Warren M. Grill

Image of Warren M. Grill

Bass Fellow

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
  • Bass Fellow
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor in Neurobiology
  • Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Contact Information:
  • Office Location: Ciemas 1139, Durham, NC 27708
  • 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

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Outstanding Postdoc Mentor, Duke University, 2013
  • Secretarial Appointee, Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs, 2013
  • Elected Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society, 2011
  • Chair, Neurotechnology Study Section, National Institutes of Health, 2010-2012
  • Capers & Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research, Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering
  • Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Profession, Boston University, 2007
  • Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, 2007
  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers, 2006

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
  • 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

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • McGee, MJ; Grill, WM, Selective co-stimulation of pudendal afferents enhances bladder activation and improves voiding efficiency., Neurourology and Urodynamics, vol 33 no. 8 (2014), pp. 1272-1278 [10.1002/nau.22474] [abs].
    • Danziger, Z; Grill, WM, A neuron model of stochastic resonance using rectangular pulse trains., Journal of Computational Neuroscience (2014) [10.1007/s10827-014-0526-4] [abs].
    • Howell, B; Grill, WM, Evaluation of high-perimeter electrode designs for deep brain stimulation., Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 11 no. 4 (2014) [10.1088/1741-2560/11/4/046026] [abs].
    • Kent, AR; Grill, WM, Analysis of deep brain stimulation electrode characteristics for neural recording., Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 11 no. 4 (2014) [10.1088/1741-2560/11/4/046010] [abs].
    • Mueller, JK; Grigsby, EM; Prevosto, V; Petraglia, FW; Rao, H; Deng, ZD; Peterchev, AV; Sommer, MA; Egner, T; Platt, ML; Grill, WM, Simultaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation and single-neuron recording in alert non-human primates., Nature Neuroscience, vol 17 no. 8 (2014), pp. 1130-1136 [10.1038/nn.3751] [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,