USC Neurorestoration Center

The USC Neurorestoration Center creates new strategies for the restoration of an injured or diseased nervous system by developing new technologies that harness advances in basic neuroscience and neural engineering. These strategies are driven by patient needs and further refined within our world-class clinical programs.

The USC Neurorestoration Center develops novel strategies for the restoration of neurological function by connecting on-going efforts in neural engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the Center for Neural Engineering with basic neuroscience research at USC and institutions such as the California Institute of Technology. Research is applied to patients through clinical programs at Keck Medicine, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and affiliated medical centers. These high-volume clinical programs boast global relevance and world-class outcomes. They function as living laboratories that apply primary and translational research to restore function to the human nervous system with minimal additional risk as compared to standard-of-care treatment.

Charles Liu, MD, PhD

Charles Liu, MD
Program Director


The management of adult human neurological diseases has traditionally been limited by the belief that there is very little opportunity for recovery after injury. Now, cellular transplantation therapies and other advanced concepts are widely believed to significantly improve neurological function. Biological strategies, advanced neuroprosthetics, robotics and other products of biomedical engineering have led to a rapidly expanding spectrum of possibilities for additional restorative platforms. These possibilities are based on the explosion of knowledge in the basic neurosciences and neural engineering, areas in which USC has tremendous strengths.

Program Summary

USC Neurorestoration Center director Charles Liu, MD, PhD, and co-director Christianne Heck, MD, MMM, are pioneering the collaboration of a special “dream team” with Keck Medicine of USC, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the California Institute of Technology and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center to restore brain function to those with Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other neurological issues.