Brain Injury Research Lab

Brain Injury Research Lab


Our Research

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults yet there is no single reliable test to serve as an indicator for brain injury. Current methods of diagnosis rely on limited patient reported symptoms and memory tests. Even with today’s advanced medical technology – computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – it is very difficult to determine the extent and type of brain damage.

We are exploring methods for improved classification of brain injury to enable better identification of people who do not recover. Our research uses sophisticated eye-tracking technology that does not need a baseline test for comparison (while most others do) and is available to all levels of age and literacy. A research subject watches a short film clip or music video while a camera measures eye movements with high precision and identifies patterns associated with brain injury or other abnormalities.


Our eye tracking technology may change the psycho-social dynamics that adversely impact the lives of patients and loved ones after an injury. This negative impact and poor definition of TBI contribute to why the affected community does not rally around a brain injury victim and raise money to support research for their treatment. By enabling people to detect brain injuries that cannot be seen with conventional imaging, we provide objective evidence that there is indeed something wrong. Once we can detect and accurately diagnose the injury, we will be able to test treatments, and measures to protect against future trauma.


Our laboratory runs largely with the help of volunteers, ranging from high school students to physician residents. We promote aspiring scientists, medical professionals and the Minnesota community at large to engage in our research. Please contact us if you would like to contribute your time to our efforts.


As our laboratory has multiple studies regarding different aspects of brain injury, we can accommodate a wide range of participants. Typically, we recruit patients from the emergency department, trauma bay, neurosurgery service and TBI Clinic at Hennepin Healthcare but are need of your participation as healthy control subjects. Please consider participating in our research if you or a loved one meet the following criteria:

  • You are healthy
  • You have sustained any traumatic injury
  • You have a neurological condition
  • You have an ophthalmic condition

Check out our Minnesota Healthy Brain Initiative. Our friendly staff is eager to assist you with detailed information about a variety of sessions we offer and scheduling an appointment if you would like to participate in research efforts at a later time. You can contact us directly at 612-873-7190 or [email protected]. Please don’t forget to refer any family or friends who might be interested in working with us!

We would like to remind you that our research does not include any clinical care. If you would like to speak to a provider about any medical concerns, please contact Hennepin Healthcare's Traumatic Brain Injury Center Coordinator at 612-873-3284. You may be able to find assistance in their inpatient program, outpatient program or association with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance.


Sponsorship opportunities for our research are open to all who wish to promote and support public health and cutting edge technology.


An estimated 31% of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan report experiencing a traumatic brain injury.


Every eight seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a brain injury due to a fall, collision or accident. 


Over 1,500,000 Americans  sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. 


One hour of exercise a week cuts the risk of dementia in half. 

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