PI: Dr. Robert J. Butera
Vice President for Research Development and Operations
Professor, Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University
Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech

Contact: office: 404-894-2935 admin: 404-385-3212

ORCID: 0000-0002-1806-0621

The Butera lab is currently focused on methodologies for selectively stimulating and blocking peripheral nerve activity for sensorimotor and organ modulation applications. Our group also develops enabling technologies, including open-source software for real-time closed-loop control of electrophysiology experiments and ultra-low cost open-hardware to do the same. Our lab has been established in the fields of cellular neurophysiology and computational neuroscience, and we commonly perform novel experiments that combine both approaches through real-time computing. Recent clinical collaborations have shifted the lab’s focus towards translational neuroscience applications. We uses a range of approaches, from computational studies to animal experiments to human subjects. Past projects have focused on the neural basis of respiratory rhythm generation and mechanisms of temporal synchrony in neural circuits. Professionally, Dr. Butera served on the Board of Directors of the Organization for Computational Neuroscience (2013-2015) and as the Vice-President for Finance for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (2011-2014). Dr. Butera is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research has been funded by NSF, NIH, DARPA, nonprofit foundations, and corporations such as Proctor and Gamble, Glaxo Smith Kline, and Axion Biosystems.

Current Members

PhD. Students

Vineet Tiruvadi (
Vineet is interested in network modeling of limbic-cortical signaling in Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression.



Nathan Kirkpatrick (
Nathan investigates the functional applications of long-term neural stimulation and block.



Giovanni Calixte (
Working with CMOS-based high density multi electrode arrays to study neuro-physiological events in-vitro.



Brian Kim (BME)
Liangyu Tao (BME)

Lab Alumni


Natalia Toporikova PhD Assitant Professor of Biology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA
Jianxia Cui PhD  Neuroscientist, L-3 Communication, San Diego, CA
Ian Joseph PhD. Quality Systems Specialist, FDA Southeastern Regional Lab, Atlanta, GA

PhD Students

Riley Zeller-Townson PhD (2018, Biomedical Engineering), Research Scientist, US Navy SPAWAR, San Diego, CA
Yogi Patel PhD (2017, Bioengineering), President and CEO, Focused Cryo, Kennesaw, GA
Sharon Norman PhD (2014, Bioengineering) Systems Engineer, FTLP, Northrup Grumman
Risa Lin PhD (2012, Bioengineering) Vice President Industry Solution and Strategy, Infor
Karolyn Babalola PhD (2011, Electrical and Computer Engineering) Senior Lead Engineer, Booz Allen Hamilton, Alexandria, VA
Tzu-Hsin “Betty” Tsao PhD (2010, Bioengineering) Senior Director – Customer Security and Trust, Microsoft, Atlanta, GA
Laveeta Joseph PhD (2010, Bioengineering) Director – Invent Tomorrow Baby Care, Proctor and Gamble, Cincinnati, OH
Patrick Bradley PhD (2009, Physics) Lead Software Engineer, ParkMobile, Atlanta, GA
Jeremy Lewi PhD (2009, Bioengineering) Principal Software Engineer, Primer.AI, Burlingame, CA
Amanda Preyer PhD (2007, Electrical and Computer Engineering) Hardware Manager, Axion Biosystems
Liston Purvis PhD (2006, Bioengineering) Systems Analyst and Senior Member of Technical Staff, Sandia Laboratories, Livermore, CA
Paul Garcia MD, PhD (2004, Bioengineering, co-advisor, advisor was Ron Calabrese) Associate Professor of Anaesthesiology and Chief of Neuroanaesthesia, Columbia University, New York, NY
Barbara Breen PhD (2003, Physics, co-advisor, advisor was William Ditto) Assistant Professor of Physics, Grinnell College

MS Students

Many of our MS graduates have ultimately pursue PhDs

Ivan Raikov PhD (2006, Computing) Research Engineer, Dept. of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Jie Shao (2004, Bioengineering) Ph.D. student, Zoology, University of Oklahoma
Rebecca Kieselbach (2011, ECE) Engineer, Lighthouse Imaging, Windham, ME
Sarah Lynn Montgomery( 2008, ECE) Quality Assurance Regulatory Affairs Manager, Blackrock Microsystems, Salt Lake City, UT
Naim Darghouth PhD (2004, ECE) Principal Research Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Berkeley, CA
William Gerken PhD (2003, ECE) Associate Professor of Finance,  University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Murat Sekerli (2003, ECE) Staff Design Engineer, Analog Devices, San Jose, CA
Joseph DiGiovanni (2003, ECE) Engineer Section Manager, National Instruments, Austin, TX
Amanda Jervis Preyer PhD (2002, ECE) Director of Hardware Engineering, Axion Biosystems, Atlanta, GA
David Nguyen PhD (2001, ECE) Director of Data Science and Quantitative Pharmacology Group Lead, Valo, Boston, MA

Previous Undergraduates
Since starting at Georgia Tech in 1999, we have hosted or mentored 90+ undergraduates in our lab, including several undergraduate theses and senior design projects, and visiting summer students from several universities.  We also have mentored over 50 students via Georgia Tech’s Vertically Integrated Projects program via our group Brain Beats (not currently active — this ended in Spring 2015). Some recent students include (* indicates honors thesis, # indicates senior design, @ indicates PURA award):

Anna Harrison (ECE)@
Brian Sanner (BME)*
Paul Bunch (ECE)
Rachel Heckman (BIOL)*
Jessica Block (ECE)#
Sheng Jiang (BME)
Geries AbuAkel (ME)
Adam Kitain (ECE)
Allie Del Giornio (ECE)
Kim Yie (CmpE)