Robert Rennaker, Executive Director
Rennaker is a neural engineer and an expert in the development of neural interfaces. At UT Dallas he is an associate professor of electrical engineering and neuroscience and head of the Department of Bioengineering.
Rennaker’s research focuses on developing wireless medical devices that can interface with the brain and body. Because these implantable neural interfaces function without wires attached to a power source outside the body, their use would result in less scarring and complications than devices currently used in patient care. His research is shedding light on how such interfaces can be used to modify brain function to treat a wide range of neurological conditions.
Rennaker served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years before becoming a professional engineer. His service included evacuating foreign dignitaries from Liberia during Operation Sharp Edge and supporting operations in Kuwait during Desert Shield/Storm and in Yugoslavia during Operation Provide Comfort. After his honorable discharge in 1993, he earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering from Arizona State University with the help of the prestigious Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program for emerging leaders in biomedical engineering.
He completed postdoctoral research in the UT Dallas lab of Dr. Michael Kilgard, professor of neuroscience, before teaching mechanical and biomedical engineering for seven years at the University of Oklahoma. He returned to UT Dallas in 2009 as an associate professor in both the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Will Rosellini, Director of Commercialization
Rosellini oversees the center’s translation of new medical device ideas into clinical technologies, providing early-stage prospects with regulatory, clinical, financial and intellectual property support.
Rosellini brings to the center an extensive background in business, entrepreneurship and technology transfer. He serves on the boards of Marathon Patent Group, Rosellini Scientific and Microtransponder. Prior to his affiliation with the Texas Biomedical Device Center, he was the founding CEO of Lexington Technology Group and raised nearly $16 million in private equity in 2012. As the founding CEO of Microtransponder, Rosellini led a team that raised $12 million in venture capital investment and $11 million in NIH funding to support the development of a number of medical devices through preclinical and clinical studies. During his tenure there, he was named an MTBC Tech Titan and GSEA Entrepreneur of the Year. Rosellini is an inventor on three patent applications and has published peer-reviewed articles in the area of bioinformatics and databases. He also has testified to Congress on the importance of non-dilutive funding for inventors and researchers.
Rosellini holds a BA in economics from the University of Dallas; an MS in accounting, an MBA and an MS in neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas; a JD from Hofstra Law; an MS in regulatory science from the University of Southern California; and an MS in computational biology from a joint program at Rutgers and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He currently is pursuing a PhD at UT Dallas in neuroscience, focusing on evaluating the safety and efficacy of a novel form of neurostimulation called voltage-controlled capacitive discharge. In addition, Rosellini was a minor league pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.