Light-Based Deep Brain Stimulation Relieves Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have used deep brain stimulation based on light to treat motor dysfunction in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Succeeding where earlier attempts have failed, the method promises to provide new insights into why deep brain stimulation works and ways in which it can be improved on a patient-by-patient basis.

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Deep Brain Stimulation as Treatment for Parkinson’s

As if a Nobel Prize weren’t enough, another Duke scientist recently earned a prestigious award for groundbreaking research. Warren Grill was recognized Nov. 2 at the MDB Trent Semans Center for his research and development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

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Trying a New Pulse for Pain Relief

With support from the Duke CTSA through the Duke Translational Research Institute (DTRI) Collaborative Pilot Award, Warren Grill, a professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neurobiology, and Nandan Lad, a neurosurgeon, think they improve treatment of chronic pain. The key, they say, is to reprogram the devices to deliver pulses in a new way.

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2015 Javits Award Lecture & Reception

The Office of the Provost cordially invites you to a special event honoring Duke’s own Dr. Warren Grill, recipient of the 2015 Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Grill will apply the $4 million, 4-year grant to study deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease”

November 2, 2015
Trent Semans Great Hall
3:00-4:00 p.m. Lecture
Reception to follow

Register by October 30, 2015 at:

Lab Presentations at SFN 2015

Members of the Grill Lab presented 11 different posters at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago. Topics spanned from spinal cord stimulation for pain to peripheral nerve stimulation for treatment of incontinence to deep brain stimulation, with approaches spanning computational modeling through human studies.

We also had a great turn out for the Lab Dinner, where alumni and current members got to know one another over a great meal of Italian specialities. Please make plans to join us next year in San Diego!


2015 Mathematical Biology REU Program

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Grill and Lad Get Support to Develop Innovative Approach to SCS

Duke-Coulter Partnership awards nearly $800K of biomedical engineering and clinical research to address unmet clinical needs. This year’s new Duke-Coulter Translational Research Partnership recipients include BME and Neurobiology professor Warren Grill and assistant professor of Surgery Nandan Lad, who will validate novel patient-specific computational models expected to increase the efficacy and efficiency of chronic pain treatment using spinal cord stimulation among others.

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Grill, Ji and Lad Win DIBS Incubator Award

Eight interdisciplinary research teams at Duke have been selected to receive the 2015-2016 Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) Research Incubator Awards (five new awards and three continuation awards). 2015-2016 new awards include Warren Grill (Biomedical Engineering), Ru-Rong Ji (Anesthesiology), Nandan Lad (Surgery) for their project on Optimized Temporal Patterns of Spinal Cord Stimulation to Treat Chronic Pain.

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Grill Named NIH Javits Investigator

Duke biomedical engineer Warren Grill wins $4 million Javits Award to understand and improve Deep Brain Stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease

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Congratulations to our 4 new graduates!

We wanted to congratulate four Grill Lab members who recently graduated from their doctoral programs. We hope the best for them in their future endeavours.

David Brocker
Improved Efficacy and Efficiency of Non-Regular Temporal Patterns of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

Bryan Howell
Design of Electrodes for Efficient and Selective Electrical Stimulation of Nervous Tissue

Meredith McGee
Effects and Mechanisms of Patterned Electrical Stimulation of Pudendal Afferents for Bladder Control

Tianhe "Cheng" Zhang
Model Based Optimization of Spinal Cord Stimulation