PI: Dr. Robert J. Butera
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, College of Engineering, Georgia Tech
Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech
Professor, Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University
Contact: office: 404-894-2935 admin: 404-894-1359

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

Yogi A. Patel (
Yogi studies how neural stimulation/block can regulate homeostatic function, specifically blood glucose levels. He also develops new open-source tools for real-time electrophysiology.



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. Interdisciplinary Scientist, FDA Southeastern Regional Lab, Atlanta, GA

PhD Students
Sharon Norman PhD (2014, Bioengineering) Systems Engineer, FTLP, Northrup Grumman
Risa Lin PhD (2012, Bioengineering) Systems Engineer, FTLP, Northrup Grumman
Karolyn Babalola PhD (2011, Electrical and Computer Engineering) Principal Scientist, IvySys Technologies
Tzu-Hsin Tsao PhD (2010, Bioengineering) Biotechnology business analyst consultant
Laveeta Joseph PhD (2010, Bioengineering) R&D Scientist, Proctor and Gamble
Patrick Bradley PhD (2009, Physics) Senior Technical Staff, Oracle
Jeremy Lewi PhD (2009, Bioengineering) Software Engineer, Google
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
Paul Garcia MD, PhD (2004, Bioengineering, co-advisor, advisor was Ron Calabrese) Assistant Professor of Anaesthesiology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
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) Computer Science Research Scientist, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
Jie Shao (2004, Bioengineering) Ph.D. student, Zoology, University of Oklahoma
Rebecca Kieselbach (2011, ECE) Engineer, Acuity Brands Lighting, Atlanta, GA
Sarah Lynn Montgomery( 2008, ECE) Engineer, Bard Medical Products, Salt Lake City, UT
Naim Darghouth PhD (2004, ECE) Principal Research Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories
William Gerken PhD (2003, ECE) Assistant Professor, Auburn University
Murat Sekerli (2003, ECE) Design Engineer, Linear Technologies
Joseph DiGiovanni (2003, ECE) Engineer, National Instruments, Austin, TX
Amanda Jervis Preyer PhD (2002, ECE) Hardware Manager, Axion Biosystems, Atlanta, GA
David Nguyen PhD (2001, ECE) Principal Scientist, Pfizer, Cambridge, 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)