Meet The Researcher

Daniel Lench

Medical University of South Carolina
PhD Candidate

I grew up in Connecticut and moved to Charleston, SC where I received my Bachelors degree in Biology with a minor in neuroscience at the College of Charleston. During my time as an undergraduate, I performed alcohol addiction research with Dr. John Woodward and Dr. Judson Chandler at MUSC's Institute of Psychiatry. Currently I am a PhD candidate for biomedical science at the Medical University of South Carolina. I have continued my passion for neuroscience in graduate school under the mentorship of Dr. Colleen Hanlon. My research is focused on chronic stroke rehabilitation and recovery. Specifically I am using functional MRI to investigate neural reorganization underlying motor recovery and how we can apply brain stimulation techniques in order to change these circuits. My goal is to help provide novel treatment options and hope, for patients suffering from neurological diseases affecting movement. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling and outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and fishing.

Previous Projects

Project Image

I am planning to present my research at the American Society of Neurorehabilitation (ASNR) in San Diego this November. ASNR is a unique opportunity to share my work with other scientists in the field of stroke recovery and get feedback. It is important to note that I am currently in my 4th year (entering my last year) as a PhD student. This conference will be critical in my ability to identify future post-doctoral career opportunities and build relationships with collaborators as I move towards becoming an independent investigator. Stroke is the leading cause of physical disability in the United States and affects more than 795,000 Americans each year. My research focuses on understanding the brain reorganization that occurs in the motor network of these patients and how they relate to movement recovery. We've found that stroke disrupts the ability for the left and right motor network to communicate properly. Ultimately this research aims to understand what brain reorganization patterns contribute to successful rehabilitation outcomes.