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Neuroscience (NEUS) Program Neuroengineering Research

Faculty members at the College of Medicine and the School of Biomedical Engineering are combining strengths in this highly interdisciplinary area of research. The Neuroengineering tracks in both the Neuroscience program, and in the School of Biomedical Engineering PhD programs, each provide entry into this dynamic field. Entry through neuroscience emphasizes the neuroscience and neurophysiological applications of novel technologies, and quantitative and computational techniques.

The unique strengths of the Drexel neuroscience research groups are the significant expertise in basic neurosciences, computational modeling of pattern generator and reflex systems, development of spinal motor prostheses, development of cortical motor/sensory prostheses, brain machine interfaces (BMIs) and neurorobotics. Components of this program combine novel neuroprosthetic techniques for intraspinal, limbic and cortical prostheses, with therapeutic approaches to brain and spinal cord injury and rehabilitation in rodent models.

The group is well known for experimental and modeling analyses of motor systems in particular. These analyses range from learned neurorecovery and BMI augmentation of voluntary locomotion and limb use to brainstem and spinal reflex and pattern generator controls of breathing, locomotion and reflex reaching mechanisms. Motor acts are ultimately the way that animals and people act in the world and express the outcomes of all cognitive, perceptual and reflexive neural processes. Understanding the motor basis of behavior requires an attention to basic physics, biomechanics, muscle and nerve physiology, neural networks, multi-scale models, control theory principles and optimal control ideas.

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An image of DRG Neurons from the neuroscience program at Drexel University College of Medicine.