Kathleen E. Cullen,PHD

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Specialization: Neural basis of self-motion perception and motor learning


Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering

720 Rutland Avenue

Traylor 504

Baltimore, MD 21205

410 955-2392


Cullen Lab

The overall goal of my research is to understand how the brain integrates multisensory information to ensure the maintenance of balance and posture, as well as perceptual stability in everyday life. Our work has significant implications for both understanding and advancing the treatment of vestibular and other motor disorders.


The research in my research group has three key objectives:

(1) The quantification and targeted manipulation of neurons in areas of the brainstem, cerebellum, thalamus and cortex that play an essential role in vestibular processing.  This approach is fundamental to our understanding of how the brain processes complex multisensory (e.g., vestibular, visual, proprioceptive) information during everyday life to ensure the maintenance of balance and accurate motor control.

(2) Studies of vestibular/balance disorders in macaques and patients. We are working to optimize a novel vestibular prosthesis with other neurologists, physical therapists, biomedical engineers, and neuroscientists. By linking improvements in prosthetic driven behavior to specific changes in neuronal activities at different stages of processing in the vestibular system, we can establish methods to successively restore vestibular labyrinth function in patients.

(3) The applications of transformative molecular and genetic approaches to advance basic and clinical research on the vestibular system. Specifically, we combined state-of-the-art molecular techniques with neuronal ensemble recording and optogenetic-based approaches. Our aim is to bridge the gap between genes, neuronal circuits, and behaviour, to improve the brain’s ability to compensate for the loss of vestibular function.


To advance neuroscience discovery by uniting neuroscience, engineering and computational data science to understand the structure and function of the brain.