The Neural Prostheses Research Laboratory occupies 2,500 sq. ft. in the Fitzpatrick Center for the Integration of Engineering, Medicine, and Applied Sciences (FCIEMAS), located centrally at Duke University. Our lab and office space are a short walk from:

  1. Research resources
    1. Duke University Hospital where we conduct clinical studies in collaboration with neurosurgeons and other healthcare providers
    2. the main campus library and the medical school library
    3. the Vivarium
    4. Duke Neurobiology, with many seminars relevant to neural engineering
  2. Personal resources
    1. the gorgeous Sarah P. Duke Gardens
    2. the 3 mile Al Buehler trail in Duke Forest
    3. extensive campus dining options (<<link>>)
    4. the campus pharmacy
    5. the campus gym (weight room, cardio room, group fitness classes, rock climbing, equipment rentals)

Our offices are separate from lab space, across the hallway. All staff and trainees are provided with an individual desk, with most of these in shared spaces to facilitate communication and collaboration

Computational Modeling & Data Analyses

Many of our projects require extensive compute power.

Each lab member is provided with an engineering-grade desktop computer and peripherals to conduct their research.


Duke Research Computing maintains and supports a core computational facility, the Duke Compute Cluster (DCC), that provides high-performance parallel computing for faculty research. The Duke Compute Cluster is currently configured with 1285 machines, running 28200 CPU cores, and 192 TB of memory, for a total peak processing capacity exceeding 45 TFLOPS.

The Grill Lab has a subcluster, to which we have priority access, and the DCC wmglab partition is currently configured with 64 machines, running 3030 CPU cores, and 21.6 TB of memory, for a total peak processing capacity exceeding 5 TFLOPS.


In addition to Duke’s software library, our lab has dedicated license seats to software required for our research, including COMSOL, Simpleware, LabChart, and Plexon Spike Sorter.





Preclinical in vivo studies
In Vivo Rig

The well-equipped Peripheral In Vivo Lab includes six experimental rigs and all equipment

 necessary to maintain animal homeostasis (EKG monitors, blood pressure monitors, temperature controllers, ventilators, end tidal CO2 monitors, pulse oximeters, gas anesthesia systems, infusion pumps) and conduct in vivo experiments including a variety of stereotactic equipment and transducer systems.

The well-equipped Brain In Vivo Lab includes all equipment necessary to implant and monitor electrode arrays in the brain including stereotactic equipment, surgical microscopes, equipment to maintain animal homeostasis (temperature controller, ventilator, end tidal CO2 monitor, pulse oximeter, gas anesthesia system), and four high performance multichannel recording systems (2*Plexon, Tucker Davis, Intan).

The Histology Lab includes two cryostats (Leica CM3050S, Microm HM505E), a vibrating microtome, an inverted inspection scope (Leica Leitz DMIL), and a variety of shakers, water baths, and pipettors. 

The Electrode Fabrication Lab includes spot welder, inspection scope, oven, vacuum evacuator, three glass pipette pullers, a glass pipette polisher, and all equipment and supplies necessary for fabrication of a variety of electrodes.

The In Vitro Lab includes all equipment necessary for quantitative analysis of the electrochemical and impedance properties and long-term pulse testing of stimulation and recording electrodes.

The Behavioral Analysis Lab includes a video-based behavioral analysis system (CleverSys), von Frey mesh stand, three locomotor assessment systems (treadmill, walking track, and rotarod), a 32-channel extracellular single unit recording and analysis system (Plexon MAP and associated software).

The Microscopy Lab includes a Nikon Eclipse Ti2 with transmitted and fluorescence (SOLA SE II 365 Light Engine) capabilities and two attached cameras (Nikon DS-Ri2 Color CMOS Camera and Photometrics Prime 95B-25MM sCMOS Camera), Zeiss Axioplan 2 with tra

nsmitted and fluorescence capabilities and two attached cameras (AxioCam MR monochorome and AxioCam HR color), and a Nikon SMZ1500 Trinocular Microscope with Jenoptik C5 Cooled CCD 5 MP Camera, all connected to a computer for digital imaging.

Clinical Studies

We are well-equipped for clinical studies to complement our preclinical in vivo and computational studies: we collaborate closely with neurosurgeons and other physicians at Duke University Hospital across the street from our lab. 


Our lab’s clinical research coordinator supports preparation of paperwork for IRB approvals, patient recruiting and consent, and important continued maintenance of our clinical research program.

PhD Courses

Duke BME has strong course offerings in neural engineering and related topics, including:

  1. Bioelectricity
  2. Fundamentals of Electrical Stimulation of the Nervous System
  3. Neural Prosthetic Systems
  4. Developments in Neural Engineering
  5. Computational Neural Engineering
  6. Recording from the Nervous System
  7. Neural Control of Movement
  8. Finite Element Method
  9. Neuroanatomy
  10. Concepts in Neurobiology
  11. Experiment Design & Statistics
  12. Theory and Algorithms for Machine Learning
  13. Global Optimization
  14. High Performance Scientific Computing
  15. Biopotential Amplifiers and Implant Devices 
  16. Brain Connectomics
  17. Medical Software Design

These courses reflect available faculty for advising on PhD committees.

The BME PhD Peer Mentoring Program matches each incoming PhD student with a more senior PhD student in a different lab to foster connections and advising across the department.

Lab Training

Our lab wiki provides essential resources for all lab members, with guides for wet lab and compute-based research.



Duke provides a host of other resources that support our research, including:

  1. Duke Neural Engineering Seminar Series – where leaders in neural engineering visit campus to give a seminar, meet with students and faculty
  2. Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) – including facilities for cleanroom fabrication
  3. Light Microscopy Core Facility
  4. Pratt Student Machine Shop
  5. Innovation Co-Lab – with 3D printing resources
  6. Center for Data and Visualization Sciences Consultants