Brain Science and Neural Engineering

Our research aims to understand how neural activity in the brain controls local blood flow and its infrastructure, i.e., the network of blood vessels that supply neurons with oxygen and nutrients.

A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurovascular coupling will aid in the understanding of neurological disorders and the interpretation of functional neuroimaging signals. 

To study neurovascular coupling, we use a wide variety of techniques, including optical imaging, 2-photon microscopy, intracranial pressuremeasurements, oxygen polarography, electrophysiology, computational modeling, and genetic perturbations in an awake, behaving mouse model. 

We have focused on the hemodynamic response in the cortex during voluntary locomotion because locomotion is an ethologically relevant behavior common to all mammals that involves both the sensory and motor systems, and exercise is known to have positive effects on brain.

Key Faculty:



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523