Understanding the human brain remains one of the great intellectual and medical challenges of the 21stcentury. A crowning achievement of evolution, the brain nevertheless suffers from the weakness that it does not repair itself well after damage. We are at the beginning of efforts to repair and replace aspects of brain function in patients, but still do not understand many of the basic principles of neural computation. BU BME neural engineering faculty build molecular and photonic tools to study the brain; investigate the quantitative neurophysiology underlying brain and nervous-system function in humans and other species; develop computational models that guide our understanding of brain function; work to understand and treat neurological disorders; and advance methods by which we can help repair the brain and restore neurological function in patients. Activities in neural engineering take advantage of BU’s great strength in photonics and imaging, basic neuroscience, data sciences and computing, neurology, and cell-and-tissue engineering.

Neural Engineering Faculty 

Primary Faculty: Irving Bigio, David Boas, Ji-Xin Cheng, Brian DePasqualeAnna Devor, Michael Economo, Xue Han, Laura Lewis, Jerome Mertz, John Ngo, Timothy O’Shea, Kamal Sen, Lucia Vaina, John White

Research Faculty:  Fernando Fernandez, Oded Ghitza

Affiliated Faculty: Chandramouli Chandrasekaran, Jerry Chen, Jeffrey Gavornik, Frank Guenther, Michael Hasselmo, Nancy Kopell, Ioannis Paschalidis, Michelle Sander, Benjamin Scott, Cara Stepp

Emeritus: H. Steven Colburn, Stephen Grossberg

Affiliated Research Centers

BME Neural Engineering in the news:

  • November 8, 2022

    Seeing a Way to Combat Cancer

    In the fight to treat ovarian cancer, innovative chemical imaging techniques developed by Professor Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE) are fast becoming valuable tools, as reported in two high-impact journals in the space of two months. [ More ]

  • February 18, 2022

    Trio Tapped to Join AIMBE College of Fellows

    Prestigious honor for top biomedical engineers For the second year in a row, three ENG faculty members have been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). This time, the honorees are Professor James Galagan (BME, Microbiology), Associate Professor Xue Han (BME), and... [ More ]

  • December 8, 2021

    BME’s Laura Lewis in SCIENCE

    Using fMRI technology to monitor brain activity, Lewis’s research on sleep is featured in one of the world's top academic journals. [ More ]

  • November 18, 2021

    Cross-disciplinary research teams win Kilachand funding

    Five Studies Pushing the Limits of Science: This year’s Kilachand fund awards will support pioneering research across engineering and life sciences [ More ]

  • November 16, 2021

    Going from Gauzy to Granular

    Anna Devor and collaborators aim to extract neuronal circuit activity from fMRI, opening door for clinical applications By Patrick L. Kennedy Say you’re listening to a lecture and paying close attention. When that happens, your brain releases a chemical called acetylcholine. Later, though, you start to doze off. Suddenly, the professor calls... [ More ]

  • July 14, 2021

    Photoacoustic Stimulation with Single-Neuron Precision Developed by a BU Team

    An article by a BU team entitled “Non-genetic Photoacoustic Stimulation of Single Neurons” will appear in Light: Science & Applications. This research is led by Professors Chen Yang (ECE, Chem, MSE) and Ji-Xin Cheng (ECE, BME, MSE) in collaboration with Professor John White (BME) and Professor Heng-Ye Man (Biology). The graduate students and researchers who made key contributions to the work include Linli Shi (Chemistry), Ying Jiang (ECE), Fernando Fernandez (BME), Guo Chen (ECE), and Lu Lan (ECE). [ More ]

  • June 15, 2021

    Laura Lewis Named a Pew Scholar

    Continuing a streak of honors for her ground-breaking research into the complex neural circuits that govern sleep, Assistant Professor Laura Lewis (BME) has been selected one of 22 early-career researchers to join the Pew Scholars Program. [ More ]

  • May 11, 2021

    Paschalidis Shares Health Data Findings in DeLisi Lecture

    Professor Yannis Paschalidis (ECE, BME, SE) discussed data-driven reasoning—which he calls “the backbone of engineering systems”—and predictive health analytics as he delivered the Charles DeLisi Distinguished Lecture May 6 to an online audience of about 100 members of the Boston University community. The DeLisi Award and Lecture honors a senior faculty... [ More ]

  • March 26, 2021

    One Small Step For A Mouse: Using Information Science to Understand the Brain

    by Allison Kleber How does learning a new skill or process change the physical structure of the brain? Using techniques from data science and high-dimensional statistics, Professors Bobak Nazer (ECE), Venkatesh Saligrama (ECE, SE), and Xue Han (BME), aim to find out. Their project, titled “Discovering Changes in Networks: Fundamental Limits, [ More ]

  • February 17, 2021

    Lewis Awarded Sloan Fellowship

    The award funding will further the biomedical engineer's research on brain function By Jessica Colarossi Laura Lewis (BME) has been awarded a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards for early-career scientists. Lewis and BU computer scientist Alina Ene are two of 126 fellows chosen this year, and... [ More ]