Bruce Wheeler, Ph.D.

Bruce Wheeler
Bruce Wheeler, Ph.D.

1064 Center Drive, NEB 453, Gainesville, FL 32611

T: 858-534-6458

Emeritus Professor

Brain-on-a-chip, micropatterning neurons and microelectrode arrays, neural signal processing


S.B., S.B., Physical Science/History, (courses XIIB and XXI), MIT, 1971
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, 1977
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, 1981

Research Summary:

Dr. Wheeler’s research interests lie in the application of electrical engineering methodologies to neuroscience. His work influenced the development of neural spike sorting technologies, demonstrated that microelectrode array recording from brain slices was possible and productive, and has been a leader in the development of lithography to control cells, especially neurons, in culture. This work aims at basic science understanding of the behavior of small populations of neurons, in hopes of creating better insight into the functioning of the brain.


Honors and Awards:

  • Distinguished Service Award, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), 2016
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (2014)
  • President of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (2013-2014)
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2014), the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2008), the Biomedical Engineering Society (2013), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2004)
  • Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (2006-2012)
  • Acting Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida (2009-2012)
  • Founding and Interim Head, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois (2004-2008)
  • Outstanding MD/PhD Advisor (2003), Campus Wide Award for Outstanding Advising (2000), Dad’s Association Campus Wide Outstanding Professor (1999), Knight of St. Pat Outstanding Engineering Faculty Recognition (1999), Pierce Award for Student/Faculty Relations (1987), University of Illinois.
  • Phi Beta Kappa (1971), Eta Kappa Nu (1980)
  • Advisory Board Member: Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University of Freiburg, Germany (2012-2014); Department of Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnical Institute (2012-2013); Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida (2003-2008); Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University (2004-2008); Department of Brain and Bio Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (2007).
  • NCAA Postgraduate Fellowship (1971), MVP Greater Boston Baseball League (1970), MIT Senior Athlete of the Year (1971), Mohonasen High School Athletic Hall of Fame (2010)

Selected Publications:

Google Scholar Citations Link

Brewer, GJ, Boehler, MD, Leondopulos, S, Pan, L, Alagapan, S., DeMarse, TB, Wheeler, BC. (2013) Toward a self-wired active reconstruction of the hippocampal trisynaptic loop: DG-CA3. Frontiers in Neuroscience, v7, article 165, doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00165, Oct 2013.

Leondopulos, SS, Boehler, MD, Wheeler, BC, Brewer, GJ. (2012) “Chronic stimulation of cultured neuronal networks boosts low-frequency oscillatory activity at theta and gamma with spikes phase-locked to gamma frequencies.” Journal of Neural Engineering. 9, 026015.

Pan, L., Alagapan, S., Franca, E., Brewer, GJ, Wheeler, BC, (2011) “Propagation of action potential activity in a predefined microtunnel neural network.”, Journal of Neural Engineering. 8, 046031.

Wheeler, B.C. and Brewer, G.J. (2010) “Designing Neural Networks in Culture“, Proceedings of the IEEE, 98(3) (March), 398-406.

Dworak, B.J., and Wheeler, B.C., (2009) “Novel MEA platform with PDMS microtunnels enables detection of action potential propagation from isolated axons in culture”, Lab on Chip, 9, 404-410.