The Neuromodulation Research Center (NMRC) is a large collaborative entity that brings together University of Minnesota’s experts from neurology, neurosurgery, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, radiology and other disciplines that share a focus to advance the understanding of brain conditions and diseases and the neuromodulation therapies that improve them. The NMRC enables a unique “bench to bedside” experience that drives translational research and the University’s discovery and health innovation missions. Collaborations in the heart of Minnesota’s Medical Device Alley further enrich the center’s impact through external industry collaborations and the state’s MnDrive initiative.
Jerrold L. Vitek, M.D., Ph.D., is the Chair of the Department of Neurology, Director of the NMRC and Center Director of the University of Minnesota Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease. Professor Vitek fosters a collaborative approach to projects that enable many funded initiatives. One of the main themes of the team’s research focuses on the medical and surgical treatment of movement disorders including Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and tremor. Studying the pathophysiology of these conditions from many perspectives reveals new potential treatment avenues. Similarly, we study the surgical therapy Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) from many angles to reveal its mechanisms, improve its effectiveness, and develop potential new applications of this technology.
Our interdisciplinary team is funded by grants ranging from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), industry partners, and broader university sponsored projects. We collaborate with other groups around campus, including the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) and independent clinical and pre-clinical research groups. Some of our current projects include exploring the neurophysiological changes that occur as Parkinson's Disease progresses, how Parkinson's disrupts and affects sleep, novel patterns of deep brain stimulation, and examining the cognitive and cortical changes associated with Parkinson's. Our collaborative and interconnected structure enables our group to share resources and achieve multiple research aims.