Meet the Team

The Neuro-Informatics Laboratory team comprises physicians and scientists in addition to numerous research fellows, trainees, Mayo collaborators and students.

Laboratory staff

Mohamad Bydon, M.D., Principal Investigator

After graduating from Dartmouth College, Dr. Bydon held a research trainee position in a Howard Hughes Medical Institute medical investigator laboratory studying stem cell regeneration. He participated in studies that identified the protein Bmi-1 as preventing premature senescence of neural stem cells by repressing Ink4a and Arf.

Dr. Bydon completed basic science research focusing on neural genetics at Yale School of Medicine, focusing in particular on the genetic basis of intracranial aneurysms and neural developmental disorders.

Dr. Bydon completed his neurosurgical residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a fellowship in complex spine surgery and spinal oncology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. During his time at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bydon was the recipient of an NIH T32 grant that allowed him to conduct biomechanical and outcomes-related research.

He also had the privilege of serving as assistant director of the Johns Hopkins Biomechanics and Surgical Outcomes Laboratory, where he helped obtain extramural funding to support biomechanical studies evaluating spinal reconstruction after sacral en bloc tumor resection.

In his current position at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Bydon has appointments in the departments of Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Health Sciences Research. He serves as the vice director of the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N2QOD), the largest neurosurgical registry in North America, supported by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Additionally, he is a medical director for the Mayo Clinic Neurosurgical Registry and Biobank, a prospective registry of all neurosurgical cases at Mayo Clinic.

As principal investigator of the Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, Dr. Bydon has established an impressive publication track record, sustainable extramural funding and an institutional endowment designated to support the laboratory's work.

Sandy Goncalves, M.S., Laboratory Manager

Sandy Goncalves completed her master's degree in biomedical physics at the University of Western Ontario in Canada (now called Western University). Her thesis focused on the effects of spinal cord compression on the brain using specialized MRI sequences. Upon successfully defending her thesis in 2014, she went on to be a research manager and scientific writer for the neurosurgery department of the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario.

Sandy joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic as its laboratory manager in early 2017 to manage Dr. Bydon's rapidly growing team. Her research interests lie in regenerative stem cell treatment for people with degenerative spinal cord injury as well as overall surgical outcomes data management. Sandy's goals include facilitating both national and international collaborations to create the largest spinal cord injury stem cell trial in the world.

Residents, fellows, trainees and students

Mohammed Ali Alvi, M.B.B.S., Research Fellow

Dr. Alvi came to Mayo Clinic in March 2016 as a visiting medical student in the Mayo Clinic Department of Neurosurgery and met Dr. Bydon and Panagiotis Kerezoudis, M.D., M.S., a neurologic surgery resident and a member of Dr. Bydon's lab. Dr. Bydon invited Dr. Alvi to one of the laboratory meetings, and he was immediately interested in Dr. Bydon's work. He joined the laboratory as a research trainee in August 2016.

Dr. Alvi's primary research interests are in using surgical outcomes research to highlight socioeconomic and ethnic disparities in health care delivery and identifying measures to curb these issues. Dr. Alvi is also a master's candidate in Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science's Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program.

After he completes his master's degree and his research fellowship in the lab, Dr. Alvi intends to pursue a training program in neurologic surgery, where he plans to employ the research experience gained during his tenure with the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory to contribute to academic and health care policy-driven research.

Anshit Goyal, M.B.B.S., Research Fellow

Dr. Goyal grew up in India and went to medical school at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi — the highest rated medical school in the region. Dr. Goyal placed first in his entrance exam, over more than 80,000 other medical school applicants.

Dr. Goyal was a visiting medical student at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis, the National Institutes of Health and University of Pennsylvania.

He came to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2016 to complete a clinical elective rotation in neurologic surgery. He joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory in July 2017 after medical school graduation and aspires to complete his neurosurgical residency in the U.S.

F M Moinuddin, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., Research Fellow

Dr. Moinuddin graduated from medical school in 2003 from University of Dhaka, the most reputable university in Bangladesh. After completing his internship, he worked in the Department of Neurosurgery at Uttara Adhunik Medical College in Bangladesh.

In 2013, he joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Kagoshima University in Japan, where he received the prestigious Dean's Award in the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences. Dr. Moinuddin's doctoral work examined the molecular components of multidrug chemotherapy resistance in cancer cells.

After completing his research fellowship at Kagoshima University, Dr. Moinuddin joined the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in August 2017. He has a specific interest in projects involving stem cell therapy in spinal cord injury.

Waseen Wahood, Research Assistant

Waseem Wahood earned his bachelor's degree in economics, with honors, at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016; his senior capstone focused on health policy and economics. In 2017 he completed his master's degree in biomedical science at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Waseem's extensive background in health economics, statistics and medical sciences, along with his drive to become a physician-scientist, earned him a position as a research assistant in the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory soon after graduation. After gaining research experience in Dr. Bydon's lab, Waseem will begin medical school in fall 2019.

Yagiz U. Yolcu, M.D., Research Fellow

Dr. Yolcu graduated from Acibadem University School of Medicine in Istanbul. He aspires to become a neurosurgeon and has a strong interest in neuro-oncology. After visiting various hospital clinics in Europe and the United States, he decided to continue his career in the U.S.

Dr. Yolcu was attracted to Mayo Clinic for its excellence in patient care, education and research. He was keen to work for the Neuro-Informatics Laboratory because of its focus on researching surgical outcomes, patient care improvements and cutting-edge techniques. After gaining sufficient research experience, Dr. Yolcu plans to apply for residency in the neurologic surgery program.

Jad Zreik, Research Trainee

Jad Zreik grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated with degrees in informatics and biology. After working in the university's Department of Learning Health Sciences with a focus on precision medicine, he developed a keen interest in using technology to find ways to improve patient outcomes.

Jad was drawn to Dr. Bydon's Neuro-Informatics Lab at Mayo Clinic for its emphasis on using analytical techniques to research surgical outcomes and patient care improvements. He plans to apply to medical school after gaining sufficient experience in research and the informatics field.