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Diana Escalona-Vargas

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
DepartmentPeds Pediatrics, College of Medicine
DivisionPeds Neurology
AddressS5/01 Shorey
324 UAMS Campus Dr.
Mail Slot # 512-15
Little Rock AR 72205
Phone501-526-7679
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    Other Positions
    TitleAssistant Professor
    InstitutionUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    DepartmentObstetrics And Gynecology, College of Medicine
    DivisionGeneralist OB & Gyn


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Leadership and Administrative Roles
    Scientific Director of Magnetoencephalography Lab, Department of Pediatrics, Neurology, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Aug. 2019-Present.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse research overview
    I have been directly involved of multidisciplinary groups to develop expertise in the area of biomedical signal processing to apply new techniques for electrophysiological signals from large array of sensors. I have a strong background in advanced neuroimaging methods to process brain signals measured with non-invasive techniques such as fetal magnetoencephalography (fMEG), adult and pediatric magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG).I had the opportunity of acquiring advance technical understanding of MEG/MRI, EEG and fMEG technologies through training internships at the Dynamic Neuroimaging Laboratory at the McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and the SARA/Fetal MEG Research Center in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS, USA). Both universities have major research and core facilities for adult and fetal brain research imaging with prominent expertise in biomedical signal processing analysis.

    Currently, I am the Scientific Director of Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) MEG laboratory to perform clinical MEG in pediatric epilepsy. Additionally, I perform translational MEG research together with epileptologists, neurosurgeons and other researchers. I still maintaining strong collaborative ties today at UAMS fMEG laboratory to study the maternal-fetal physiology. I expand my collaborations with the UAMS Women’s Mental Health Program to study the effects of clinical drugs on fetal brain activity. I am actively involved in the adult EEG community through collaborative work, developing and applying signal processing techniques to intracranial and high density EEG data in epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. My research interests are to expand the clinical applications of neuroimaging MEG technology to study cognitive brain development and function across the lifespan and apply novel computational strategies to process bio-electromagnetic signals.

    Collapse research activities and funding
         (Escalona-Vargas, Diana)Nov 1, 2022 - Oct 31, 2023
    Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention
    Neuroimaging of food-related impulse control and stressors in childhood obesity
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R01HL164303     (ESWARAN, HARI)Mar 15, 2022 - Feb 28, 2026
    NIH
    Development of low-cost optically pumped magnetometer system for fetal applications
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R01HD105412     (ESWARAN, HARI)Sep 8, 2021 - Aug 31, 2025
    NIH
    Magnetoencephalography based tracking of fetal neurodevelopment in diabetic pregnancies
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R01EB031589     (ESWARAN, HARI)Jul 15, 2021 - Mar 31, 2025
    NIH
    Development of Analysis Tools to Enhance Magnetomyographic Assessment of Pelvic Floor Muscles
    Role: Co-Investigator

    GR039097     (ESCALONA-VARGAS, DIANA)Feb 1, 2021 - Jan 31, 2023
    UAMS ACHRI Flow Through
    GR039097-Escalona-Vargas-ACHRI-Pediatric Language and Memory Mapping in Refractory Epilsy using Magnetoencepahlography
    Role: Principal Investigator

    GR039097     (Diana Escalona-Vargas)Feb 1, 2021 - Jan 31, 2023
    Arkansas Children's Research Institute
    Pediatric Language and Memory Mapping in Refractory Epilepsy using Magnetoencephalography
    Role: Principal Investigator

    27312     (ESCALONA-VARGAS, DIANA)Jan 15, 2019 - Jan 14, 2022
    Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
    Studying the effect of Buprenorphine on Fetal Brain Development Using Magnetoencephalography - Continuation
    Role: Principal Investigator

    27312     (ESCALONA-VARGAS, DIANA)Jan 15, 2019 - Jan 14, 2021
    Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
    Studying the effect of Buprenorphine on Fetal Brain Development Using Magnetoencephalography
    Role: Principal Investigator

         (ESCALONA-VARGAS, DIANA I)Jan 1, 2019 - Dec 31, 2019
    UAMS Medical Research Endowment (MRE)
    Buprenorphine on fetal brain development
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R21HD091717     (OLIPHANT, SALLIE SHERROD)Aug 1, 2017 - Jul 31, 2021
    NIH
    Magnetomyography of levator muscle complex in pregnancy and postpartum: Adaptation, injury, and recovery patterns
    Role: Co-Investigator

    R21HD091744     (ESWARAN, HARI)Aug 1, 2017 - Jul 31, 2021
    NIH
    Non-invasive prenatal assessment using optically pumped magnetometers
    Role: Co-Investigator

    1R21HD091717-01     Aug 1, 2017 - Jul 31, 2019
    NIH/National Institutes of Health
    Magnetomyography of levator muscle complex in pregnancy and postpartum: Adaptation, injury, and recovery patterns
    Role: Co-Investigator

    1R21HD091744-01A1     Aug 1, 2017 - Jul 31, 2019
    NIH/National Institutes of Health
    Non-invasive prenatal assessment using optically pumped magnetometers
    Role: Co-Investigator

    OIA-1632891     (LARSON-PRIOR, LINDA)Sep 1, 2016 - Aug 31, 2021
    National Science Foundation - Pass Through: Louisiana Tech University
    RII Track-2 FEC- Probing and Understanding the Brain: Micro and Macro Dynamics of Seizure and Memory Networks - Continuation - Continuation - Continuation
    Role: Co-Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions. Don't see publications published under other names? Login to add alternative names.
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    1. Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Bolin EH, Eswaran H. Fetal magnetocardiographic recordings with a prototype bed-based array system of optically-pumped magnetometers. Med Eng Phys. 2024 Jun; 128:104175. PMID: 38789219.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Bolin EH, Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Mercado L, Johnson T, Eswaran H. Feasibility of magnetoencephalography in fetuses with cyanotic congenital heart disease. Prenat Diagn. 2024 Apr 15. PMID: 38622756.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Mercado L, Rose S, Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Whittington JR, Preissl H, Helmich M, Eswaran H. Correlation of fetal heart rate dynamics to inflammatory markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor during pregnancy. J Perinat Med. 2024 Feb 27. PMID: 38404246.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Mercado L, Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Preissl H, Bolin EH, Eswaran H. Exploring the Influence of Fetal Sex on Heart Rate Dynamics Using Fetal Magnetocardiographic Recordings. Reprod Sci. 2024 Mar; 31(3):823-831. PMID: 37884730.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Fu Q, Bustamante-Gomez NC, Reyes-Pardo H, Gubrij I, Escalona-Vargas D, Thostenson JD, Palmieri M, Goellner JJ, Nookaew I, Barnes CL, Stambough JB, Ambrogini E, O'Brien CA. Reduced osteoprotegerin expression by osteocytes may contribute to rebound resorption after denosumab discontinuation. JCI Insight. 2023 09 22; 8(18). PMID: 37581932.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Mehl ST, Simmons PM, Whittington JR, Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Lowery CL, Crimmins-Pierce LD, Eswaran H. Assessing uterine electrophysiology prior to elective term induction of labor. Curr Res Physiol. 2023; 6:100103. PMID: 37554388.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Mercado L, Escalona-Vargas D, Blossom S, Siegel ER, Whittington JR, Preissl H, Walden K, Eswaran H. The effect of maternal pregestational diabetes on fetal autonomic nervous system. Physiol Rep. 2023 05; 11(9):e15680. PMID: 37144450.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Bolin EH, Whittington JR, Mehl ST, Escalona-Vargas D, Eswaran H. Fetal Magnetocardiography for the Diagnosis of Fetal Dysrhythmias: Single-Center Experience Over 8 Years. JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2022 09; 8(9):1161-1163. PMID: 35907757.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Oliphant S, Eswaran H. Evaluation of Pelvic Floor Muscles in Pregnancy and Postpartum With Non-Invasive Magnetomyography. IEEE J Transl Eng Health Med. 2022; 10:1800106. PMID: 34950538.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Escalona-Vargas D, Bolin EH, Lowery CL, Siegel ER, Eswaran H. Recording and quantifying fetal magnetocardiography signals using a flexible array of optically-pumped magnetometers. Physiol Meas. 2021 01 01; 41(12):125003. PMID: 33086201.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Escalona-Vargas D, Eswaran H. Adaptable Sensor Arrays for Fetal Magnetocardiographic Measurements Using Optically-Pumped Magnetometers: A Pilot Study. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 07; 2020:1803-1806. PMID: 33018349.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Avci R, Whittington JR, Blossom SJ, Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Preissl HT, Eswaran H. Studying the Effect of Maternal Pregestational Diabetes on Fetal Neurodevelopment Using Magnetoencephalography. Clin EEG Neurosci. 2020 Sep; 51(5):331-338. PMID: 32157908.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Bolin EH, Escalona-Vargas D, Daily JA, Siegel ER, Lowery CL, Coker J, Stowe ZN, Eswaran H. Magnetocardiographic identification of prolonged fetal corrected QT interval in women receiving treatment for opioid use disorder. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2019 Oct; 45(10):1989-1996. PMID: 31297963.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Sippel K, Moser J, Schleger F, Escalona-Vargas D, Preissl H, Rosenstiel W, Spuler M. Fully Automated Subtraction of Heart Activity for Fetal Magnetoencephalography Data. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2019 Jul; 2019:5685-5689. PMID: 31947143.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Escalona-Vargas D, Oliphant S, Eswaran H. Magnetomyographic Recordings of Pelvic Floor Activity During Pregnancy and Postpartum: A Novel Non-invasive Approach. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2019 Jul; 2019:1855-1858. PMID: 31946259.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Escalona-Vargas D, Oliphant S, Siegel ER, Eswaran H. Characterizing pelvic floor muscles activities using magnetomyography. Neurourol Urodyn. 2019 01; 38(1):151-157. PMID: 30387530.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Escalona-Vargas D, Zhang M, Nehorai A, Eswaran H. Connectivity Measures of Uterine Activity using Magnetomyography. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 Jul; 2018:5878-5881. PMID: 30441673.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Avci R, Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Lowery CL, Eswaran H. Coupling Analysis of Fetal and Maternal Heart Rates via Transfer Entropy Using Magnetocardiography. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 Jul; 2018:1-4. PMID: 30440290.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Escalona-Vargas D, Coker JL, Ray-Griffith S, Siegel ER, Lowery CL, Stowe ZN, Eswaran H. Fetal assessment in buprenorphine-maintained women using fetal magnetoencephalography: a pilot study. Addiction. 2018 10; 113(10):1895-1904. PMID: 29781091.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Escalona-Vargas D, Wu HT, Frasch MG, Eswaran H. A Comparison of Five Algorithms for Fetal Magnetocardiography Signal Extraction. Cardiovasc Eng Technol. 2018 09; 9(3):483-487. PMID: 29582244.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Avci R, Wilson JD, Escalona-Vargas D, Eswaran H. Tracking Fetal Movement Through Source Localization From Multisensor Magnetocardiographic Recordings. IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2018 05; 22(3):758-765. PMID: 28391212.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Eswaran H, Escalona-Vargas D, Bolin EH, Wilson JD, Lowery CL. Fetal magnetocardiography using optically pumped magnetometers: a more adaptable and less expensive alternative? Prenat Diagn. 2017 Feb; 37(2):193-196. PMID: 27891637.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Escalona-Vargas DI, Thagard AS, McGrail K, Napolitano PG, Magann EF, Lowery CL, Eswaran H. Observations of fetal brain activity via non-invasive magnetoencephalography following administration of magnesium sulfate for neuroprotection in preterm labor. Prenat Diagn. 2016 Oct; 36(10):982-984. PMID: 27569124.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Oliphant S, Escalona-Vargas D, Austin B, Eswaran H. Magnetomyography of the levator muscle complex: a?novel assessment tool. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Nov; 215(5):667-669. PMID: 27521462.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Escalona-Vargas D, Murphy P, Lowery CL, Eswaran H. Genetic algorithms for dipole location of fetal magnetocardiography. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug; 2016:904-907. PMID: 28268470.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Escalona-Vargas D, Siegel ER, Murphy P, Lowery CL, Eswaran H. Selection of Reference Channels Based on Mutual Information for Frequency-Dependent Subtraction Method Applied to Fetal Biomagnetic Signals. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2017 05; 64(5):1115-1122. PMID: 27416588.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Escalona-Vargas D, Govindan RB, Furdea A, Murphy P, Lowery CL, Eswaran H. Characterizing the Propagation of Uterine Electrophysiological Signals Recorded with a Multi-Sensor Abdominal Array in Term Pregnancies. PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0140894. PMID: 26505624.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Escalona-Vargas DI, Lopez-Arevalo I, Guti?rrez D. Multicompare tests of the performance of different metaheuristics in EEG dipole source localization. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014; 2014:524367. PMID: 24757424.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Escalona-Vargas DI., Lopez-Arevalo I., and Gutierrez D. On the performance of metaheuristic algorithms in the solution of the EEG inverse problem. Third World Congress on Nature and Biologically Inspired Computing (NaBIC). 2011.
    30. Escalona-Vargas DI, Guti?rrez D, Lopez-Arevalo I. Cram?r-Rao bounds on the performance of simulated annealing and genetic algorithms in EEG source localization. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011; 2011:7115-8. PMID: 22255978.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Guti?rrez D, Escalona-Vargas DI. EEG data classification through signal spatial redistribution and optimized linear discriminants. Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2010 Jan; 97(1):39-47. PMID: 19523710.
      View in: PubMed
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