David  Escobar,  PhD

David Escobar, PhD

Assistant Staff

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195


My laboratory is dedicated to advancing neuromodulation therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD) and epilepsy, translating research into medical technology, training students and mentees in neuroengineering, and partnering with clinicians, scientists, and engineers to improve therapies for distinct brain conditions.

Research: Our team conducts clinical and preclinical research to increase the effectiveness of brain stimulation therapies for PD and epilepsy. This research aims to address the variability in outcomes of current therapies within and among patients. We integrate neurophysiology, feedback control engineering, signal processing, data science, and data-driven mathematical modeling to characterize neural circuit dynamics underlying brain dysfunction and develop personalized brain stimulation approaches that control these neural dynamics in real time.

Technology development and innovation: Part of our work is developing new technologies to advance our research, including portable electronic systems to deliver multi-objective closed-loop brain stimulation and devices to objectively quantify motor performance in PD patients. Our technology innovation work is also dedicated to translating our research into neuromodulation devices and practical therapies.

Education and training: We are committed to education and training to expand the network of scientists, engineers, and clinicians working to improve the lifestyle of people suffering from brain conditions. We provide multidisciplinary training and career mentorship to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting researchers, medical trainees, and volunteers interested in a career in engineering, science, and medical technology innovation.

Collaboration and outreach: We work closely with a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, scientists, and engineers across the Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute and Lerner Research Institute to develop and test comprehensive neuromodulation treatments for PD and epilepsy. To have an impact beyond our focus areas, we collaborate with researchers and clinicians working on neuroengineering problems for distinct brain conditions.

Lay Summary

The goal of my research is to develop effective brain stimulation therapies for PD and epilepsy that are tailored to the needs of each patient. Our team leverages technologies developed in the aerospace, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering fields to achieve this goal. We follow a three-step process in our research: 

  1. Identify electrical brain activity that is possibly associated with brain dysfunction.
  2. Develop "autopilot" technologies that use electrical stimulation to control identified brain activity.
  3. Investigate whether controlled changes in brain activity are linked to the studied brain condition.
By identifying and controlling brain activity underlying dysfunction, we aim to improve our understanding of brain conditions and advance neuromodulation therapies.

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