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Welcome to the Neuromodulation Research and Technology Laboratory


Our research laboratory focuses on innovating neuromodulation technologies to improve quality of life for people with neurological disorders. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one such technology, which has helped numerous people living with Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and essential tremor reclaim control over their motor function. DBS therapy involves placing tiny electrodes in regions of the brain that exhibit pathological activity and then stimulating those regions with continuous pulses of energy. We focus on understanding how the brain responds and adapts to stimulation-based therapies from a combination of computational and experimental perspectives. These studies in turn provide us with a rationale to develop, evaluate, and translate new approaches for improving patient care.


Dec 15, 2014 -- Allison Connolly successfully defended her thesis "Advances in Bidirectional Deep Brain Stimulation Interfaces." Congratulations, Dr. Connolly!

Nov 14, 2014 -- Allison Connolly received a BRAIN Young Investigator Award (Honorable Mention) for her project "Large-scale Monitoring and Modulation of Deep Brain Activity in Non-human Primates."

Nov 7, 2014 -- Edgar Pena was invited to give a talk on "spatial and temporal modeling of electrical brain stimulation" at the 2014 SHPE National Conference. Congrats, Edgar!

Oct 24, 2014 -- Katelynn Brintz presented a poster at the 2014 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Meeting in San Antonio, TX. Well done, Katelynn!

September 8, 2014 -- David Zhang joined the laboratory. Welcome, David!

Aug 27, 2014 -- Andrew Radtke successfully defended his MS project. Congrats, Andrew.

Aug 15, 2014 -- Kevin Moshenian successfully defended his MS thesis. Congrats, Kevin.

Jul 31, 2014 -- Ben Teplitzky was awarded a MnDRIVE fellowship to investigate plasticity in DBS and tDCS. Congratulations, Ben!

Jun 23-25, 2014 -- NRTL members presented six posters at the 2014 Neural Interfaces Conference in Dallas, TX. Dr. Johnson led an oral session on the need for more experimental validation of computational models of neuromodulation.

Apr 9, 2014 -- Kevin Mohsenian and John LaRoy presented their Journal of Medical Device publications at the 2014 Design of Medical Devices (DMD) conference.

Jan 24, 2014 -- Our manuscript, "Computational modeling of an endovascular approach to deep brain stimulation" was accepted in the Journal of Neural Engineering. Excellent work, Ben!

Nov 13, 2013 -- The lab presented three posters at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience Conference in New Orleans.

Nov 6, 2013 -- Ben Teplitzky and Allison Connolly presented posters at the 2013 IEEE-EMBS Neural Engineering Meeting.

Oct 31, 2013 -- Edgar Pena and Ed Bello II joined NTRL. Welcome!

Oct 11, 2013 -- The lab participated in Brain Awareness week by teaching 4th and 5th graders about the brain.

Aug 2, 2013 -- Our manuscript, "Deep brain stimulation imposes complex informational lesions" was accepted in PLoS ONE. Great work, Filippo!

July 18, 2013 -- Our laboratory organized a public outreach event at the Bakken Museum to teach kids and adults about electricity and the nervous system.

April 12th, 2013 -- Ben Teplitzky was awarded 1st prize for his poster presentation at the 2013 Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium. Well done, Ben!

March 29th, 2013 -- Laura Zitella received an honorable mention for the 2013 NSF GRF award. Congratulations Laura!

March 29th, 2013 -- Karlo Malaga was awarded the NSF fellowship. Well done, Karlo!

Jan 24, 2013 -- Our manuscript, "Neuromodulation for Brain Disorders: Challenges and Opportunities" was accepted in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

Jan 10, 2013 -- Our manuscript, "Computational modeling of pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation" was accepted and received the cover in Journal of Neural Engineering. Great work, Laura and Kevin!

Dec 6, 2012 -- Allison Connolly and Ben Teplitzky were awarded with an Associate position within the University of Minnesota's IGERT Graduate Training Program in Systems Neuroengineering.

Oct 17, 2012 -- The lab presented five posters at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience Conference in New Orleans.

Sept 29, 2012 -- The lab was awarded an NIH R01 grant to develop novel "Algorithms for Programming Deep Brain Stimulation Systems."

Sept 11, 2012 -- Allison Connolly, Ben Teplitzky, and Laura Zitella each received awards for their presentations at the IEM Innovation Showcase Poster Session in Minneapolis, MN.

Aug 30, 2012 -- Allison Connolly presented a poster at the IEEE-EMBS Conference in San Diego, CA.

June 18, 2012 -- The lab presented three posters at the Neural Interfaces Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. Dr. Matt Johnson spoke on "Advances in deep brain stimulation probe technology."

May 9th, 2012 -- Our manuscript, "Improved spatial targeting with directionally segmented deep brain stimulation leads for treating essential tremor" was accepted in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

April 17th, 2012 -- Our manuscript, "Neural targets for relieving parkinsonian rigidity and bradykinesia with pallidal deep brain stimulation" was accepted in the Journal of Neurophysiology.

March 30th, 2012 -- Kevin Mohsenian received an honorable mention for the 2012 NSF GRF award. Well done Kevin!

December 13th, 2011 -- Maureen Keane successfully defended her master's degree dissertation. Congrats, Maureen!

December 12th, 2011 -- Laura Zitella was awarded an NSF IGERT fellowship for 2012-13. Congrats, Laura!

November 23rd, 2011 -- Allison Connolly's manuscript on MEG during DBS was accepted in Brain Stimulation.

November 16th, 2011 -- The lab presented five posters at the Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington DC.

September 2nd, 2011 -- Dr. Matt Johnson (Co-PI) and Dr. Bin He (PI) were awarded a five-year, $3 million grant from the NSF through the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program to develop a neuroengineering training program for PhD students.

October 13, 2011 -- Kevin Mohsenian was selected as the recipient of the BMES 2011 Undergraduate Research Award for his paper, "Computational modeling of pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation." Kevin was presented with a certificate at the Awards Ceremony at the BMES Conference. Congrats, Kevin!

June 12, 2011 -- Maureen Keane was the first female finisher in Trinona, the Sprint Triathlon held in Winona, MN.

May 20, 2011 -- Allison Connolly, Maureen Keane, and Steve Deyo presented their work at the International Neuromodulation Congress in London, England.

Apr 5, 2011 -- Ben Teplitzky was awarded the NSF fellowship for 2011. Congrats, Ben!

Apr 5, 2011 -- Allison Connolly was awarded the NSF Fellowship for 2011. Congratulations, Allison!

Apr 1, 2011 -- Karlo Malaga presented his work on computational models of DBS for dystonia at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Ithaca, NY

Dec 22, 2010 -- The lab was awarded a research grant from the Institute for Engineering in Medicine to study essential tremor.

Dec 6, 2010 -- Allison Connolly was awarded a one-year Walter Barnes Lang fellowship.

Nov 3, 2010 -- Karlo Malaga was awarded the Minnesota High Tech Foundation scholarship in part for his work developing models of GPi-DBS for dystonia.

Oct 27, 2010 -- Karlo Malaga was selected for a 2010 University of Minnesota SEED award.

Oct 21, 2010 -- We hosted forty 4th grade students (and thirty parents) from the Twin Cities area as part of the 2010 FIRST Lego League. In collaboration with the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute's LCSE-MSI Visualization Laboratory, students participated in a virtual deep brain stimulation procedure and used 3D goggles to learn about the anatomical targets of stimulation within the human brain.

Oct 3, 2010 -- Steve Deyo completed the Twin Cities Marathon.

Sept 7, 2010 -- Allison Connolly was awarded the University of Minnesota's Graduate School Fellowship for incoming students.

Research Highlights

Related Links

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Center for Neuroengineering

Institute for Translational Neuroscience

College of Science and Engineering