Neural Engineering

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, Anna 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, Barbara Shinn-Cunningham

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:

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

By Caroline Amato 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... More

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

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

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