Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Lab

Gillick Lab

Empowering Children for Life

The Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Laboratory focuses on cortical plasticity and recovery from neurologic insult across the lifespan. The Laboratory research encompasses the use of different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation), in combination with behavioral training, for improved motor function after brain injury.

  • Current Studies
  • News
  • Support for Research
  • Family Resources
  • Current Studies

    Brain Stimulation and Function 

    "What is the best method of brain stimulation to maximize recovery for children after stroke?"

    Early Intervention for Infant Brain Injury

    “Comparing two types of intervention to improve hand and arm skills, and general motor development”

    Research Study in Babies with Stroke or Bleeding in the Brain

    "How does a baby's brain develop after an early injury?"

    Past Studies

  • News

    Dr. Bernadette Gillick has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development under Award Number R21HD097575. Perinatal brain injury, due to stroke occurring at or around the time of birth, can result in significant lifelong motor impairment. Dr. Gillick's study, "Perinatal Brain Injury: Identifying Cortical Excitability and Circuitry through Multi-Modal Assessment" will use novel neurophysiologic and computational tools to investigate infant brain activity and development after injury, and will inform future development of precise early interventions to minimize or prevent impairments.

    Jesse Kowalski, DPT, PhD student, was awarded the Foundation for Physical Therapy Promotion of Doctoral Studies I Scholarship and the 2019 Viva J. Erickson Award for outstanding academic and leadership achievement. Congratulations, Jesse!

    Third-year DPT students Darion Helberg, Ellen Sutter, Sarah Dougherty, Emily Gilray, and Nicole Van Beek presented their research project under the advisement of Dr. Gillick and Dr. Nemanich at the University of Minnesota Division of Physical Therapy Poster Day. Poster Day was held in conjunction with their White Coat ceremony, symbolizing their transition from classroom learning to clinical internships.

    DPT students at Poster Day presentation.

    Ellen Sutter, DPT/PhD student, was awarded the Rudolph A. Ptak Fellowship, by the Division of Physical Therapy, based on merit and potential for significant professional contributions. Congratulations, Ellen!

    Dr. Sam Nemanich, post-doctoral fellow in our lab, was just awarded a UMN StrokeNet Fellowship in association with the NIH/UMN Neurology Department. The fellowship will support his 2019-2020 salary during his investigation of neuromodulation and behavioral interventions in children with perinatal stroke and resultant cerebral palsy. Congratulations Sam!  

    Jesse Kowalski, DPT, PhD student, was awarded the MnDRIVE Graduate Fellowship in Neuromodulation for her project entitled “Sensorimotor cortical excitability after perinatal stroke: a TMS and EEG comparison with typically developing infants and toddlers.” Ms. Kowalski also received Student Travel Scholarships from the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and The North American Neuromodulation Symposium to attend and present at their 2018 annual meetings this past year.

    Dr. Gillick was featured in the Winter 2019 issue of University of Minnesota Foundation's Legacy - Conducting the first-ever study of its kind, combining noninvasive brain stimulation and constraint-induced therapy to enhance motor skills in children with stroke-induced cerebral palsy, Gillick and her team found the treatment resulted in significantly improved hand function compared with those who received a placebo along with few, if any, side effects. Thanks to a 2017–19 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, grants, and donations to support training and participants' families, Gillick's research has extended into infants. 

    National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The NIH featured Dr. Gillick's NIH K01 research project Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Therapy in Cerebral Palsy in their recap of notable biomedical research advances in science and public health in 2018.

    Dr. Gillick, McKnight Land-Grant Professor, has been named a Representative on the Global Professional Education Committee for the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability. This Alliance represents the American/Canadian, Australasian and European Academies of Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Medicine and Childhood Disability. Her role will involve promoting a global standard of multi-disciplinary education and dissemination surrounding interventions for children with disabilities and their families. In addition, Dr. Gillick has been awarded the Eugene Michels Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This national award recognizes outstanding contributions to research related to the physical therapy profession.

  • Support for Research


    Novel Neuromodulatory Intervention in the Rehabilitation of Pediatric Hemiparesis

    Funding: NIH K01 Career Development Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
    Timeline: September 2014- June 2019
    Project Goals: Evaluate the safety and efficacy of combined tDCS/CIMT in children with hemiparesis; and examine the influence of combined tDCS/CIMT on brain excitability and reorganization
    Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator

    The Alberta Perinatal Stroke Program: Neuromodulation to Optimize Outcomes

    Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    Timeline: July 2015-June 2022
    Dr. Gillick's role: Co-investigator

    Comparing Two Montages of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Pediatric Stroke

    Funding: National Center of Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation Pilot Project Program
    Timeline: July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019
    Project Goals: This study will examine the effects of two different applications of transcranial direct current stimulation on brain excitability in children with unilateral cerebral palsy
    Dr. Gillick's Role: Principal Investigator

    Rehabilitation Early for Congenital Hemiplegia (REACH) Study

    Funding: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12615000180516)
    Dr. Gillick's Role: Co-I (PI:Boyd)

    Comparing two montages of transcranial direct current stimulation in unilateral cerebral palsy
    UMN Medical School Faculty Research Award
    June 1, 2018-May 31, 2019
    Project Goals: This study will examine the effects of two different applications of transcranial direct current stimulation on brain excitability in children with unilateral cerebral palsy
    Dr. Gillick's Role: Principal Investigator

    Establishing a computational noninvasive neuromodulation consortium at the U of Minnesota
    UMN Institute for Engineering in Medicine
    May 14, 2018-May 14, 2019
    Dr. Gillick' Role: Co-I (PI:Opitz)

    Development of Interactive Software for use in Pediatric Stroke Rehabilitation
    UMN Office of Discovery and Translation Community Discovery Program for Child Health Innovation
    January 1, 2018-December 31, 2018
    Dr. Gillick's Role: Co-I, Clinical Research Advisor (PI: John Ferguson)

    Previous Funding


    Associated Facilities

    Gillick Lab
    Room 320
    426 Church St. SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55455-0222

    Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
    2021 Sixth Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

    Center for Neurobehavioral Development
    717 Delaware Street SE, Ste. 333
    Minneapolis, MN 55414

    Clinical & Translational Science Institute
    Masonic Memorial Building
    424 Harvard Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

    Non-invasive Neuromodulation Laboratory (NNL)
    717 Delaware Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55414

  • Family Resources

    Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program provides children with cerebrovascular disease and their families with state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and support while providing the opportunity to participate in leading clinical research initiatives.

    Cerebral Palsy Research Registry is a multi-institutional collaborative effort whose primary mission is to improve our understanding of cerebral palsy.

    Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association exists to help children who have survived an early brain injury that results in hemiplegia or hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body. is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. is a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

    International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke offers the needed resources, support, inspiration, knowledge and information that will empower you to better understand pediatric stroke.

    Research Match is a free and secure registry developed by major academic institutions across the country who want to involve you in helping today's research studies make a real difference for everyone's health in the future.

Watch Gillick Lab Videos

Learn more about Bernadette Gillick's research, lab and why she does what she does by watching the featured videos.


Phone: 612-626-6415
Fax: 612-625-4274

Lab Location

306 Children's Rehabilitation Center
426 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address

Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Laboratory
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 388
Minneapolis, MN 55455