Nicholas Au Yong, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Departments of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering
Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Au Yong is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech. At Emory University Hospital, he specializes in functional neurosurgery and serves as the associate director of movement disorder surgery. His neurosurgical practice encompasses neuromodulation for movement disorders such a Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor, surgical treatments of pain conditions including chronic neuropathic pain and oncological pain, surgical repair of peripheral nerve injuries, and spinal surgery. Dr. Au Yong’s research program at Emory is centered on the development of neuromodulation therapies for restoring motor control and homeostatic regulation through leveraging spinal and brain networks. His laboratory applies neuroengineering principles to characterize fundamental physiological mechanisms for neuromodulation applications.
Dr. Au Yong received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and a MS in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester. His undergraduate research efforts took place at MCP Hahneman University under Dr. Simon Giszter studying spinal control of movement. His biomedical engineering graduate research took place under Drs. Gary Paige and Scott Seidman at the University of Rochester’s Center for Visual Science and was supported by the NIH-NEI Training Grant in Vision Science. There he examined how the brain processes linear acceleration, as detected by the vestibular system, to form perception of motion. As a MD/PhD student at Drexel University’s Spinal Cord Research Center where he was mentored by Dr. Michel Lemay, his doctoral thesis project investigated how spinal neuronal networks are topologically organized to drive locomotor behaviors. During his neurosurgery residency training at UCLA, his research focused on two topic; 1) Electrical spinal neuromodulation for hand movement restoration in chronic spinal cord injured subjects under Drs. Daniel Lu and Reggie Edgerton and 2) Identifying neural biomarkers suitable for closed-loop deep brain stimulation for movement disorders under Dr. Nader Pouratian which was supported by a NIH-R25 grant. Following his transition to faculty as Emory University, he received the K12 Neurosurgeon Research Career Development Program award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the NCMRR Early Career Research Award R03 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He was named the 2020 Congress of Neurological Surgeon/NIH Getch Scholar.