Warren M Grill

Warren M. Grill

Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Our research employs engineering approaches to understand and control neural function. We work on fundamental questions and applied development in electrical stimulation of the nervous system to restore function to individuals with neurological impairment or injury.

Current projects include:
• understanding the mechanisms of and developing advanced approaches to deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders,
• developing novel approaches to peripheral nerve electrical stimulation for restoration of bladder function, 
• understanding the mechanisms of and developing advanced approaches to spinal cord stimulation to treat chronic pain,
• understanding and controlling the cellular effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation, and
• design of novel electrodes and waveforms for selective stimulation of the nervous system.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Bass Fellow
  • Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Professor in Neurosurgery
  • Professor in Neurobiology
  • Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, 1995
  • M.S. Case Western Reserve University, 1992
  • B.S. Boston University, 1989

Research Interests

Dr. Grill's research interests and in neural engineering and neural prostheses and include design and testing of electrodes and stimulation techniques, the electrical properties of tissues and cells, and computational neuroscience with applications in restoration of bladder function, treatment of movement disorders with deep brain stimulation, and treatment of chronic pain.


Neural Prosthesis

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award. NIH-NINDS . 2015
  • Scholar / Teacher of the Year Award. Duke University. 2014
  • Outstanding Postdoc Mentor. Duke University. 2013
  • Fellow. Biomedical Engineering Society. 2011
  • Fellow. American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. 2007

Courses Taught

  • BME 301L: Bioelectricity (AC or GE)
  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 504: Fundamentals of Electrical Stimulation of the Nervous System (GE, EL)
  • BME 515: Neural Prosthetic Systems (GE, EL, IM)
  • BME 790L: Advanced Topics with the Lab for Graduate Students in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 899: Special Readings in Biomedical Engineering
  • NEUROSCI 301L: Bioelectricity (AC or GE)
  • NEUROSCI 504: Fundamentals of Electrical Stimulation of the Nervous System (GE, EL)
  • NEUROSCI 515: Neural Prosthetic Systems (GE, EL, IM)

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Cho, K-I; Yoon, D; Qiu, S; Danziger, Z; Grill, WM; Wetsel, WC; Ferreira, PA, Loss of Ranbp2 in motoneurons causes disruption of nucleocytoplasmic and chemokine signaling, proteostasis of hnRNPH3 and Mmp28, and development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like syndromes., Disease models & mechanisms, vol 10 no. 5 (2017), pp. 559-579 [10.1242/dmm.027730] [abs].
  • So, RQ; McConnell, GC; Grill, WM, Frequency-dependent, transient effects of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation on methamphetamine-induced circling and neuronal activity in the hemiparkinsonian rat., Behavioural Brain Research, vol 320 (2017), pp. 119-127 [10.1016/j.bbr.2016.12.003] [abs].
  • Crosby, ND; Janik, JJ; Grill, WM, Modulation of activity and conduction in single dorsal column axons by kilohertz-frequency spinal cord stimulation., Journal of neurophysiology, vol 117 no. 1 (2017), pp. 136-147 [10.1152/jn.00701.2016] [abs].
  • Brocker, DT; Swan, BD; So, RQ; Turner, DA; Gross, RE; Grill, WM, Optimized temporal pattern of brain stimulation designed by computational evolution., Science Translational Medicine, vol 9 no. 371 (2017) [10.1126/scitranslmed.aah3532] [abs].
  • Langdale, CL; Grill, WM, Phasic activation of the external urethral sphincter increases voiding efficiency in the rat and the cat., Experimental Neurology, vol 285 no. Pt B (2016), pp. 173-181 [10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.05.030] [abs].

Selected Activities

  • Consultant, Neurological Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee,Center for Devices and Radiological Health,
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Neural Engineering,
  • Editorial Board, Brain Stimulation,