Scott Lempka, PhD – Principal Investigator
Scott Lempka, PhD, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1982. Scott earned the B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Saint Louis University in 2004 and the Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. His dissertation work focused on the use of computational and experimental techniques to characterize the interface between neural stimulation and recording electrodes and the surrounding tissue. He performed his postdoctoral training at the Cleveland Clinic and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in the area of neurostimulation for chronic pain management. In 2017, Dr. Lempka moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
Dr. Lempka is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Neuromodulation Laboratory. The Neuromodulation Lab implements engineering approaches, such as computational modeling, to study the mechanism of action of clinical neuromodulation therapies for chronic pain management and other neurological disorders. The fundamental goal of the research program is to innovate future neuromostimulation technologies that dramatically improve patients’ lives.
Vanessa Pruitt, MSW – Study Coordinator
Vanessa Pruitt, the Study Coordinator for the Neuromodulation Lab, is from Stockton, California. Vanessa earned a B.A. in Counseling Psychology from Prescott College in 2015, and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan in April 2018. While in school, Vanessa worked in a laboratory dedicated to combatting youth depression. After graduating, Vanessa worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Research Associate for several clinical research projects ranging from diabetes to cancer and chronic pain.
Jessica Loechli, BSc – Clinical Subjects Coordinator
Jessica Loechli, the Clinical Subjects Coordinator for the Neuromodulation Lab, is from Saline, Michigan. Jessica earned an Associate Degree in Science from Washtenaw Community College in December 2019, and a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in December 2020. During her undergraduate studies at U of M, she worked as a research assistant in the Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. In her free time, Jessica volunteers with Grace Hospice and the V.A. Hospital of Ann Arbor and enjoys dancing ballet and ballroom dance.
Robert Graham, MSE – Graduate Student
Robert (Bobby) Graham is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering who grew up in Chestertown, Maryland. In 2016, Bobby got his BS in Bioengineering from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Bobby earned his MSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2018. His research focuses on developing computational models of neurostimulation for chronic pain. The ultimate goal is to use these models to better understand the mechanisms of electrical stimulation induced pain relief, towards innovating stimulation technologies to improve patient outcomes.
Hans Zander, MSE – Graduate Student
Hans Zander is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering from St. Paul, Minnesota. Hans graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BBmE in Biomedical Engineering in 2016, and from the University of Michigan with an MSE in Biomedical Engineering in 2018. The focus of his research is to use computational models of the spinal cord to understand the mechanisms of action behind spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain. The overall goal of this research is to improve clinical outcomes for patients undergoing spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain by better understanding/improving stimulation parameters and electrode design.
Evan Rogers, MSE – Graduate Student
Evan Rogers is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering from Jupiter, Florida. Evan received his BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2017, and his MSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2019. The focus of Evan’s research is computational modeling of spinal cord stimulation. The overall goal of his research is to better understand the mechanisms of spinal cord stimulation as well as come up with ways to optimize the therapy and improve therapeutic outcomes.
Meagan Brucker, BSc – Graduate Student
Meagan Brucker is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering from Leavenworth, Kansas. She graduated with her BSc in Computer Engineering from Kansas State University in May 2020. The overall goal of her research is to develop patient-specific models of neurostimulation therapies for chronic pain, to maximize pain relief in all patients.
Amolak Singh Jhand, BSE – Research Associate
Amolak Singh Jhand is a Research Associate from Farmington Hills, Michigan. He received his BSE and MSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan in April 2020 and April 2021 respectively. His research focuses on using computational methods to investigate the effectiveness of neurostimulation for chronic pain. The overall goal of his research is to improve patient outcomes by developing a better understanding of the mechanisms of action underlying electrical stimulation-induced pain relief.
Luis Ruiz, BS – PREP Scholar
Luis Ruiz is a UM Postbac Research Education Program (PREP) Scholar from St. Louis, Missouri. Luis received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2020. His research focuses on using computational models to study clinical neurostimulation therapies that modulate pelvic organ function. The overall goal of his research is to understand the underlying neurophysiology of these therapies towards improving patient outcomes.
Anagha Kotkar, BTech – Graduate Student
Anagha Kotkar is an MSE student in Biomedical Engineering from Pune, India. Anagha completed her BTech in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering, Pune, India in May 2019. Her research uses computational modeling to study the impact of neurostimulation therapies on pelvic organs. The overall goal of her work is to improve patient outcomes by increasing our understanding of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms of action of these therapies.
Ehsan Mirzakhalili, PhD (Postdoc, University of Pennsylvania)
Vishwanath Sankarasubramanian, PhD (Senior Field Clinical Scientist, Abbott)
Lianna Shimoun, MSE (Electrical Engineer, Stryker)
Carlos Anaya, MSE (R&D Engineer, Medtronic)
Hannah Soifer, MSE (Assistant Electrical Engineer, Burns & McDonnell)
Alice Tracey, BSE
Katrina Yeomans, BSE