Faculty Image

Robert F. Rogers, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

  • Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy
  • Specialty: Systems Neuroscience; Neurophysiology; Neural Encoding/Decoding; Cardiovascular and Respiratory Control

Dr. Rogers received his bachelor of science degree in biology from Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA) in 1987. After working for two years in industry, he returned to graduate school and earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995.  His doctoral research defined the computation performed by brainstem neurons receiving information regarding blood pressure. His work as a visiting scientist at DuPont's Central Research & Development department (1995-97; Wilmington, Del.) mainly focused on developing optical imaging systems for in vivo neurophysiological applications. His follow-up work as a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's department of Neuroscience (1997-2000) allowed him to develop his information theoretic analysis of the spike train data he was collecting.

Rogers then joined the department of Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia as a research assistant professor (2000-2003), where he was a founding member of the Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics/Computational Biology. He then joined the University of Delaware as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering (2003-2009) with the goal of developing a multidisciplinary research and education program in biomedical engineering. In 2009, he joined the department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine as an associate professor.

Research Interests
  • synchronous oscillations in motor neuron pools
  • neural control of cardiovascular and respiratory function
  • spike train encoding and decoding
  • neuroengineering and embedded devices

Rogers' research focuses entirely on one central question:  How does the brain (or a subsystem thereof) perform the computations necessary to support the functions it executes? Using the cardiovascular and respiratory control systems as model systems, Rogers explores related issues such as neural encoding and decoding, information transfer, spatiotemporal integration, rhythm generation, and plasticity. By using experimental approaches such as in vivo electrophysiology, functional optical imaging, computer modeling and simulation, and application of information theory, he seeks to understand how homeodynamic control is performed by the networks of neurons comprising these systems.

Current research projects in Rogers' laboratory investigate nervous system function at various hierarchical levels, with the overall goals of uncovering functional principles and computational algorithms used by these systems in both health and disease. Rogers believes that by recording and analyzing the activity of neurons individually, in small groups, and in large networks, all while they are performing the functions they were designed to perform, fundamental insights into how higher-order processes emerge from lower-level activity will be realized.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator:
Robert F. Rogers, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor:
Vitaliy Marchenko, M.D., Ph.D.

Selected Publications

Cardiovascular Control
"Dynamic transcriptomic response to acute hypertension in the nucleus tractus solitarius"
Khan RK, Vadigepalli R, McDonald MK, Rogers RF, Guang GR, Schwaber JS
Am. J. Physiol. 295: R15–R27, 2008.

"Simultaneous encoding of carotid sinus pressure and dP/dt by NTS target neurons of myelinated baroreceptors"
Rogers RF, Rose WC, Schwaber JS
J. Neurophysiol. 76: 2644–2660, 1996.

"NTS neuronal responses to arterial pressure and pressure changes in the rat"
Rogers RF, Paton JFR, Schwaber JS
Am. J. Physiol. 265: R1355–R1368, 1993.

"Neuronal model predicts responses of the rat baroreflex"
Schwaber JS, Paton JFR, Rogers RF, Graves EB
Computation and Neural Systems 89–96, 1992.

Functional Optical Imaging
"Spatiotemporal activity patterns during respiratory rhythmogenesis in the rat ventrolateral medulla"
Fisher JAN, Marchenko VA, Yodh AG, Rogers RF
J. Neurophysiol. 95: 1982–1991, 2006.

"Scattered light imag¬ing in-vivo tracks fast and slow processes of neurophysiological activation"
Rector DM, Rogers RF, Schwaber JS, Harper RM, George JS.
NeuroImage 14: 977–994, 2001.

"A focusing image probe for assessing neural activity"
Rector DM, Rogers RF, George JS
J. Neurosci. Meth. 91:135–145, 1999.

Computational Modeling
"Generation of the respiratory rhythm: State- dependency and switching"
Rybak IA, Paton JFR, Rogers RF, St.-John WM.
Neurocomputing 44-46:605–614, 2002.

"Computational modeling of the baroreflex arc: NTS"
Rogers RF, Rybak IA, Schwaber JS
Brain Res. Bull. 51: 139–150, 2000.

Information Transfer & Spike Train Encoding
"Joint probability-based neuronal spike train classification"
Chen Y, Marchenko V, Rogers RF
Computational & Mathematical Methods in Medicine 10:229-239, 2009.

"Classification performance of a sparse representation of instantaneous firing rate"
Chen Y, Marchenko V, Rogers RF
Neurosci Lett. 439: 47–51, 2008.

"Retention of lung distention information in pump cell spike trains"
Marchenko V, Rogers RF
Am. J. Physiol. 293: R343–R353, 2007.

"Information theoretic analysis of pulmonary stretch receptor spike trains"
Rogers RF, Runyan JD, Vaidyanathan AG, Schwaber JS
J. Neurophysiol. 85: 448–461, 2001.

Synchronous Oscillations Among Motor Neurons
"GABAAergic and glycinergic inhibition in the phrenic nucleus organizes and couples fast oscillations in motor output"
Marchenko V, Rogers RF
J. Neurophysiol. 101: 2134–2145, 2009.

"Temperature- and state-dependence of dynamic phrenic oscillations in the decerebrate juvenile rat"
Marchenko V, Rogers RF
Am. J. Physiol. 293: R2323–R2335, 2007.

"Time-frequency coherence analysis of phrenic and hypoglossal activity in the decerebrate rat during eupnea, hyperpnea, and gasping"
Marchenko V, Rogers RF
Am. J. Physiol. 291: R1430–R1442, 2006.

"Selective loss of high-frequency oscillations in phrenic and hypoglossal activity in the decerebrate rat during gasping"
Marchenko V, Rogers RF
Am. J. Physiol. 291: R1414–R1429, 2006.


  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • 2900 Queen Lane, #252
    Philadelphia, PA 19129
  • Phone:work 215-991-8251
  • Fax:215-843-9082
  • rrogers@drexelmed.edu

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