Department Head for Bioengineering
Director, Texas Biomedical Device Center
Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Bioengineering
Chair, Department of Bioengineering
Targeted Plasticity Therapy, medical device development, neurological injury and repair
Dr. Robert Rennaker is a neural engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the development of neural interfaces. His research focuses on developing biomedical devices and therapies to treat a vast range of neurological disorders. Dr. Rennaker is the director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center, established in 2012 with donations from Texas Instruments and a private donor. In the short time since its creation, the center has published over 80 peer reviewed publications, participated in multiple clinical trials for targeted plasticity therapy and spun out three new technologies to manufacturing companies.
Dr. Rennaker served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. He was deployed to Operation Desert Storm, Operation Sharp Edge and Operation Provide Comfort. Since 2013, Dr. Rennaker has been head of the Department of Bioengineering. Most recently he co-founded Vulintus LLC, which builds preclinical and clinical research systems for researchers, biomedical research firms and health care professionals. Dr. Rennaker earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering from Arizona State University with the help of the Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program for emerging leaders in biomedical engineering. After seven years on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Rennaker joined UT Dallas as an associate professor.
Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals
Pruitt, D.T., Schmid, A.N., Danaphongse, T.T., Flanagan, K.E., Morrison, R.A., Kilgard, M.P., Rennaker, R.L. 2nd, Hays, S.A. (2016). Forelimb training drives transient map reorganization in ipsilateral motor cortex; Behavioral Brain Research, 313, pp.10-16.
Khodaparast, N., Kilgard, M.P., Casavant, R., Ruiz, A, Qureshi, I., Ganzer, P.D., Rennaker, R.L. 2nd, Hays, S.A. (2016). Vagus Nerve Stimulation During Rehabilitative Training Improves Forelimb Recovery After Chronic Ischemic Stroke in Rats; Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair, 30(7), pp.676-84.
Hays, S.A., Ruiz, A., Bethea, T., Khodaparast, N., Carmel, J.B., Rennaker, R.L. 2nd, Kilgard, M.P. (2016). Vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitative training enhances recovery of forelimb function after ischemic stroke in aged rats; Neurobiology of Aging, 43, pp. 111-8.