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Researchers in the neurophysiology research realm seek to understand the governing mechanisms and detailed biology of neural systems, including their function and dysfunction across—and interaction between—all length scales. This area also includes designing and applying experimental techniques to neural system mechanics and applying those mechanics to understand and improve human brain health and treat neurological and mental health diseases.

Research examples:

  • Neurovascular coupling: understanding how neurons communicate with blood vessels and how that is modulated by arousal (Patrick Drew)
  • Development of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived brain organoids for the mechanistic study of Alzheimer’s disease and its associated genetic mutations (Elizabeth Proctor)
  • Underlying mechanics leading to seizure-associated spreading depolarization (Bruce Gluckman)
  • Measuring and modeling the cell-group networks that regulate sleep transitions and how that is disrupted in epilepsy (Bruce Gluckman)
  • Cellular metabolic changes underlying the development of neurological diseases (Elizabeth Proctor)
  • Origins, early diagnosis, and long-term treatment of Parkinson’s disease and dementia (Xuemei Huang)
  • Linking cranial growth pattern disorders, including craniosynostosis, to brain development (Joan Richtsmeier)
  • Neuropeptidergic modulation of discrete neural circuits and systems and their role in behavioral and physiological brain states involved in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and addiction (Nikki Crowley)
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The Penn State Center for Neural Engineering is a large, interdisciplinary research group that brings together neural engineering-focused researchers from the Penn State College of Engineering, the College of Medicine, the Materials Research Institute, and the Eberly College of Science. Chartered in June 2007, the center occupies 22,000 square feet of space in the Millennium Science Complex.

Center for Neural Engineering

Millennium Science Complex

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802