Overview

The Neuroengineering Track (formerly called “Neural Interfaces”) trains students in the fields of basic and applied neuroscience and neuroengineering. Its goals include the application of engineering approaches to the treatment of neural dysfunction, and conversely, the discovery of effective strategies utilized by biological nervous systems and their application to traditional engineering problems. Research areas of Biomedical Engineering faculty in Neuroengineering area include electrical neural interfaces and neuroprostheses; cell and chemical delivery 26 systems for neural tissue; engineering of neural self-repair; neural plasticity; neural coding in sensory and motor systems; neural imaging; and non-traditional modes of stimulating neural tissue (e.g., focused ultrasound and magnetic stimulation).  Students in the Neuroengineering Track are expected to have general knowledge in the fields of basic and applied neuroscience.

Masters Students

Masters students in the Neuroengineering Track typically are required to complete successfully the same required core courses as do Ph.D. students, with the exception that NEUSC 6040 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience is not required for Masters students. Understanding of cellular/molecular neuroscience is nonetheless still required for exams for Masters students.

Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. students in the Neuroengineering Track typically are required to complete successfully the required Neuroengineering core courses below. The core courses are intended to provide knowledge in the major areas of the field. They also will provide considerable assistance in preparing for the written portion of the Neuroengineering qualifying exam. A student’s Supervisory Committee may grant exemptions to these course requirements on a case-by-case basis if the exemptions are sufficiently justified. Students may take either or both of the two computational courses: BME 6050 (offered in Spring Semester of odd years) or BME 60xx (pending and under development; expected to be offered in Spring Semester of even years). Either course will
suffice to help prepare for the qualifying exam, although they will have somewhat different emphases. In practice, the Qualifying Exam may combine topics across courses; e.g., questions regarding cellular or systems neuroscience may be asked from a quantitative perspective.

Two of the Neuroengineering Track core courses (BME 6430 Systems Neuroscience and BME 6440 Neural Engineering) may also count as two of the required Biomedical Engineering core courses.

Neuroengineering Track students are also expected to enroll and participate routinely in BME 6470 Neural Engineering Research Group (NERG).

The purpose of the written portion of the Neuroengineering Qualifying Exam is to encourage students to approach their graduate education as an experience that transcends the boundaries of individual courses; to revisit the fundamental principles in basic and applied neuroscience; and to consolidate, synthesize, and integrate this material. Specific topics that may be covered on the qualifying exam are covered in the Neuroengineering Track core courses.

Neuroengineering Texts

Course readings also serve as a way for students to prepare for the qualifying exam, although not all core courses have assigned textbooks. The first portion of Kandel et al., Principles of Neural Science, provides an excellent text for the study of cellular neurosciences; the latter portion of this text is used for BME 6430 Systems Neuroscience.

Neuroengineering Core Courses

  • BME 6005 or BME 60xx – Computational Neuroscience or Computational Neuroscience, Systems/Quantitative Neuroscience (pending; under development)
  • BME 6430 – Systems Neuroscience
  • BME 6440 – Neural Engineering
  • BME 6470 – Neural Engineering Research Group (NERG) (2 semesters)
  • NEUSC 6040 – Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (not required for Masters students)

Additional Generally Useful Courses

  • BME 6010 – Systemic Physiology II
  • BME 6140 – Fundamentals of Tissue Engineering
  • BME 6230 – Functional Anatomy for Engineers
  • BME 6433 – Biological Statistical Signal Processing
  • BME 6460 – Electrophysiology and Bioelectricity
  • BME 7120 – Biocompatibility
  • ECE 6520 – Information Theory
  • ECE 6540 – Estimation Theory
  • MATH 6770 – Mathematical Biology I
  • MATH 6780 – Mathematical Biology II
  • MATH 6790 – Case Studies in Computational Engineering and Science
  • MDCRC 6450 – Grant Writing
  • NEUSC 6060 – Neuroanatomy
  • NEUSC 6010 – Frontiers in Neuroscience (seminar)

Additional Advanced Courses in Neuroengineering

Electrophysiology

  • BME 6003 – Cellular Biophysics
  • BME 6421 – Fundamentals of Micromachining
  • BME 6433 – Biological Statistical Signal Processing
  • ECE 6550 – Adaptive Filters
  • ECE 6534 – Advanced Digital Signaling Processing II
  • ECE 6710 – Digital VLSI Design
  • NEUSC 7750 – Developmental Neurobiology
  • NEUSC 6245 – Cellular and Molecular Neurophysiology Laboratory
  • ONCSC 6150 – Biostatistics
  • RHSCI 7200 – Neuromuscular Performance & Adaptation

Biomaterials

  • BME 6140 – Fundamentals of Tissue Engineering
  • BME 6302 – Biomaterials
  • BME 7120 – Biocompatibility
  • BME 7160 – Physical Nature of Surfaces

Computational/Modeling

  • CS 6210 – Advanced Scientific Computing I
  • CS 6355 – Structured Prediction (machine learning)
  • CS 6955 – Deep Learning (advanced neural networks and applications)
  • CS 7960 – Neuromorphic Architectures (neural networks)
  • MATH 6070 – Mathematical Statistics
  • MATH 6440 – Advanced Dynamical Systems
  • MATH 6630 – Numerical Solutions of Partial Differential Equations
  • MATH 6740 – Bifurcation Theory
  • ME EN 7200 – Nonlinear Controls
  • ME EN 7210 – Optimal Controls

Questions?

Questions regarding the Neuroengineering track should be directed to Dr. Chris Butson (801-587-3711).