My primary interests are related to implementing high-quality research and data analytical techniques to improve the diagnosis and management of traumatic injuries, and the vast majority of my work has been in athletes with sport-related concussions (SRC). Currently, I am the lead statistician in the Department of Orthopedics and mentor medical students, residents, and fellows throughout the analysis portion of their research activities. I received my M.B.B.S from Dow Medical College in Pakistan and subsequently my M.D. equivalence from the US. I then came to Buffalo to do a traumatic brain injury research fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry under Dr Barry Willer, PhD and worked on the Healthy Ageing Mind study that identified functional and neurobehavioral impairments in retired professional contact sport athletes who had a high suspicion of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This sparked my interest in the specific symptom of exercise-induced symptom exacerbation after acute SRC and its relationship with autonomic dysfunction and started my PhD in Neuroscience to understand why this symptom occurs. For this, I had to develop novel methods to measure cerebral blood flow (CBF) and CBF autoregulation and was able to prove a link between the lack of downstream microvascular resistance and the onset of headaches during exercise. Due to the amount of mathematical modeling required in this project, I also graduated with an Advanced Certificate in Applied Statistics.
During this time, I also worked with my mentor, Dr John Leddy, MD, to improve methods of graded exertion testing for prescribing individualized exercise and developed the Buffalo Concussion Bike Test, an alternative to the world-renowned Buffalo Concussion Treadmill Test, for patients with excessive balance dysfunction and/or orthopedic injuries, as well as the low-cost Buffalo Concussion March-in-Place Test for military service members. I also worked under Drs Leddy and Willer in performing several randomized controlled trials that proved an active rehabilitation approach for SRC (termed the Buffalo Protocol) significantly reduced the duration of symptoms and the incidence of delayed recovery and persisting symptoms, and am currently working on improving brain injury management guidelines in the Department of Defense. I also manage the UBMD Concussion Patient registry and worked on improving data retrieval and management techniques which has provided publishable data for dozens of manuscripts that are published in high-ranking journals. I also work on improving the diagnosis and treatment of SRC in parathletes and am a member of the international Concussion in Para Sports Group. Lastly, I am also currently working on ways to improve public safety by developing objective algorithms and technology-assisted measures to include in Drug Recognition Expert guidelines.