The Plasticity, Monoamines, and Recovery of Function Laboratory (PMRF Lab), directed by Prof. Jacob McPherson, PhD, is housed within the Biomedical Engineering Department at Florida International University. The PMRF Lab conducts both animal and human-subjects neurophysiology and neurological rehabilitation research. 

We explore interrelationships between the neural control of movement and pain processing after stroke and spinal cord injury (SCI). This work is predicated on the notion that optimal therapies for restoring function after neurological injury must be grounded in a neuromechanistic understanding of the causes of impairment, which requires an integrative view of nervous system function and an interdisciplinary approach to research.

The ultimate goal of this work is to develop therapeutic strategies that leverage the interconnectivity of spinal sensory and motor networks to drive multi-modal rehabilitation. We are particularly interested in strategies that facilitate and direct the intrinsic ability of the central nervous system to reorganize and repair, including strategies designed to enhance the therapeutic benefits of physical rehabilitation. Specific interests and areas of expertise include:

  • Pathologies: stroke, spinal cord injury.
  • Impairments: neural control of movement, neuropathic pain. 
  • Physiology: spinal physiology, sensorimotor integration, neural plasticity, brainstem neuromodulation.
  • Techniques: physical rehabilitation, electrophysiology (animal and human), neuropharmacology, neural-computer interfaces, biophysical signal processing (neural, EMG, movement), robotics, and magnetic resonance imaging.