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Bruce J. Gluckman

Bruce J. Gluckman, PhD
Associate Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering
Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Professor of Neurosurgery
Professor of Biomedical Engineering

W-312 Millennium Sciences Complex
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-0178
(815) 550-2150 Fax
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Bruce Gluckman earned his BS (1988) in Engineering Physics from the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Ph.D. in Experimental at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he studied nonlinear dynamics and pattern formation with Jerry Gollub of Haverford College. He was appointed as postdoctoral fellow with the Naval Surface Warfare Center to study the control of low dimensional chaotic systems and its application to biological systems with Mark Spano. In 1997 he joined the Children’s Research Institute of Children’s National Medical Center and the George Washington University as a Research Assistant Professor to study the effects of electric fields on neural systems. Professor Gluckman joined the faculty at George Mason University in 1998 as Assistant Professor with appointments in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, and as a founding member of the Center for Neural Dynamics. In 2006, he joined Penn State University as the founding Associate Director of the Center for Neural Engineering (CNE), with appointments as Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) (tenured) and in the Department of Neurosurgery. In 2013 Gluckman was appointed Honorary Professor, Kings College, University of Aberdeen, UK.

Dr. Gluckman’s initial research spanned the physics field of nonlinear dynamics to include both pattern formation and mixing in fluid systems – phenomena in which the complexity of a nearly infinite dimensional system contracts to a lower-dimensional manifold we call a pattern – as well analysis and control of low-dimensional chaotic systems – systems for which the complexity of the dynamics is higher than might be expected from their degrees of freedom. In this work he focused both on the development of novel measurement, analysis and control techniques and fostered a strong linkage between data analysis and the physics involved in measurement.

Dr. Gluckman carried these approaches to his work in neural systems and the control of epilepsy, where he has focused on understanding the generation of organized activity in neural systems, the details of how to measure and interact with such systems, and how to link models – both theoretical and computational – to experiment.

Biographical Summary

  • BS Engineering Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1988
  • PhD Experimental Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 1994
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, MD, 1995-97
  • Research Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Children's Research Institute of the Children's National Medical Center and The George Washington University School of Medicine, 1997-98
  • Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Children's Research Institute of the Children's National Medical Center and The George Washington University School of Medicine, 1998.
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, George Mason University 1998-2004
  • Associate Professor of Physics, George Mason University 2004-6
  • Associate Professor, Penn State University, 2006-2017
    • Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, College of Engineering, 2006-
    • Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, 2006-
    • Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Penn State University, 2012-2017
  • Associate Director, Center for Neural Engineering, Penn State University, 2006-present
  • Professor, Penn State University, 2017-present
    • Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, College of Engineering
    • Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine
    • Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering, Penn State University

Research Interests

Current research includes: the design of implantable electrodes for neural stimulation and recording; instrumentation, electronics and control systems and sensor development for recording and modulating brain activity; the study of seizure dynamics; the modeling and observation of biological regulatory systems such as sleep and their interaction with brain function and their interaction with disease dynamics such as epilepsy and schizophrenia; modeling and measurement of the multiscale material physics of brain tissue; assimilation of clinical data such as intra-cranial pressure and blood glucose into physiological models for development of better clinical treatments; sustainable approaches to medical treatment; and the links between infectious diseases such as malaria and the development of neurological diseases such as epilepsy.

Recent important findings include:

  • The development of an animal model of post-cerebral malaria epilepsy. Cerebral malaria (CM) likely causes ~350,000 new cases of human epilepsy per year, and this model should provide a platform for investigating the mechanisms of post-CM epileptogenesis and adjunctive therapies to intervene.
  • The development of a multi-modal DC sensitive recording system for long term continuous animal monitoring. Coming on line this fall are simultaneous DC sensitive invasive EEG/EMG/EKG, electrochemistry, head kinematics, and intracranial pressure. With it we now routinely monitor mice and rats for weeks to months continuously.
  • With DC sensitivity has allowed routinely observed spreading depolarization waves (SD) associated with spontaneous seizures in multiple chronic animal models of epilepsy (Tetanus Toxin rats, and Post-Cerebral Malaria mice). Seizure-associated SD waves have been predicted but rarely if ever observed in freely behaving chronic recordings. They are thought to be an extension of seizures, associated with post-ictal depression, migraine, and implicated in Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).
  • A strong link between state of vigilance and seizure susceptibility, which provides significant added seizure predictability.
  • A demonstrated modulation of seizure susceptibility in spontaneous epilepsy model with peripheral (trigeminal) stimulation.
  • The ability to detect Epileptogenesis from the transmission of small brain fluctuations to heart dynamics.
  • The development of a novel micro-wire Microdrive for recording from multiple non-localized brain regions targeted with stereotaxic precision along non-parallel trajectories. We use this to target brainstem and hypothalamic regions thought to regulate sleep for long-term single unit recordings.

Gluckman Lab


Honors and External Responsibilities


  • Office of Naval Research Postdoctoral Fellow, 1995-1997.
  • Honorary Professor, School of Natural and Computing Sciences, Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology, Kings College, University of Aberdeen, 2013-2017.
  • Fellow, American Epilepsy Society (FAES) 2016-present.

Conference Responsibilities:

  • Co-Chair, American Epilepsy Society, Engineering in Epilepsy Special Interest Group.
  • Permanent Organizing Committee, Experimental Chaos Conference, 2001-present (Sixth-Fifteenth).
  • International Workshop on Seizure Prediction (IWSP series, now ICTALS): Advisory Board 2008-present; Chair for IWSP6 (October 2013). Upcoming meeting: ICTALS2019 (9/2019).
research/bjg18/start.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/31 18:43 by bjg18

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