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Simon Giszter, PhD

Drexel University College of Medicine

Office: Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8412


Dr. Giszter is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine. Prior to coming to Drexel, he spent several years studying brain and cognitive science with Emilio Bizzi at MIT, first as a postdoctoral researcher, and subsequently as a research scientist. He also teaches in the School for Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems at Drexel. He has long collaborated with members of the Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and with laboratories in the School of Bioengineering, Science & Health Systems and the College of Engineering.


  • PhD, University of Oregon Institute of Neuroscience
  • Cambridge University

Research Interests

Spinal cord organization and control of limb biomechanics.


Selected Publications

"Trunk Control during Standing Reach: A Dynamical System Analysis of Movement Strategies in Patients with Mechanical Low Back Pain"
Silfies SP, Bhattacharya A, Biely S, Smith S, Giszter SF
Gait and Posture, 2008.

"Trunk sensorimotor cortex is essential for hindlimb weight-supported locomotion in adult rats spinalized as P1/P2 neonates"
Giszter SF, Davies MR, Ramakrishnan A, Udoekwere UI, Kargo WJ
J. Neurophysiology 100(2):839-51, 2008.

"Coordination strategies for limb forces during weight-bearing locomotion in normal rats, and in rats spinalized as neonates"
Giszter SF, Davies MR, and Graziani V
Exp. Brain Research 190(1):53-69, 2008.

"Individual premotor drive pulses, not time-varying synergies, are the units of adjustment for limb trajectories constructed in spinal-cord"
Kargo WJ and Giszter SF
J. Neuroscience. 28(10):2409-25, 2008.

"Primitives, Premotor Drives and Pattern Generation: a combined Computational and Neuroethological Perspective"
Giszter SF, Patil V, and Hart CB
Prog. Brain Res. 165:325-349, 2007.

"Motor strategies used by rats spinalized at birth to maintain stance in response to imposed perturbations"
Giszter SF, Davies MR, Graziani VG
J. Neurophysiol. 97(4):2663-75, 2007.

"Towards a definition of recovery of function"
Smeraski C, Tessler A, Giszter SF
J. Neurotrauma. 21(4):405-13, 2004.

"Modular premotor drives and unit bursts as primitives for frog motor behaviors"
Hart CB and Giszter SF
J. Neuroscience 24(22):5269-82, 2004.

"Modeling of dynamic controls in the frog wiping reflex: force-field level controls"
Giszter SF, and Kargo WJ
Neurocomputing 38-40:1239-1247, 2001.

"Dense mapping of frog lumbar spinal cord: organization of force and muscle use"
Giszter SF, Loeb E, Mussa-Ivaldi FA and Bizzi E
Human Movement Science 19 :597-626, 2000.

"Conserved temporal dynamics and vector superposition of primitives in frog wiping reflexes during spontaneous extensor deletions"
Giszter SF and Kargo WJ
Neurocomputing 32-33:775-783, 2000.

"Afferent roles in hindlimb wiping reflex: free limb kinematics and motor patterns"
Kargo, WJ and Giszter SF
J. Neurophysiology 83(3):1480-1501, 2000.

"Rapid corrections of aimed movements by combination of force-field primitives"
Kargo WJ and Giszter SF
J. Neurosci. 20:409-426, 2000.