Neal Prakash, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Chief, Division of Neurology
  • Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Director of Neuro-optical Imaging
  • Neurologist

Neal Prakash, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Specialties
  • Neurology
Areas of Expertise
  • Neuroimaging

An expert in advanced neuroimaging techniques, Neal Prakash, M.D., Ph.D., is City of Hope's chief of the Division of Neurology and director of Neuro-Optical Imaging.

Educated at University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Irvine, Dr. Prakash practiced in Hawaii before arriving at City of Hope in 2011. He regularly appears on a variety of “Top Doctor” lists and was named one of the "Leading Health Professionals in the World for Neurology and Neurosciences."

Dr. Prakash is a past president of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics. He publishes frequently and has helped create video animations to illustrate the workings of the brain.

  • 2011-present, Associate Clinical Professor of the Division of Neurology and Director of Neurological Optical Imaging, City of Hope, Duarte, California
  • 2012 - present, Chief of the Division of Neurology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2011 - 2012, Neurologist/Scientist, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2009 - 2011, Neurologist, Neurological Services of Hawaii
  • 2008 - 2011, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Honolulu, HI
  • 2007 - 2009, ProTem Neurologist, Kaiser Permanente, Honolulu, HI
  • 2006 - 2011, Neurologist, Veterans Affairs Pacific Island Health Care System
  • 2006 - 2007, Visiting Assistant Professor, Magnetic Resonance Research at University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
  • 2005 - 2007, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2005 - 2007, Founding Director of Optical Imaging, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, David Geffen School of Imaging, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA


City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA, 91010

Get Directions

Phone :  626-256-4673


  • 2001, M.D., Medical Scientist Training Program, University of California, Irvine College of Medicine
  • 1999, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
  • 1992, B.A., Molecular and Cellular Biology (Neurobiology emphasis), University of California, Berkeley


  • Neuro-imaging research/training during residence and hence was promoted from resident to assistant professor at UCLA (2002-2005)


  • 2002 -2005, Resident, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA


  • 2001 -2002, Intern, Department of Internal Medicine, Barnes Jewish Hospital, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO


Prakash N, Cohen-Cory S, Frostig RD. Rapid and opposite effects of BDNF and NGF on the functional organization of the adult cortex in vivo, Nature, 381: 702-706, 1996.

Chen Z, Zhao Y, Srinivas S, Nelson SJ, Prakash N, Frostig RD. Optical Doppler tomography, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 5(4): 1134-1141, 1999.

Vanderhaeghen P, Lu Q, Prakash N, Frisén J, Walsh CA, Frostig RD, Flanagan JG. A mapping label required for normal scale of body representation in the cortex, Nature Neuroscience, 3(4): 358-365, 2000.

Chen-Bee C, Polley DB, Brett-Green BB, Prakash N, Kwon MC, Frostig RD. Visualizing and quantifying cortical activity assessed with intrinsic signal imaging, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 97(2): 157-173, 2000.

Prakash N, Vanderhaeghen P, Cohen-Cory S, Frisén J, Flanagan JG, Frostig RD. Functional malformation of the cortical somatosensory map in adult ephrin-A5 knockout mice, Journal of Neuroscience, 20:5841-5847, 2000.

Penschuck S, Chen-Bee CH, Prakash N, Frostig RD. In vivo modulation of a cortical functional sensory representation shortly after topical cholinergic agent application, Journal of Comparative Neurology,452: 38-50, 2002.

Prakash N, Cohen-Cory S, Penshuck S, Frostig RD. The basal forebrain cholinergic system is involved in rapid nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced plasticity in the barrel cortex of adult rats, Journal of Neurophysiology, 91:424-437, 2004; first published September 24, 2003.

Prakash N. Frostig RD. What has intrinsic signal optical imaging taught us about NGF-induced rapid plasticity in adult cortex and its relationship to the cholinergic system? Molecular Imaging and Biology, 7(1): 14-21, 2005.

Theriot JJ, Toga AW, Prakash N, Ju SY. Microfabricated electrode array compatible with optical imaging of intrinsic signals during somatosensory stimulation and cortical spreading depression, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Bioengineering Division (Publication) BED 7p, 2006.

Prakash N, Biag J, Sheth SA, Mitsuyama S, Ramachandran C, Theriot J, Toga AW. Temporal profiles and 2-dimensional oxy-, deoxy-, and total-hemoglobin somatosensory maps in rat versus mouse cortex, NeuroImage, 37:S1S27-S36, 2007.

Prakash N, Uhlemann F, Sheth SA, Bookheimer S, Martin N, Toga AW. Current Trends in Intraoperative Optical Imaging for Functional Brain Mapping and Delineation of Lesions of Language Cortex, NeuroImage.47:T116-126, 2009.

Sheth S, Prakash N, Guiou M, Toga AW. Validation and Visualization of Two-Dimensional Optical Spectroscopic Imaging of Cerebral Hemodynamics, NeuroImage, 47:T  2009. 

Prakash N, Hageman N, Hua X, Toga AW, Perlman SL, Salamon N. Patterns of fractional anisotropy changes in white matter of cerebellar peduncles distinguish spinocerebellar ataxia-1 from multiple system atrophy and other ataxia syndromes, NeuroImage, 47:T72-81, 2009. 

Kateb B, Chiu K, Black KL, Yamamoto V, Khalsa B, Ljubimova JY, Ding H, Patil R, Portilla-Arias JA, Modo M, Moore DF, Farahani K, Okun MS, Prakash N, Neman J, Ahdoot D, Grundfest W, Nikzad S, Heiss JD. Nanoplatforms for constructing new approaches to cancer treatment, imaging, and drug delivery: What should be the policy? NeuroImage54:S1, S106-24, 2011 (ePub 2010).

Theriot J, Toga AW, Prakash N, Ju YS, Brennan KC. Cortical sensory plasticity in a model of migraine with aura, Journal of Neuroscience, 32(44):15252-61, 2012.

Benjamin R, Zhai J, Morgan R, Prakash N. Trismus and diffuse polymyalgia: An unusual presentation of recurrent metastatic ovarian cancer, BMJ Case Reports, 2014, DOI:10.1136/bcr-2013-203361



Allahabadi S, Jia C, Prakash N. “Visible Light Optical imaging and Spectroscopy During Neurosurgery,” The Textbook of Advanced Neurophotonics and Brain Mapping (Chen/Kateb - K23139),  in press 2016.

Prakash N. “Status Epilepticus,” Case Reviews in Neurosurgery (Jandial/Chen/Aizenberg), in press 2015.

Kohar A, Prakash N. “Multiple Sclerosis,” Case Reviews in Neurosurgery (Jandial/Chen/Aizenberg), in press 2015.

Kohar A, Prakash N. “Transverse Myelitis,” Case Reviews in Neurosurgery (Jandial/Chen/Aizenberg), in press 2015.

Kohar A, Salamon N, Prakash N. “Devic’s Syndrome,” Case Reviews in Neurosurgery (Jandial/Chen/Aizenberg), in press 2015.

  • American Academy of Neurology
  • Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics
  • Society for NeuroOncology
  • California Neurological Society
  • 2016, “Top Doctor,” Los Angeles Magazine, Neurology
  • 2015-2018, “Super Doctor,” Southern California Super Doctors, Neurology
  • 2013- 2014, 2016-2017, “Top Doctor,” Pasadena Magazine, Neurology
  • 2013, 2016-2017, The Leading Physicians of the World, Top Neurologist in Duarte, CA.
  • 2013, Super Doctors, Southern California Rising Stars 2013, Neurology
  • 2009-2015, Marquis Who's Who in America: Neurologist and Neuroscientist
  • 2006, Leading Health Professionals in the World, Neurology and Neurosciences
  • 2005, “Finalist,” American Association of the Physicians of Indian Origin, Medical Student, Resident and Fellow Research Competition
  • 2004, UCLA Neurology Resident Jean-Louis Riel Research Award
  • 1999 and 2000, University of California Irvine Vincent P. Carroll, Jr. Memorial Research Award
  • 1988, Physics student of the year, Katella High School, Anaheim CA
Back To Top