PMRF Lab Director; Principal Investigator

Jacob G. McPherson, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
    • Florida International University, Miami, FL; 2015-present
  • Post-doctoral, Physical Therapy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Post-doctoral, Physiology and Biophysics
    • University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering
    • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering, Chicago, IL
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering
    • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering, Chicago, IL
  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering/Applied Sciences
    • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 

Post-doctoral Fellows

Currently recruiting post-doctoral fellows! Candidates should have a PhD (or equivalent doctoral-level degree) in Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, or a closely related field. Experience in any of the following areas is highly desirable: animal electrophysiology (in vivo or in vitro); animal behavioral neurophysiology; experience with humans or animals with spinal cord injury, stroke, or neuropathic pain; analysis of biophysical signals (e.g., neural/spike, EMG, ECoG, ENG); Matlab programming; data acquisition and instrumentation.

Graduate students

Maria Bandres, BS; PhD student. Maria received her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from Simon Bolivar University (Caracas, Venezuela) in June 2015. Maria joined the PMRF Lab in Spring 2018, where she will be using in vivo electrophysiology and neural-computer interfaces to develop intraspinal stimulation approaches that simultaneously improve motor and sensory function after spinal cord injury.

Megan Buchanan, BS; PhD student. Megan received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Bethune-Cookman University in 2007. After working as a research assistant in neurolinguistics at Simon Fraser University, Megan then pursued medical school at Ross University School of Medicine. In 2017, Megan returned to research to pursue graduate work in biomedical engineering at FIU. Megan joined the PMRF in the Fall of 2018, where she will study neural mechanisms underlying sensorimotor impairments using a unique combination of pharmacology, high-density surface electromyography, and brain imaging.

Undergraduate students

Valentina Melero, BS. Valentina completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering in May 2019, where she was also a member of the FIU Honors College. Valentina began working in the PMRF Lab in Fall of 2016, and has been awarded Trainee, Researcher, and Fellow positions in the Coulter Undergraduate Research Excellence (CURE) Program at FIU. Valentina recently completed an internship at Boston Scientific in Puerto Rico and now plans to pursue medical school .


  • Behdad Tahayori, PT, PhD; post-doctoral fellow; FIU 2017-2018
  • Vivian Soliz, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2016-2018
  • Luis Barreto, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Nathalie Brossard, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Alexander Copa, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Daniel Duben, MS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Rayniel Perez, BS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Afra Toma, BS in Biomedical Engineering; FIU 2017
  • Kelly Rojas; FIU undergraduate student and McNair Fellow


  • Zachary Danziger, PhD; Asst. Prof. BME; Applied Neural Interfaces Laboratory
  • Ranu Jung, PhD; Interim Dean, College of Engineering and Computing; Professor of BME; Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory
  • Laura Miller McPherson, PT, DPT, PhD; Asst. Prof. Physical Therapy and BME; Systems Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Laboratory
University of Miami/Miami Project to Cure Paralysis:
  • Monica Perez, PT, PhD; Assoc. Prof. Neurological Surgery
Northwestern University:
  • Julius Dewald, PT, PhD; Professor and Chair, Physical Therapy; Neuroimaging and Motor Control Lab
  • CJ Heckman, PhD; Professor of Physiology, Physical Therapy
University of Washington:
  • Steve Perlmutter, PhD; Res. Assoc. Prof. Physiology and Biophysics
University of Sydney (Australia):
  • James Elliott, PT, PhD; Prof., Faculty of Health Sciences