The brain is the last scientific frontier.

The brain is the most powerful computer in existence.

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body.

And yet, we often take the brain for granted until we – or someone we love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS or suffers a traumatic brain injury.

Then, we come to understand how much of the brain is unknown.

There is no one-size-fits all treatment for traumatic brain injuries.

Today there are no cures for neurodegenerative diseases.

That’s why we are here to chart new territory.

As an interdisciplinary team of


  • Technologists
  • Scientists
  • Ethicists
  • Clinicians
  • Engineers

We are breaking new ground in understanding the brain so that we can alleviate suffering from cognitive disease and impairment.


The Challenge

Across the globe, the number of people affected by neurological disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia are dramatically increasing as the population ages. These diseases, as well as traumatic brain injuries, can devastate cognitive and motor functions, impacting the autonomy and lives of millions of patients and their caregivers.

To successfully treat brain disorders, we must understand how a healthy brain functions, and how to slow – and ultimately – restore lost functionality. That’s why the emergent field of neuroengineering offers promising solutions. We believe our work at the CNE will lead to scientific breakthroughs that will save lives and enhance the well-being of those suffering from neurological diseases.


The CNE is using an interdisciplinary approach to solve one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time

Neurological Disorders

We can name the diseases; we’re still learning 
how to treat them.

There are now more people older than 64 than there are children under age 5. The pace of population aging presents unique challenges to the health and well-being of all societies. Aging is the primary risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, one in 10 individuals aged 65 or older has Alzheimer’s. We’ve found that while each neurodegenerative disease has distinct elements, and affects each individual in a unique way, there are commonalities between them as well. What we learn from one disease might help inform what we know about the others. Right now, few or no effective treatments are available for aging-related neurodegenerative diseases.


At the CNE, we aim to stimulate breakthroughs in understanding brain function and to develop new technologies to restore impairments from neurological disorders and aging.

Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can happen to anyone; but they don’t impact all people equally.

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. While anyone is at risk of having a TBI, some groups face a greater likelihood of dying from a TBI or living with long-term health problems resulting from the injury. These include, but are not limited to racial and ethnic minorities, service members and veterans, and survivors of intimate partner violence. Today, few treatments exist to restore cognitive function for those impacted by a TBI.


At the CNE, we aim to develop new technologies and treatments to restore impaired cognitive and sensorimotor abilities.

The Science & Engineering Shortage

Tomorrow’s brightest scientific minds are the key to future discoveries.

The prospects of fully understanding the brain and how to restore lost cognitive function are possible if we invest in the next generation of scientists. An education that is responsive and interdisciplinary – blending fields of expertise such as robotics and neuroscience – will shape today’s students into tomorrow’s scientific innovators.


At the CNE, we are training tomorrow’s leaders, including graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These students, who work collaboratively with faculty, will bring new insights, excitement and novel ideas to this work, giving all of us the opportunity to learn from one another.