Karen Moxon

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Karen Anne Moxon
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CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma mater
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Michigan
Known forFirst demonstration of a closed-loop, real-time brain-machine interface system
Scientific career
FieldsNeurorobotics, Theoretical Neuroscience
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Davis

Karen Anne Moxon is a pioneer in the space of Brain Machine Interface and University Professor at University of California, Davis.[1] Moxon is best known for her neural engineering work, and is responsible for the first demonstration of a closed-loop, real-time brain machine interface system in rodent subjects, which was later translated to both non-human primates and humans with neurological disorders.[2] She currently runs the Moxon Neurorobotics Laboratory at the University of California, Davis.[3]


Though born and raised on Long Island, Moxon completed her undergraduate education studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She completed her graduate studies at the University of Colorado, earning a Master's degree in Systems engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace engineering in 1991 and 1994, respectively.[4] She then became an Associate Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While there, Moxon built a robust academic career, earning multiple prestigious grants from the National Institutes of Health and ultimate rose to the position of Associate Director for Research before leaving to lead research in the Bioengineering Department at University of California, Davis.[5][6][7]

At Davis, she assumed a leadership role over a five year international research initiative that was awarded a $36 million grant by DARPA as part of its Bridging the Gap Plus program.[8]

Public Profile

Moxon has been featured in multiple publications, podcasts, and symposiums. In 2015, she was a speaker at the 7th International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Medicine and Biology Society Symposium on the Future of Brain Machine Interface.[9] Her research on cortex-dependent recovery of unassisted hindlimb locomotion in rats was the subject of a 2017 Nature (journal).[10] Moxon was a guest on the Dana Foundation's Cerebrum podcast in 2019.[6] In May of 2020, she was a guest on Melinda Garvey's See It to Be It podcast.[11]

Select publications

  • Chapin, John K.; Moxon, Karen A.; Markowitz, Ronald S.; Nicolelis, Miguel A. L. (1999-07). "Real-time control of a robot arm using simultaneously recorded neurons in the motor cortex". Nature Neuroscience. 2 (7): 664–670. Doi (identifier).
  • Talwar, Sanjiv K.; Xu, Shaohua; Hawley, Emerson S.; Weiss, Shennan A.; Moxon, Karen A.; Chapin, John K. (2002-05). "Rat navigation guided by remote control". Nature. 417 (6884): 37–38. doi:10.1038/417037a. ISSN 1476-4687.
  • Adler, Lawrence E.; Olincy, Ann; Waldo, Merilyne; Harris, Josette G.; Griffith, Jay; Stevens, Karen; Flach, Karen; Nagamoto, Herbert; Bickford, Paula; Leonard, Sherry; Freedman, Robert (1998-01-01). "Schizophrenia, Sensory Gating, and Nicotinic Receptors". Schizophrenia Bulletin. 24 (2): 189–202. Doi (identifier).
  • Priori, A.; Foffani, G.; Pesenti, A.; Tamma, F.; Bianchi, A. M.; Pellegrini, M.; Locatelli, M.; Moxon, K. A.; Villani, R. M. (2004-10-01). "Rhythm-specific pharmacological modulation of subthalamic activity in Parkinson's disease". Experimental Neurology. 189 (2): 369–379. Doi (identifier).


  1. Pflueger-Peters, Noah A. (2018-11-21). "Karen Moxon". Biomedical Engineering. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  2. "Karen Moxon: Decoding the Brain". College of Engineering. 2018-08-30. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  3. "Moxon Lab – Biomedical Engineering". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  4. "2019 NYC Neuromodulation & Neuromodulation: The Science". neuromodec.com. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  5. "Karen Moxon, PhD". School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. 2021-03-01. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  6. 6.0 6.1 ""Mind Over Matter: Cognitive Neuroengineering" with Karen Moxon. Transcript of Cerebrum Podcast" (PDF). Dana Foundation.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Dr. Karen Moxon and Colleagues Receive a $3M NIH Grant for Their Enhancing Supraspinal Plasticity to Improve Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Project". School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. 2016-05-09. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  8. "DARPA Awards $36M for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Systems". www.photonics.com. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  9. "Symposia speakers". 7th International IEEE EMBS. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  10. "Rats recover from severe spinal injury". Nature. 547 (7663): 261–261. 2017-07-14. doi:10.1038/d41586-017-01500-1.
  11. Dot, On The. "Motivating Women To Pursue STEM: Featuring Dr. Karen Moxon". See It To Be It. Retrieved 2021-03-09.

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