Warren M. Grill

Image of Warren M. Grill

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Our research is in the area of neural engineering: using engineering techniques to understand and control neural function. We work primarily on fundamental questions related to neural prostheses. Neural prostheses are a developing technology that uses electrical activation of the nervous system to restore function to individuals with neurological impairment. The long-term goal of our research program is to develop advanced neural prostheses that interface with the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) to restore function.

Current projects include electrical stimulation for restoration of bladder function, deep brain stimulation for treatment of motor disorders, electrical stimulation for restoration of multi-joint motor function (e.g., reaching), and design of novel electrodes and waveforms for selective stimulation of the nervous system.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Professor in Neurobiology
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
  • Bass Fellow
Contact Information:
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5276
  • Email Address: warren.grill@duke.edu
  • Web Page:

  • 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

Courses Taught:
  • BME 301L: Bioelectricity (AC or 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 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)

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • Kent AR, Grill WM, Neural origin of evoked potentials during deep brain stimulation., Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 110 (2013), pp. 826-843.
    • Brocker DT, Grill WM, Principles of electrical stimulation of neural tissue, Handbook of Clinical Neurology, vol 116 (2013), pp. 3-18.
    • Frahm KS, Morch CD, Grill WM, Lubock NB, Hennings K, Andersen OK, Activation of peripheral nerve fibers by electrical stimulation in the sole of the foot., BMC Neuroscience (2013), pp. 1276403746934891.
    • Kent AR, Grill WM, Model-based analysis and design of nerve cuff electrodes for restoring bladder function by selective stimulation of the pudendal nerve., Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 10 (2013), pp. 036010.
    • Brocker DT, Swan BD, Turner DA, Gross RE, Tatter SB, Miller Koop M, Bronte-Stewart H, Grill WM, Improved efficacy of temporally non-regular deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease., Experimental Neurology, vol 239 (2013), pp. 60–67.
    • Yoo PB, Lubock N, Hincapie JG, Ruble SB, Hamann JJ, Grill WM, High-resolution measurement of electrically-evoked vagus nerve activity in the anesthetized dog., Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 10 (2013), pp. 026003.
    • Mueller JK, Grill WM, Model-based analysis of multiple electrode array stimulation for epiretinal visual prostheses., Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 10 (2013), pp. 036002.
    • McConnell GC, So RQ, Hilliard JD, Lopomo P, Grill WM, Effective deep brain stimulation suppresses low frequency network oscillations in the basal ganglia by regularizing neural firing patterns., Journal of Neuroscience, vol 32 (2013), pp. 15657-15668.
    • So RQ, McConnell GC, August AT, Grill WM, Characterizing effects of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation on methamphetamine-induced circling behavior in hemi-Parkinsonian rats, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol 20 (2012), pp. 626-635.
    • Kent AR, Grill WM, Recording evoked potentials during deep brain stimulation: development and evaluation of instrumentation to suppress the stimulation artifact, Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 9 no. 036004 (2012).
    • Kuncel AM, Birdno MJ, Swan BD, Grill WM, Tremor reduction and modeled neural activity during cycling thalamic deep brain stimulation, Clinical Neurophysiology, vol 123 (2012), pp. 1044-1052.
    • Snellings A, Grill WM, Effects of stimulation site and stimulation parameters on bladder inhibition by electrical nerve stimulation, British Journal of Urology International, vol 110 (2012), pp. 136-143.
    • Wongsarnpigoon A, Grill WM, Computer-based model of epidural cortical stimulation: effects of electrode position and geometry on activation of cortical neurons, Clinical Neurophysiology, vol 123 (2012), pp. 160-172.
    • Birdno MJ, Dorval AD, Kuncel AM, Turner DA, Gross RE, Grill WM, Stimulus features underlying reduced tremor suppression with temporally patterned deep brain stimulation, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 107 (2012), pp. 364-383.
    • Woock JP, Yoo PW, Grill WM, Mechanisms of reflex bladder activation by pudendal afferents, American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, vol 300 (2011), pp. R398-R407.
    • Santaniello S, Fienga G, Glielmo L, Grill WM, Closed-loop control of deep brain stimulation: a simulation study, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol 19 (2011), pp. 15-24.
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,