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    Faculty Profile — Is this you? Login to edit.Last Modified Time: 08:37:42 AM Thu, 5 Sep 2013 
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Robert L Rennaker
Department Head Bioengineering, Director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center
Office MailstopMail Box: ECSS3.9, Room No.: ECSS 3.90 
Primary Phone Number 972-883-4696    URL UTD Webpage    Media Contact
 Professional Preparation
 Ph.D.BioengineeringArizona State University2002
 M.S.BioengineeringArizona State University2001
 B.S.E.BioengineeringArizona State University1997
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Research Interests
Dr. Rennaker's research has two main foci. The first is the development of Neural Interface systems. Dr. Rennaker received and RO1 from NINDS for the development of a wireless distributed neural interface in May of 2009. The second research focus is systems level neuroscience. Dr. Rennaker has an R01 from NIDCD to study olfactory encoding of odorants. Other interests include auditory neuroscience, plasticity and attention.
Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
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  YearPublication  Type
Seth A Hays, Ph.D.; Andrew M Sloan, Ph.D.; Daniel R Hulsey, B.S.; Andrea Ruiz, B.S.; Maritza Pantoja, B.S.; Rennaker RL; Michael P Kilgard, Ph.D; Vagus nerve stimulation during rehabilitative training improves forelimb strength following ischemic stroke, Neurobiology of Disease Manuscript NBD-13-545R1 Accepted 08/07/2013
Peer reviewed
Hays SA, Khodaparast N, Sloan AM, Hulsey DR, Pantoja M, Ruiz AD, Kilgard MP, Rennaker RL. The isometric pull task: a novel automated method for quantifying forelimb force generation in rats. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 2013 Nov 23; 212(2):329-337.
Peer reviewed
Ware T, Simon D, Rennaker RL, Voit WE. Smart polymers for neural interfaces. Polymer Reviews, 2013 Vol 53 (1): 108-129.
Peer reviewed
Neil T. Markwardt, Jodi Stokol, Rennaker RL, Sub-meninges implantation reduces immune response to neural implants. J Neuroscience Methods, 2013 214(2): 119-125
Peer reviewed
Centanni, TM; Booker, AB; Sloan, AM; Chen, F; Maher, BJ; Carraway, RS; Khodaparast, N; Rennaker RL; LoTurco, JJ; Kilgard, MP; Knockdown of the Dyslexia-Associated Gene Kiaa0319 Impairs Temporal Responses to Speech Stimuli in Rat Primary Auditory Cortex. Cerebral Cortex 2013 Feb 8
Peer reviewed
Collapse Section Expand Section Presentations and Projects
  1  2 3 4 5 
Start DateEnd DatePresentation/Project
Oct-06 Oct-06 A novel interface system using distributed independent wireless probes
Slavens TN, Sloan AM, and Rennaker RL.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA.
Oct-06 Oct-06 Effect of minocycline administration on chronic neural interfaces in rats: recording quality and glial response
Sloan AM, Tang H, and Rennaker RL.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA
Oct-06 Oct-06 Design and development of a distributed neural interface system
Rennaker RL, Sloan AM, and Slavens T.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA
Oct-06 Oct-06 Temporal and bandwidth analyses of forward masking in the nonanesthetized rat
Bjorlie J, Sloan AM, and Rennaker RL.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting/Tucker-Davis Symposium on Advances and Perspectives in Auditory Neurophysiology; Atlanta, GA
Oct-06 Oct-06 Analysis of odorant-evoked spatial and temporal patterns in piriform cortex
Wilson DA, Ruyle AM, and Rennaker RL.; Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA.
Collapse Section Expand Section Appointments
DurationRankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2013-presentDepartment ChairBioengineering The University of Texas at Dallas
2012-presentDirectorTexas Biomedical Device Center The University of Texas at Dallas
2009Associate Professor  The University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma
2009-presentAssociate Professor  The University of Texas Dallas
2009-presentOwner  Vulintus LLC, Saches Texas
2007-presentOwner  Vulintus LLC
2002-2002Post-Doctoral Researcher  The University of Texas at Dallas
2002-2009Assistant Professor  The University of Oklahoma
1998-2002Whitaker Ph.D. Fellow  Arizona State University
1997-1998Research Assistant  Arizona State University
1994-1995Engineering Assistant  Lockheed Martin
1988-1993   United States Marine Corps: M.C.A.S New River, HMM-261
PresentAssociate ProfessorSchool of Behavioral and Brain Sciences The University of Texas at Dallas
06/08-05/13Ensemble Coding in Olfactory CortexNIDCD$1,827,924Current
06/07-05/10Promoting Versatility in Doctoral Bioengineering EducationUS Dept. Ed.$506,688Current
05/09-04/14Development of a Distributed Neural InterfaceNINDS$1,265,000Current
June 2005-May 2008Distributed Neural lnterfaceOCAST$135,000;Pl (100%)Previous
June 2005-May 2007Ensemble Coding in Olfactory CortexNIH R21$407,000; Co-I (50%)Previous
 Center for Application of Single-Walled Carbon NanotubesDOE$960,000; C0-I (10%)Previous
 News Articles
Neural Engineer Appointed to Lead Bioengineering Department
UT Dallas News Center
Dr. Robert L. Rennaker II, an expert in the development of neural interfaces, has been appointed head of the Department of Bioengineering, replacing Dr. Mathukumalli Vidyasagar, who is stepping down to focus on his research in statistics and computational biology related to cancer therapy.
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.
Under the leadership of Vidyasagar, an expert in control and system theory and holder of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Chair in Systems Biology Science, the undergraduate program, which began enrolling students only two years ago, has grown to about 175 students. Vidyasagar has also been instrumental in building graduate research opportunities with UT Southwestern in medical imaging, biomechanical devices, diagnostics and other areas.

       Teaching HelpHelp  
toggle toggle Teaching and Mentorship
Courses Taught
  • Statics: Spring 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Dynamics: Spring 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Solid Mechanics Laboratory: Fall 2003, 2004
  • Principles of Design: Fall 2006, 2007
  • Design Practicum: Spring 2006, 2007
  • Neural Engineering: Fall 2006
  • Neurophysiology for Engineers: Spring 2003, Fall 2005
  • Biomaterialsz Spring 2004
  • Principles of Bioengineering: Fall 2006
  • Introduction to Engineering: Spring 2008, Spring 2009, 2012
  • Solid Mechanics: Fall 2008
  • Neurophysiology Fall 2009, Spring 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Neuroscience Lab Methods Spring 2010, 2011, Fall 2010
  • Linear Algebra Fall 2010
  • Thermodynamics Fall 2013

Students - PhD Students Supervised
  • Andrew Sloan, Graduated: 02/2009
  • Doyle Dodd, Graduated 06/2013
  • Neil Markwardt, working towards PhD in Bioengineering
  • William Rosellini
  • David Pruitt
  • Anthony Nguyen
  • Eric Meyer
  • Katy Millay

Students - MS Students Supervised
  • Aditya Chadha, MS in Bioengineering, Graduated in Fall 2005
  • Appalla Balasubramanyam, Bioengineering Graduated Spring 2005
  • Andrea Ruyle, Bioengineering, Graduated Spring 2006
  • Tom Slavens, Mechanical Engineering, Graduated Spring 2007
  • Mike Nicholas, Mechanical Engineering, Graduated Summer 2007
  • Jeremy Bjorlie, Bioengineering, Graduated Summer 2007
  • Krystal Davis, Working towards an MS in Mechanical Engineering

Exam and Defense Committee Participation
  • Member of PhD in OUBC thesis committee for Tao Chang
  • Member of PhD in AME thesis committee for Tim Hunt
  • Member of PhD in Zoology committee for Max Fletcher
  • Member of Masters committee for (Sidique)
  • Member of PhD in Zoology committee for Fred Chen Zoology
  • Member of Masters committee in Electrical Engineering for Li Tan
  • Member of PhD Committee in AME for Chenkai Dai
  • Member of Masters Committee in Computer Engineering for David Goldberg

toggle toggle Service
University Committees
  • Member of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee: December 2004 - Present
  • Provosts Textbook Taskforce 2006-2007

University Committees
  • Member of AME Library: 2004-2009
  • Teach Test: 2004- 2009
  • Extra Advising Duties- 85 Students in Spring 2006
  • Introduction to engineering taskforce; Spring 2007
  • OUBC GAANN Fellowship Committee 2007-present
  • OUBC Planning Committee 2005 - present
  • Center for Neurobiology Committee 2006- present

External Teaching
  • Faculty Sponsor for Pi Kappa Alpha and 6th Floor of Walker
  • Faculty Sponsor for Christ on Campus
  • Presentation for The Society of Women Engineers
  • Presentation for the Introduction to Engineering Class
  • PE exam lecture (Electrical Engineering)
  • PE exam lecture (Statics)
  • Invited Speaker at OCAST "Meet the Scientist " lecture series
  • 2 Presentations at the Zoology "Neuromuch"
  • 4 Presentations at the OUBC Brownbag series

Professional Society Member
  • IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Association for Chemoreception Sciences

Senrice Product (e.g., CV-web)
  • Reviewed journal articles for IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
  • Reviewed journal articles for Annals of Biomedical Engineering
  • Reviewed journal articles for The Journal of Neuroscience Methods
  • NSF Study Section Panel Member ISO-(October 2006)

 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, Sergeant 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 and his wife Paula have 3 children.

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