Cybernetics is defined as the transdisciplinary approach for exploring regulatory system, their structures, constraints, and possibilities, particularly from biology and man-made technology. Our lab takes on a transdisciplinary approach for exploring glial, vascular, and neural regulatory systems for functional neural network activity in normal, injured, and disease brains. By understanding the structure and function of each regulatory component, it becomes possible to identify constraints of the system, and more importantly, possibilities for treatments and cures.

As such, the focus of the lab is to elucidate biological structures and biochemical pathways that control physiological function and bidirectional communication between the nervous system and neural interface technology. Then, apply the new found constraints and possibilities to design next-generation devices.

More specifically, the research program focuses on understanding the failure modes at the interface between biology and biotechnology, to develop intervention strategies to minimize them, and then apply these technologies to study in vivo neural networks and neurological disease. Currently, there are many groups using endpoint post-mortem histology and in vivo electrophysiology to evaluate new treatments and devices. In contrast, we develop and apply in vivo optical methods to complement traditional histology and electrophysiology,
and to track dynamic changes to the microenvironment surrounding implants and injuries. The availability of new optical methods to image brain function and new genetically engineered mice and rat models present a leading-edge opportunity to understand normal and pathological brain function in new ways with exquisite dynamic details. These technologies allow us to advance our understanding of the brain and brain interfaces, as well as to create new avenues for diagnosis and treatment of brain pathologies.

Current Active Research Areas include (but not limited to):

DARPA NESD DARPA-BAA-16-09-NESD-FP-001 (05/25/17—07/16/19
NIH NINDS R01NS094396 (09/01/2015-08/31/2020)
NIN NINDS R01NS089688 (07/01/2015-06/30/2020)
NIH NINDS R01NS062019 (07/01/2014-06/30/2019)
NIH NINDS R21NS108098 (08/01/2018-07/31/2020)