Robert Gross

Robert Gross

MBNA Bowman Chair & Professor
Director and Co-Founder, ENTICe
Director, Translational Neuro-Engineering Laboratory
Director, Stereotactic, Functional Neurosurgery & Epilespsy Surgery

Dr. Gross’s research interests include: restorative approaches (including cell and gene therapy) for Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders; physiology of movement disorders (Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia); novel surgical techniques for epilepsy (e.g. deep brain stimulation, cell and gene therapy). In particular, he has been elucidating the role of axon guidance molecules in the development and reconstruction of the nigrostriatal pathway, which degenerates in P.D. This approach, which encompasses molecular and cellular engineering in combination with neurotransplantation, may be generally useful in reconstructive approaches for many types of nervous system degeneration and injury. 

In July of 2007, Dr. Gross, along with Steve M. Potter, Ph.D. of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, was the recipient of a prestigious grant from The Epilepsy Research Foundation (ERF) for translational research funding awards supporting innovative epilepsy products. The grant supports the development of a novel electrical stimulation approach that directly controls the activity of the brain to attain a more stable state from which seizures will not arise.


Office Location:
Emory WMRB 6311


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    Emory University

    Emory Department of Neurosurgery
    Research Focus Areas:
  • Neuroscience
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Additional Research:

    Neuromodulation using multielecrode arrays, closed loop control theory, and optogenetics for epilepsy and movement disorders. Computational modeling of epilepsy networks for model-based and non-model based feedback control of optogenetic and electrical neuromodulation. Neurorestoration using gene and cell-therapy based approaches for degenerative and injury conditions. The Translational Neuroengineering Research Lab uses neuromodulation for epilepsy using a combination of the following advanced techniques: 1) Multimicroelectrode electrical stimulation using novel parameters informed by optimization of input/output relationships (both model- and non-model based MIMO) using closed-loop control theory including adaptive learning and machine learning approaches; 2) Optogenetic activation and inhibition using all forms of available channels including step-function opsins. These approaches identify novel brain regions that have more widespread control and targets specific cell types for activation and inhibiton. Closed loop control using multielecrode arrays informs and controls neuromodulation. 3) Hardware independent 'luminopsins': novel gene therapy approaches combining bioluminescent proteins with optogenetic channels for hardware independent, widespread and activity-regulatable neuromodulation. We use a combination of in vitro models, animal models (mouse, rat, non-human primate) and human patients undergoing epilepsy and deep brain stimulation surgery as our experimental models. In addition, the laboratory has developed novel gene therapy vectors for neurorestoration targeting key pivotal proteins regulating axon outgrowth in regenerative situations, including for Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and retinal degeneration.

    Research Affiliations: Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM)

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