Robert Rennaker

Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Bioengineering
Professor - Behavioral and Brain Sciences
UTD Webpage
Tags: Cognition and Neuroscience

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Bioengineering
Arizona State University - 2002
M.S. - Bioengineering
Arizona State University - 2001
B.S.E. - Bioengineering
Arizona State University - 1997

Research Areas

Research Interests

Dr. Rennaker's research focuses on the development of technoloies to prevenet, detect and treat neurological injury and disease.  


Forelimb training drives transient map reorganization in ipsilateral motor cortex DT Pruitt, AN Schmid, TT Danaphongse, KE Flanagan, RA Morrison, ... Behavioural Brain Research 313, 10-16 2016 - Publication
Awake behaving electrophysiological correlates of forelimb hyperreflexia, weakness and disrupted muscular synchronization following cervical spinal cord injury in the rat PD Ganzer, EC Meyers, AM Sloan, R Maliakkal, A Ruiz, MP Kilgard, ... Behavioural brain research 307, 100-111 2016 - Publication
Safety, feasibility, and efficacy of vagus nerve stimulation paired with upper-limb rehabilitation after ischemic stroke J Dawson, D Pierce, A Dixit, TJ Kimberley, M Robertson, B Tarver, O Hilmi, ... Stroke 47 (1), 143-150 2016 - Publication
An Automated Test of Rat Forelimb Supination Quantifies Motor Function Loss and Recovery After Corticospinal Injury A Sindhurakar, SD Butensky, E Meyers, J Santos, T Bethea, A Khalili, ... Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 1545968316662528 2016 - Publication
Vagus nerve stimulation delivered with motor training enhances recovery of function after traumatic brain injury DT Pruitt, AN Schmid, LJ Kim, CM Abe, JL Trieu, C Choua, SA Hays, ... Journal of neurotrauma 33 (9), 871-879 2016 - Publication
The supination assessment task: An automated method for quantifying forelimb rotational function in rats E Meyers, A Sindhurakar, R Choi, R Solorzano, T Martinez, A Sloan, ... Journal of neuroscience methods 266, 11-20 2016 - Publication
Reorganization of motor cortex by vagus nerve stimulation requires cholinergic innervation DR Hulsey, SA Hays, N Khodaparast, A Ruiz, P Das, RL Rennaker, ... Brain stimulation 9 (2), 174-181 2016 - Publication
Design and demonstration of an intracortical probe technology with tunable modulus DM Simon, H Charkhkar, C St John, S Rajendran, T Kang, R Reit, ... Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 2016 - Publication
Vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitative training enhances recovery of forelimb function after ischemic stroke in aged rats SA Hays, A Ruiz, T Bethea, N Khodaparast, JB Carmel, RL Rennaker, ... Neurobiology of aging 43, 111-118 2016 - Publication
Vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitative training enhances recovery of forelimb function after ischemic stroke in aged rats SA Hays, A Ruiz, T Bethea, N Khodaparast, JB Carmel, RL Rennaker, ... Neurobiology of aging 43, 111-118 2016 - Publication


Whitaker Ph.D. Fellow
Arizona State University [1998–2002]
Research Assistant
Arizona State University [1997–1998]
Engineering Assistant
Lockheed Martin [1994–1995]

United States Marine Corps: M.C.A.S New River, HMM-261 [1988–1993]


The effect of MK801 on auditory cortex receptive fields in the awake rat
2018–2018 Sloan AM and Rennaker RL.; TuckerDavis Symposium on Advances and Perspectives in Auditory Neurophysiology; Atlanta, GA.
Fine-grain frequency discrimination thresholds in albino rats.
2008–2008 Dodd D., Rennaker RL; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Development of a Distributed Neural Interface System
2006–2006 Robert RL, Hutchens C., Ibrahim T., Miller L., Cogan S.; NIH Neural Interface Conference, Cleveland Ohio
Temporal and bandwidth analyses of forward masking in the nonanesthetized rat
2018–2018 Bjorlie J, Sloan AM, and Rennaker RL.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting/Tucker-Davis Symposium on Advances and Perspectives in Auditory Neurophysiology; Atlanta, GA
Effect of minocycline administration on chronic neural interfaces in rats: recording quality and glial response
2018–2018 Sloan AM, Tang H, and Rennaker RL.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA

Additional Information

  • Whitaker Ph.D. Fellowship, Arizona State University 1998
  • Tom J. Love Outstanding Professor, Unlverslty of Oklahoma, 2003
  • Alumni Teaching Award, University of Oklahoma, 2007
  • Presidential Professorship, The University of Oklahoma Presidential Associates 2009
Personal Statement

Dr. Rennaker graduated high school in 1988 and then served in the United States Marine Corps for 5 years. During that time, Dr. Rennaker participated in Operation Sharp Edge in Liberia, Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait, and Provide Comfort in Yugoslavia. Following his honorable discharge, Dr. Rennaker received his BSE (1997), MS (1999) and Ph.D. (2002) in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University. Following graduation Dr. Rennaker spent seven years at the University of Oklahoma in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department as an Assistant (’02- ’09) and Associate (2009) professor. Dr. Rennaker is a Full professor with appointments in Elecrical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Bioengineering.   Dr. Rennaker is the director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center and Chair of the Bioengineering Department.  Dr. Rennaker and his wife Paula have 3 children.

News Articles

Neural Engineer Appointed to Lead Bioengineering Department
Dr. Robert L. Rennaker II, an expert in the development of neural interfaces, and is the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering,Created in 2010, The Department of Bioengineering grants graduate degrees in biomedical engineering in collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center and UT Arlington. The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach, combining expertise in electrical, mechanical and materials engineering, coupled with the life sciences. The undergraduate program, based entirely at UT Dallas, is similar, giving students a foundation in engineering and mathematics, complemented with biology, physiology and medical instrumentation.



Vulintus Inc is a biomedical research company located in Dallas.  The company builds preclinical research equipment.

Chief Executive Officer

Optokinetix has developed a system to detect changes in brain function.  The system may be used for detection of concussions, impairment and monitor the efficacy of various therapies.


Consultant for Konan Medical USA


Center for Application of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
$960,000; C0-I (10%) - DOE [2018–2018]
Mechanisms of TPT
$2,400,000 - NIH [2016–2020]
Making Texas Leader in Bioelectronic Medicine
$2,000,000 - W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation [2016–2017]
4,100,000 - DARPA [2015–2017]
GSK Challenge
200,000 - GSK [2015–2015]