Sherif Elbasiouny


Sherif M. Elbasiouny, Ph.D., P.E., P.Eng.

Assistant Professor
Director, Neuroengineering & Neurorehabilitation Laboratory

Address: Biological Sciences II, Room 143 (mail), 243 (lab), 251B (office)
Phone: (937) 775-2492

Ph.D., University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), 2007

Research Interest

My research interest is in the fields of neuroengineering and rehabilitation neuroscience. My work relies on combining computer modeling and electrophysiological recording techniques for studying the role of spinal neurons in integrating the sensorimotor signals at the cellular and system levels for movement control during health and in neurological disorders (e.g., after spinal cord injury, SCI, and in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS). In particular, I investigate the cellular mechanisms regulating the neuronal excitability (e.g., cell morphology, membrane electrical properties, voltage-dependent ion channels, synaptic inputs) and their contribution to the motor system output in the healthy state, and study the changes in these mechanisms after neurological injury or disease. Computational methods are employed to develop realistic three-dimensional anatomically-based electrical models of healthy and diseased neurons. These models are composed of thousands of compartments represented through complex arrangements of resistor-capacitor (RC) networks that possess multimodal time-varying and voltage-dependent behaviors to reproduce the intricate electrical events seen during experimental recordings. These electrical models are also used to design electrical stimulation paradigms that modulate the aberrant neuronal excitability in neurological disorders. In-vitro experiments, on the other hand, are employed to test and validate the results of computer simulations. With this knowledge, my research work aims in the long term to develop electrical stimulation-based biodevices, called smart implantable neural prostheses (SIN prostheses), for alleviating motor disabilities and restoring motor function after SCI and ALS.

Senior design projects

Selected Publications

Manuel M, Li Y, Elbasiouny SM, Murray K, Griener A, Heckman CJ, and Bennett DJ (2012) NMDA induces persistent inward and outward currents that cause rhythmic bursting in adult rodent motoneurons. J Neurophysiology, in press.

Powers RK, Elbasiouny SM, Rymer WZ, Heckman CJ (2012) Contribution of intrinsic properties and synaptic inputs to motoneuron discharge patterns: a simulation study. J Neurophysiology, 107(3):808-23.

Elbasiouny SM, Quinlan KA, Eissa TL, and Heckman CJ (2012). Electrophysiological abnormalities in SOD1 transgenic models in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: The commonalities and differences, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Maurer MH (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-806-9, InTech, Available from:

Elbasiouny SM, Amendola J, Durand J, and Heckman CJ (2010). Evidence from computer simulations for alterations in the membrane biophysical properties and dendritic processing of synaptic inputs in mutant SOD1 motoneurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 30:5544-5558.

Elbasiouny SM, Schuster JE, and Heckman CJ (2010) Persistent inward currents in spinal motoneurons: important for normal function but potentially harmful after spinal cord injury and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Clinical Neurophysiology, 121:1669-1679. (The journal featured one figure from this article on its cover page.)

Elbasiouny SM, Moroz D, Bakr MM, and Mushahwar VK. (2010) Management of spasticity following spinal cord injury: current techniques and future directions. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 24 (1): 23-33. (This article was featured on website and was summarized by the physician editor.)

Elbasiouny SM and Mushahwar VK (2007b). Suppressing the Excitability of Spinal Motoneurons by Extracellularly-applied Electrical Fields: Insights from Computer Simulations. J Applied Physiology, 103(5):1824-36.

Elbasiouny SM and Mushahwar VK (2007a). Modulation of Motoneuronal Firing Behavior after Spinal Cord Injury using Intraspinal Microstimulation Current Pulses: A Modeling Study. J Applied Physiology, 103 (1): 276-86.

Elbasiouny SM, Bennett DJ and Mushahwar VK (2006). Simulation of Ca+2 Persistent Inward Currents in Spinal Motoneurons: Mode of Activation and Integration of Synaptic Inputs. J Physiol (Lond), 570 (2): 355-74. (This article was ranked by the Journal of Physiology among the Top 10 Research Papers published in that issue of the journal based on the number of electronic access and downloads.)

Elbasiouny SM, Bennett DJ and Mushahwar VK (2005). Simulation of Dendritic Cav1.3 Channels in Cat Lumbar Motoneurons: Spatial Distribution. J Neurophysiology, 94 (6): 3961-74.