treating epilepsy spectrum disorders where seizures and psychiatric/cognitive derangements are addressed with equal importance through a comprehensive team of care providers. Towards this goal, I direct the Laboratory of Epilepsy and Emotional Behavior at the Baylor College of Medicine, where we apply state of the art behavioral monitoring techniques in mice to carefully dissect how genetic vulnerabilities that result in epilepsy or elevated seizure risk impact activity, anxiety, motivation and sociability.

Professional Achievements

  • Outstanding Resident Teaching Award
    07/2013 - Harvard Medical School

  • NINDS R25 Award
    01/2014 - National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Epilepsy
    07/2016 - American Academy of Neurology, American Brain Foundation

  • Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award K08
    04/2019 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • Junior Faculty Seed Grant
    07/2019 - Curtis Hankamer Basic Research Fund

  • Junior Investigator Award
    10/2020 - American Epilepsy Society

  • Mike Hogg Fund Award
    02/2021 - The Mike Hogg Fund

Professional Interests

  • Epilepsy and Mental Health Disorders

  • Comorbid Epileptic and Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures

  • Comorbid treatment-refractory depression AND epilepsy

  • Behavioral Phenotyping in Mouse Models of Neuropsychiatric Illness

  • Home Cage Monitoring

Physician Specialties

  • Clinical Neurophysiology

  • Neurology

Memberships

  • American Academy of Neurology

  • American Epilepsy Society

  • NINDS/AES Epilepsy Benchmark Stewards Committee

  • AES Committee on Psychosocial Comorbidities of Epilepsy
    01/2021