Marco Capogrosso, PhD, joined the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery as an assistant professor in January of 2020. He completed his doctoral studies in biomedical engineering and robotics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy. His doctorate work focused on the implementation of a computational framework to support the design of peripheral and central neural interfaces for sensory and motor applications.
After the receiving his PhD, Dr. Capogrosso completed his post-doctoral training at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland where he worked on the development of brain spinal interfaces for the restoration of voluntary motor control in animals and humans with spinal cord injury. Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, he directed his own research group as a research faculty at the primate center of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and was a manager of the primate platform. He is now director of the Spinal Cord Stimulation Laboratory and part of the Rehab and Neural Engineering Labs of the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Capogrosso's publications can be reviewed through Google Scholar.
Specialized Areas of Interest
Professional Organization Membership
Education & Training
- BA, Physics (cum laude) Università di Pisa, Italy, 2007
- MS, Applied Physics (cum laude) Università di Pisa, Italy, 2009
- PhD, Engineering, Institute of Biorobotics, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 2013
- Post-Doc, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2016
Honors & Awards
- Outstanding Reviewer Award, The Journal of Neural Engineering 2020
- European Research Council Starting Grant Award, 2019
- Career Award, Technological Advances in Spinal Cord Injury, Lupicaia Foundation 2018
- MIT 10 Best Breakthrough Technologies, Wireless Brain-Spine Interface, 2017
- Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Fellowship, 2016
- Best Post-Doc Paper, NCCR Robotics, 2014, 2016
- Finalist, Tomorrow's PI Prize, Swiss Life Science Annual Meeting, 2015
Barra B, Conti S, Perich MG, Zhuang K, Schiavone G, Fallegger F, Galan K, James ND, Barraud Q, Delacombaz M, Kaeser M, Rouiller EM, Milekovic T, Lacour S, Bloch J, Courtine G, Capogrosso M. Epidural electrical stimulation of the cervical dorsal roots restores voluntary upper limb control in paralyzed monkeys. Nat Neurosci 25(7):924-934, 2022.
Pirondini E, Carranza E, Balaguer JM, Sorensen E, Weber DJ, Krakauer JW, Capogrosso M. Poststroke arm and hand paresis: should we target the cervical spinal cord? Trends Neurosci 45(8):568-578, 2022.
Badi M, Wurth S, Scarpato I, Roussinova E, Losanno E, Bogaard A, Delacombaz M, Borgognon S, C Vanc Ara P, Fallegger F, Su DK, Schmidlin E, Courtine G, Bloch J, Lacour SP, Stieglitz T, Rouiller EM, Capogrosso M, Micera S. Intrafascicular peripheral nerve stimulation produces fine functional hand movements in primates. Sci Transl Med 13(617):eabg6463, 2021.
Greiner N, Barra B, Schiavone G, Lorach H, James N, Conti S, Kaeser M, Fallegger F, Borgognon S, Lacour S, Bloch J, Courtine G, Capogrosso M. Recruitment of upper-limb motoneurons with epidural electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord. Nat Commun 12(1):435, 2021.
Mirzakhalili E, Barra B, Capogrosso M, Lempka SF. Biophysics of Temporal Interference Stimulation. Cell Syst 11(6):557-572.e5, 2020.
Schiavone G, Fallegger F, Kang X, Barra B, Vachicouras N, Roussinova E, Furfaro I, Jiguet S, Seáñez I, Borgognon S, Rowald A, Li Q, Qin C, Bézard E, Bloch J, Courtine G, Capogrosso M, Lacour SP. Soft, Implantable Bioelectronic Interfaces for Translational Research. Adv Mater 32(17):e1906512, 2020.
Formento E, Minassian K, Wagner F, Mignardot JB, Le Goff-Mignardot CG, Rowald A, Bloch J, Micera S, Capogrosso M, Courtine G. Electrical spinal cord stimulation must preserve proprioception to enable locomotion in humans with spinal cord injury. Nat Neurosci 21(12):1728-1741, 2018.
Wagner FB, Mignardot JB, Le Goff-Mignardot CG, Demesmaeker R, Komi S, Capogrosso M, Rowald A, Seáñez I, Caban M, Pirondini E, Vat M, McCracken LA, Heimgartner R, Fodor I, Watrin A, Seguin P, Paoles E, Van Den Keybus K, Eberle G, Schurch B, Pralong E, Becce F, Prior J, Buse N, Buschman R, Neufeld E, Kuster N, Carda S, von Zitzewitz J, Delattre V, Denison T, Lambert H, Minassian K, Bloch J, Courtine G. Targeted neurotechnology restores walking in humans with spinal cord injury. Nature 563(7729):65-71, 2018.
Capogrosso M, Wagner FB, Gandar J, Moraud EM, Wenger N, Milekovic T, Shkorbatova P, Pavlova N, Musienko P, Bezard E, Bloch J, Courtine G. Configuration of electrical spinal cord stimulation through real-time processing of gait kinematics. Nat Protoc 13(9):2031-2061, 2018.
Capogrosso M, Milekovic T, Borton D, Wagner F, Moraud EM, Mignardot JB, Buse N, Gandar J, Barraud Q, Xing D, Rey E, Duis S, Jianzhong Y, Ko WK, Li Q, Detemple P, Denison T, Micera S, Bezard E, Bloch J, Courtine G. A brain-spine interface alleviating gait deficits after spinal cord injury in primates. Nature 539(7628):284-288, 2016.
Moraud EM, Capogrosso M, Formento E, Wenger N, DiGiovanna J, Courtine G, Micera S. Mechanisms Underlying the Neuromodulation of Spinal Circuits for Correcting Gait and Balance Deficits after Spinal Cord Injury. Neuron 89(4):814-28, 2016.
Wenger N, Moraud EM, Gandar J, Musienko P, Capogrosso M, Baud L, Le Goff CG, Barraud Q, Pavlova N, Dominici N, Minev IR, Asboth L, Hirsch A, Duis S, Kreider J, Mortera A, Haverbeck O, Kraus S, Schmitz F, DiGiovanna J, van den Brand R, Bloch J, Detemple P, Lacour SP, Bézard E, Micera S, Courtine G. Spatiotemporal neuromodulation therapies engaging muscle synergies improve motor control after spinal cord injury. Nat Med 22(2):138-45, 2016.
Minev IR, Musienko P, Hirsch A, Barraud Q, Wenger N, Moraud EM, Gandar J, Capogrosso M, Milekovic T, Asboth L, Torres RF, Vachicouras N, Liu Q, Pavlova N, Duis S, Larmagnac A, Vörös J, Micera S, Suo Z, Courtine G, Lacour SP. Biomaterials. Electronic dura mater for long-term multimodal neural interfaces. Science 347(6218):159-63, 2015.
Raspopovic S, Capogrosso M, Petrini FM, Bonizzato M, Rigosa J, Di Pino G, Carpaneto J, Controzzi M, Boretius T, Fernandez E, Granata G, Oddo CM, Citi L, Ciancio AL, Cipriani C, Carrozza MC, Jensen W, Guglielmelli E, Stieglitz T, Rossini PM, Micera S. Restoring natural sensory feedback in real-time bidirectional hand prostheses. Sci Transl Med 6(222):222ra19, 2014.
Capogrosso M, Wenger N, Raspopovic S, Musienko P, Beauparlant J, Bassi Luciani L, Courtine G, Micera S. A computational model for epidural electrical stimulation of spinal sensorimotor circuits. J Neurosci 33(49):19326-40, 2013.
In 2021-22, Dr. Capogrosso, initiated a first in-human clinical trial testing the efficacy of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to restore arm and hand function in people with chronic stroke that was approved by the University of Pittsburgh IRB (NCT04512690). This trial is performed in collaboration with Peter Gerzsten, MD, and Robert Friedlander, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery; Elvira Pirondini, PhD, and Lee Fisher, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; George Wittenberg, MD, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurology; Douglas Weber, PhD, from Carnegie Mellon University, and John Krakauer, MD, from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The group’s hypothesis is that SCS can support residual motor function in people with upper limb paralysis in consequence of stroke and significantly improve motor control. They implanted two subjects and observed unexpectedly large effect sizes that substantially improved strength, motor control and daily-life abilities of people with stroke. The results of this work are preliminary, reported as a pre-print on MedrXiv. They believe that data shows technology has the potential of becoming the first effective therapy for permanent post-stroke upper limb hemiparesis.
In relation to this work, they also published the foundational work for this trial, executed in monkeys with a lesion of the cortico-spinal tract in Nature Neuroscience. This shows the unique value of pre-clinical research in monkeys which is the most relevant animal model for human motor control. They developed and tested their technology in monkeys which allowed us to rapidly translate the work to a human trial.
Finally, in 2022, Dr. Capogrosso obtained a $2 million research grant to explore the feasibility of using SCS to treat motor deficits and slow disease progress in people with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that progressively destroys spinal motoneurons leading to paralysis.
External Electrical Stimulation Restores Upper Limb Control of Paralyzed Monkeys
The Science Times
July 1, 2022
Clinical Trial on Spinal Cord Stimulation
KDKA 1020 Radio
June 30, 2022
Arm and hand movements are RESTORED in paralyzed monkeys
London Daily Mail
June 20, 2022
Spinal cord stimulation enables paralysed monkeys to move their arms
June 30, 2022
Before non-invasive brain stimulation becomes widespread, rigorous experiments are needed, researchers say
UPMC Inside Life Changing Medicine
November 10, 2020