Alan Chuck Dorval

Curriculum Vitae

Alan Chuck Dorval portrait
  • USTAR Assistant Professor, Bioengineering
  • Associate Professor, Bioengineering


Research Summary

We explore how the brain transforms information, focusing on how that process goes awry in various neurological disorders. We apply what knowledge we gain to design interventions to eliminate pathological activity and restore healthy information processing to the brain, improving health and quality of life for persons with neurological conditions.

Research Statement

We apply the tools of engineering to study the nervous system and design ways to improve the health and quality of life for persons with neurological disorders. Our research activities include: engineering novel treatments to alleviate the symptoms of neurological disorders; quantifying information processing in the brain and interpreting informational changes induced by disease and treatment states; and elucidating the relationships between the structural elements of neurons and neural tissue, their physiological dynamics and their behavioral responses.  Pursuing these interests, wel performs experimental studies, recording and stimulating neurons and neural tissue while assessing symptom severity in computational systems, animal models and human participants with neurological disorders.

One recent focus has been to conduct neuroengineering research, oriented toward designing devices that will alleviate the symptoms of neurological disorders by modulating neuronal activity.  In most cases, intelligent construction of neuromodulatory devices requires a more complete understanding of how neuronal activity relates to behavior than exists currently.  Hence our specific goals are twofold: first, to better understand how neuronal activity corresponds to behavior and symptoms, and second to engineer interventions that will modify neuronal activity to improve function.

Research Keywords

  • Neuronal Information, Interest Level: 5
  • Neuronal Semiotics, Interest Level: 5
  • Neurophysiology, Interest Level: 5
  • Translational Neuroscience, Interest Level: 4
  • Parkinson's Disease, Interest Level: 4
  • Neuropathophysioloy, Interest Level: 4
  • Deep Brain Stimulation, Interest Level: 4
  • Computational Neuroscience, Interest Level: 3
  • Neuromodulation, Interest Level: 3
  • Neurological Disorders, Interest Level: 3
  • Neural Stimulation, Interest Level: 3
  • Electrophysiology, Interest Level: 2
  • Physiological Controls and Systems, Interest Level: 2
  • Medical Devices, Interest Level: 2

Research Groups

  • Robert Moesinger, Graduate Student. Bioengineering. 05/15/2016 - present.
  • Nikhita Lanka, Graduate Student. Electrical & Computer Engineering. 01/01/2016 - present.
  • Heidi Febinger, Graduate Student. Neuroscience. 03/01/2015 - present.
  • Daria Anderson, Graduate Student. Bioengineering. 08/15/2014 - present.
  • Katherine Lambert, Graduate Student. Bioengineering. 08/15/2013 - present.
  • Eric Melonakos, Graduate Student. Bioengineering. 08/15/2012 - present.

Research Equipment and Testing Expertise

  • All the equipment and expertise to perform to all the experiments and testing we need.

Software Titles

  • RTXI 2.0. Hard real time control software for electrophysiological experiments. Release Date: 07/01/2015. Inventors: David Christini, Robert Butera, John A White, Alan D Dorval.

Laboratory Wiki