Bioelectronic Medicine Explained

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the home of bioelectronic medicine, an emerging field that recognizes that curbing inflammation is the key to treating most disease.


Bioelectronic medicine studies the nervous system at a molecular level to identify how the brain signals the body to produce and limit inflammation.


Through targeted electrical stimulation of nerves (specifically, the vagus nerve), inflammatory proteins can be controlled and in turn, diseases treated or cured.


Clinical trials have shown tremendous success in rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease and will continue to show more in countless inflammatory diseases.

Convergence of Disciplines

Researchers and engineers work every day to target molecular mechanisms to create bioelectronic devices to treat diseases, as well as decode neural signals to restore movement to patients with paralysis.

How can electricity reduce inflammation?

Everyone has a story.


Learn about how Dr. Kevin J. Tracey began his journey into bioelectronic medicine, all because of a little girl named Janice. 


At the end of his book, Fatal Sequence, Dr. Tracey says of Janice:


“I know that her immune system’s fatal sequence burned itself out in four weeks, but I do not like to think of it that way. I find it more reassuring to think that Janice, like an angel, lives on in the efforts to define and understand the nature of the individual cytokines involved in her septic shock and severe sepsis and the way in which her body fought to prevent their release. Her indirect legacy can be found right now in the scientific literature, online at PubMed under the keyword cytokine. I like to think of this work as an unfinished mural stretching for miles around a city or large university, being painted around the clock, every day, by students, scientists, and investigators who do not know each other and cannot see each other because the wall is too long. They may not even know what is being painted on the far side, but they are driven to paint it perfectly, and finish the job, motivated by their own angels. I am confident that someday, I hope soon, the work will be done, and this mural will be a guidepost for the weary patients and their families awaiting cures for cytokine-based diseases.”

Our Research Explained

Decoding the Inflammatory Reflex

Changing the Game

with the Neural Tourniquet

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