Member To Mention2017-07-12T15:00:51+00:00

Member To Mention

Dennis Bourbeau, PhD
Research Investigator, Cleveland FES Center
Biomedical Engineer, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
Staff Scientist, Dept PM&R, MetroHealth Medical Center
Associate Professor, Dept PM&R, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, OH


  • PhD in Bioengieering; University of Pittsburgh
  • BS in International Studies; Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • BS in Biomedical Engineering; Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Spinal cord injury has a devastating impact on quality of life. Many investigators, clinicians, and especially people with SCI identify bladder, bowel, and sexual functions as important targets for therapies. However, there remains a lack of available approaches for restoring these functions. To serve this unmet need, my research focuses on developing interventions that use electrical stimulation, such as neuromodulation, to restore pelvic autonomic function lost to SCI or other neurological disorders. Such approaches would provide alternatives to catheters, pharmaceuticals, or surgeries.

Dennis is a Biomedical Engineer and Principal Investigator at the Cleveland FES Center. He is dedicated to investigating the use of electrical stimulation to restore pelvic autonomic function lost to SCI or other neurological disorders.  Development of such devices for restoring bladder, bowel and sexual function would serve a critical yet currently unmet need for people with SCI and provide alternatives to surgeries or drugs. Dennis has successfully secured grants from The Department of Veterans Affairs and National Institutes of Health to advance the mission of restoring bladder, bowel and sexual function after spinal cord injury.  Most importantly, Dennis understands the importance of restoring quality of life, independence and dignity for people experiencing pelvic dysfunction after SCI.


  1. Favorite part of working in the field of SCI: As a research scientist, I am strongly motivated by the opportunity to develop innovative approaches that make a real, positive impact for individuals with spinal cord injury. But more than that, I am particularly fulfilled when I engage with and learn from people who meet the challenges of their spinal injury. They show us a beautiful and inspiring perspective of the human experience.
  2. Interesting personal fact about the MM: Most people don’t know this, but I am actually two shorter scientists stacked up inside a very long lab coat.
  3. The most influential person(s) in your life: Of course, family and friends are very influential in my life and I am fortunate to be so wealthy in that respect. But it is also true that my life is positively influenced by many small, simple day-to-day interactions out in the world. For example, someone sharing a personal anecdote or providing words of encouragement can make a difference.
  4. Pearls for new, tenured and future members of ASCIP: It is important to be a part of a functional, productive team, whether providing health care or conducting research. Help to inspire a healthy group dynamic that lifts everyone up to achieve common goals. Remember that problems are really opportunities.

Please send all nominations and questions to Maggi Budd at

The Academy Research Committee (ARC) thanks the ASCIP membership for highlighting one of our stellar peers! Please send all nominations and questions to Maggi Budd at

Past Members to Mention

June 2017 Member to Mention – Dennis Bourbeau.pdf
March 2016 Member to Mention – Michelle Meade
January 2016 Member to Mention – Jason Raad
July 2015 Member to Mention – Lawrence Vogel
April 2015 Member to Mention – Jessica Brundage
October 2014 Member to Mention – Trisha Hicks
August 2014 Member to Mention – Darrell Musick
June 2014 Member to Mention – Marylou Guihan
February 2014 Member to Mention – Sunil Sabharwal
January 2014 Member to Mention – Felicia Skelton
November 2013 Member to Mention – Jenny Kiratli
October 2013 Member to Mention – Anthony DiMarco
September 2013 Member to Mention – Angela Kuemmel
August 2013 Member to Mention – Erin Hayes Kelly
July 2013 Member to Mention – Kathleen Dunn
June 2013 Member to Mention – Lisa Ottomanelli
May 2013 Member to Mention – Susan Charlifue