Dr Patrick Degenaar
Reader in Neuroprosthesis

  • Email: patrick.degenaar@ncl.ac.uk
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 8180
  • Address: E4.09
    School of EEE
    Merz Court
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU, UK


I am fundamentally interested in bringing new technologies to the field of neuroprosthetics. I am highly interdisciplinary, with first degrees (BSc 1st class, MRes) in applied physics from Liverpool and a PhD in bioimaging from the Japan Advanced Institute for Science and Technology. After some time in the software industry and then as physics and electronics post-docs, I started my academic career with a RCUK fellowship in 2005 leading to a lectureship and senior lectureship at Imperial College. In 2010 I moved to Newcastle University where I have further built up my team and research profile.

At the heart of these efforts is my pioneering use of CMOS-micro-LED optoelectronics in combination with optogenetic gene therapy solutions. These will lead to highly advanced forms of prosthetic intervention not previously possible. This has led to a number of highly cited papers in key biomedical engineering journals. Furthermore I have explored impact through patient trials and commercial translation.

To achieve my aims I have been part of a number of large research consortia. Between 2010-2014 I coordinated the FP7 OptoNeuro project. More recently I am the engineering team leader on the £10M CANDO project to develop a next-generation prosthesis for epilepsy. Currently I have a large highly dedicated team of RAs, and PhD students. 


My research page can be found here:


My google scholar profile can be found here


Certificate of Teaching and Learning - Imperial College, UK
PhD Bioelectronics and bioimaging - JAIST, Japan
MRes Surface Science - Liverpool University, UK
BSc Applied Phyiscs (1st Class) - Liverpool University, UK

Previous Positions

2009-2010 Senior Lecturer in Neurobionics - Imperial College, London
2005-2009 Lecturer in Neurobionics - Imperial College, London
2002-2005 Post-doc - Imperial College, London
2001-2001 Software Engineer, Network Associates, Amsterdam




English, Dutch, Japanese

My core area of interest is in neuroprosthetic systems to help people with disabilities. For many years I have been working on retinal prosthesis. More recently, I have become interested in brain implants; visual cortical prosthesis and epileptic pacemakers. At the heart of these efforts is my pioneering use of CMOS-micro-LED optoelectronics in combination with optogenetic gene therapy solutions. 

Optogenetics is a gene therapy which can make specific neural cells in the body sensitive to particular wavelengths of light. This technique has been developed since its discovery in 2003 and is now nearing the point of the first human trials. To achieve full prosthetic control requires advanced optoelectronics which are being developed in this lab and in others. 

Full details of my research can be found in my research page (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/neuroprosthesis/

Optogenetic epilepsy pacemaker

I am the engineering team leader of the flagship CANDO project to develop a new form of brain pacemaker to prevent seizure in patients with severe focal epilepsy. 

Visual Prosthesis

I previously coordinated the FP7 OptoNeuro project to develop retinal prosthesis to bring back sight for those with Retinitis Pigmentosa. I and am now interested in taking this research further to develop brain level prosthetics for those with Glaucoma, trauma and other forms of full sight loss. 

Augmented vision

The same front end visual processing technology for visual prosthesis has applications in advanced visual aids for those with particle vision loss. I have been developing these devices and trials thereof at the Oxford and Western Eye(London) Hospitals.

Neuroinspired electronics

In the development of neural processing architectures for neuroprosthetic intervention, it is with exploring the methodologies already used in nature. When adapted to the silicon processing environment some of these neuromorphic techniques can be power efficient

Research Staff

  • Dr Reza Ramezani
  • Dr Fahimeh Dekhoda
  • Dr Jun Luo
  • Dr Ahmed Soltan
  • Dr Soumyasanta Laha

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Nabeel Fattah
  • John Barrett
  • Musa Al Yaman
  • Graeme Coapes
  • Hubin Zhao
  • Kaung Oo Htet
  • Lijuan Zhang
  • Ali Alameer
  • Ghazal Ghazai
  • Zi Choong


External/visiting PhD students

  • Mr Na Dong - South East University, China
  • Dr Walid Al Atabany - Helwan University, Egypt 


Dr Rolando Berlinguer-Palmini, [Imperial College pre - Sept 2010]: Muthu Murugeson (RA), Nahed Solouma (visiting fellow), Hwa Jeong Kim (visiting fellow), Muhammed Memon (visiting fellow), Brian McgGovern (RA), Nir Grossman(PhD & RA), Tassanai Parritokkoporn (PhD)



Undergraduate Teaching

  • 2nd year writing course
  • MMB8019 - Sensory Systems and Seuroimaging
  • EEE2014 - Semiconductor Devices and Enalog Electronics
  • EEE2016 - Analog Electronics 

if you have questions regarding my teaching, please contact me through blackboard or email me.

Undergraduate/MSc project supervision

Each year, I take on up to four UG and up to four MSc project students. Project range from biomedical CMOS design to optoelectronics and bio-signal processing including image processing.

Details of specific projects each year can been seen in the school project handbook. But I'm very keen on students defining their own projects as long as they are biomedical related. 

Postgraduate Supervision

Each year I take on up to three talented individuals as PhD students. Funding for home students is via school DTA or Faculty DTA. Funding for overseas students is either through their own funds/scholarships, NUORS, or faculty DTA.  Please email me if you are interested.