Matthew D. Johnson

Matt Johnson

Matthew D. Johnson

Professor and Institute for Translational Neuroscience Scholar, Department of Biomedical Engineering


Nils Hasselmo Hall
Room 6-134
312 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


  • BS, Engineering Sciences, Harvard University, 2002

  • MS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2003

  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2007

  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 2007-2009

Research Interests

Matthew Johnson’s research lab — the Neuromodulation Research and Technology Laboratory — focuses on innovating neuromodulation technologies to improve quality of life for people with neurological disorders. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one such technology, which has helped numerous people living with Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and essential tremor reclaim control over their motor function.

DBS therapy involves placing tiny electrodes in regions of the brain that exhibit pathological activity and then stimulating those regions with continuous pulses of energy. We focus on understanding how the brain responds and adapts to stimulation-based therapies from a combination of computational and experimental perspectives.

These studies in turn provide us with a rationale to develop, evaluate, and translate new devices and new approaches for improving patient care.

Selected Publications

Peña E, Zhang S, Deyo S, Xiao Y, and Johnson MD. (2017) “Particle swarm optimization for programming deep brain stimulation arrays.” Journal of Neural Engineering, 14(1):016014.

Slopsema J and Johnson MD. (2017) “Deep Brain Stimulation.” Neuroprosthetics: Theory and Practice.  

Neren D, Johnson MD, Legon W, Ling G, and Divani AA. (2016) “Vagus nerve stimulation and other neuromodulation methods for treatment of traumatic brain injury.” Neurocritical Care. 24(2):308-319.

Teplitzky BA, Zitella LM, Xiao Y, and Johnson MD. (2016) “Model-based comparison of deep brain stimulation array functionality with varying number of radial electrodes and machine learning feature sets.” Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 10:58.

Xiao Y, Peña E, and Johnson MD. (2016) “Theoretical optimization strategies for directionally segmented deep brain stimulation electrode arrays.” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 63(2):359-371.

Connolly AT, Vetter RJ, Hetke JF, Kipke DR, Pellinen DS, Anderson DJ, Baker KB, Vitek JL, and Johnson MD. (2016) “A novel lead design for modulation and sensing of deep brain structures.” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 63(1): 148-157.

Agnesi F, Muralidharan A, Baker KB, Vitek JL, and Johnson MD. (2015) “Fidelity of frequency and phase entrainment of circuit-level spike activity during DBS.” Journal of Neurophysiology, 114(2):825-834.

Connolly AT, Jensen AL, Baker KB, Vitek JL, and Johnson MD. (2015) “Classification of pallidal oscillations with increasing parkinsonian severity.” Journal of Neurophysiology, 114(1): 209-218.

Connolly AT, Jensen AL, Baker KB, Johnson MD, and Vitek JL. (2015) “Modulations in oscillatory frequency and coupling in globus pallidus with increasing parkinsonian severity.” Journal of Neuroscience, 35(15), 6231-6240.

Zitella LM, Teplitzky BA, Hudson HM, Duchin Y, Harel N, Vitek JL, Baker KB, and Johnson MD. (2015) “Subject-specific computational modeling of DBS in the PPTg area.” Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 9:93.