Warren M Grill


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

Contact Information


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

Research Interests

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.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Capers & Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research. Pratt School of Engineering. 2018
  • 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 (EL, GE)
  • BME 515: Neural Prosthetic Systems (GE, EL, IM)
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 804: Developments in Neural Engineering
  • NEUROBIO 393: Research Independent Study
  • NEUROBIO 793: Research in Neurobiology
  • NEUROSCI 301L: Bioelectricity (AC or GE)
  • NEUROSCI 504: Fundamentals of Electrical Stimulation of the Nervous System (EL, GE)
  • NEUROSCI 515: Neural Prosthetic Systems (GE, EL, IM)

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Mitchell, KT; Schmidt, SL; Cooney, JW; Grill, WM; Peters, J; Rahimpour, S; Lee, H-J; Jung, S-H; Mantri, S; Scott, B; Lad, SP; Turner, DA, Initial Clinical Outcome With Bilateral, Dual-Target Deep Brain Stimulation Trial in Parkinson Disease Using Summit RC + S., Neurosurgery, vol 91 no. 1 (2022), pp. 132-138 [10.1227/neu.0000000000001957] [abs].
  • Goetz, SM; Howell, B; Wang, B; Li, Z; Sommer, MA; Peterchev, AV; Grill, WM, Isolating two sources of variability of subcortical stimulation to quantify fluctuations of corticospinal tract excitability., Clin Neurophysiol, vol 138 (2022), pp. 134-142 [10.1016/j.clinph.2022.02.009] [abs].
  • Cassar, IR; Grill, WM, The cortical evoked potential corresponds with deep brain stimulation efficacy in rats., Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 127 no. 5 (2022), pp. 1253-1268 [10.1152/jn.00353.2021] [abs].
  • Sombeck, JT; Heye, J; Kumaravelu, K; Goetz, SM; Peterchev, AV; Grill, WM; Bensmaia, S; Miller, LE, Characterizing the short-latency evoked response to intracortical microstimulation across a multi-electrode array., J Neural Eng, vol 19 no. 2 (2022) [10.1088/1741-2552/ac63e8] [abs].
  • Kumaravelu, K; Sombeck, J; Miller, LE; Bensmaia, SJ; Grill, WM, Stoney vs. Histed: Quantifying the spatial effects of intracortical microstimulation., Brain Stimulation, vol 15 no. 1 (2022), pp. 141-151 [10.1016/j.brs.2021.11.015] [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,