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Arka Mallela, MD, MS

    Education & Training

  • BA – Biochemistry, Biophysics, Philosophy - University of Pennsylvania
  • MS – Chemistry - University of Pennsylvania 
  • MD - University of Pennsylvania
  • MS – Translational Research - University of Pennsylvania
  • Neurological Surgery Residency - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Research Summary

Fluent, effortless speech is a hallmark of being human. My primary research interest is understanding how the human brain produces language – from sounds to words to sentences. I primarily focus on an area of the brain known as the supplementary motor area (SMA) which has been implicated in the production of motor and language sequences. By performing direct intracranial recording in patients with epilepsy with chronically implanted electrodes (for their seizures), I aim to demonstrate that the SMA is a key area in language production and to ultimately decipher how the brain translates the intent and idea to speak into fluent speech.

Career Goals

My career goals are two-fold. First, I aim to become a neurosurgeon-scientist focused on providing excellent care for patients with brain tumors and epilepsy. Second, through my research in brain mapping and language, I will create greater understanding about human language and language disorders and apply these findings to better treat my patients.