My primary research interest is in the application of functional electrical stimulation (FES) to manage pelvic dysfunction in persons with spinal cord injury, comprising neurogenic bladder, neurogenic bowel and erectile dysfunction.

Our goal is to understand the complex interactions involved in the systems-level neural organization and control of bladder and urethral function. We use this information to develop neural prostheses or rehabilitative techniques that interface with the nervous system and restore genito-urinary function at the earliest opportunity.

Much of my clinical efforts are also devoted to treatment of these problems; I have been serving as the Chief of Spinal Cord Injury at the Syracuse VA Medical Center since 2017. I have been working with Dr. Gustafson & Dr. Bourbeau on neural prosthetic solutions to spinal cord injury related neurogenic bladder since I came to Cleveland in June of 2010.

Currently, we are evaluating the use of genital nerve stimulation to inhibit bladder hyperreflexia in persons with SCI, helping to increase the bladder capacity and prevent urinary incontinence. We are also evaluating electrical high frequency block to inhibit the pudendal nerve, assisting with emptying the bladder.

Research Programs

  • Intracortical control of FES-restored arm and hand function in people with SCI
  • Chronic Electrical Stimulation to Reduce Bladder Hyperreflexia after SCI
  • High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation to Restore Cough
  • Controller Development for Upper Limb Movement with FES
  • Pudendal Nerve Block Neural Prosthesis
  • Producing micturition by combined afferent and efferent electrical stimulation
  • Robotic Exoskeletons for limb stretching of hospitalized patients, to prevent contracture and manage spasticity

Publications (Select)

Entire publication list can be found here.

  • Bourbeau DJ, Creasey GH, Sidik S, Brose SW, Gustafson KJ. Genital nerve stimulation increases bladder capacity after SCI: A meta-analysis. J Spinal Cord Med. 2017 Feb 15:1-9. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2017.1281372. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28198657.
  • Brose SW, Bourbeau DJ, Gustafson KJ. Genital nerve stimulation is tolerable and effective for bladder inhibition in sensate individuals with incomplete SCI. J Spinal Cord Med. 2017 Feb 10:1-8. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2017.1279817. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28185483.
  • Kowalski KE, Romaniuk JR, Brose SW, Richmond MA, Kowalski T, DiMarco AF. High frequency spinal cord stimulation-New method to restore cough. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2016 Oct;232:54-6. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2016.07.001. Epub 2016 Jul 6 PubMed PMID: 27395446; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5012955.
  • Karam R, Bhunia S, Majerus S, Brose SW, Damaser MS, Bourbeau D. Real-time, autonomous bladder event classification and closed-loop control from single-channel pressure data. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug;2016:5789-5792. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2016.7592043. PubMed PMID: 28269570.
  • Brose SW, Kilbane MJ, Harpster E, Mitchell SJ; ATP., Ho C, Gustafson KJ. Interdisciplinary development of an ergonomic prone mobility cart. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(4):433-42. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2014.11.0279. PubMed PMID: 27533301.
  • McCoin JL, Bhadra N, Brose SW, Gustafson KJ. Does patterned afferent stimulation of sacral dermatomes suppress urethral sphincter reflexes in individuals with spinal cord injury? Neurourol Urodyn. 2014 Feb 9; doi: 10.1002/nau.22545 Pubmed PMID: 24510801
  • Ho CH, Triolo RJ, Elias AL, Kilgore KL, DiMarco AF, Bogie K, Vette AH, Audu ML, Kobetic R, Chang SR, Chan KM, Dukelow S, Bourbeau DJ, Brose SW, Gustafson KJ, Kiss ZHT, Mushahwar VK. Functional electrical stimulation and spinal cord injury. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2014 Aug;25(3):631–654, ix. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2014.05.001 Pubmed PMID: 25064792
  • Wang W, Collinger JL, Perez MA, Tyler-Kabara EC, Cohen LG, Birbaumer N, Brose SW, Schwartz AB, Boninger ML, Weber DJ. Neural interface technology for rehabilitation: exploiting and promoting neuroplasticity. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2010 Feb;21(1):157–178. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2009.07.003 Pubmed PMID: 19951784
  • Brose SW, Jennings DC, Kwok J, Stuart CL, O’Connell SM, Pauli HA, Liu B. Sham manual medicine protocol for cervical strain-counterstrain research. PM R. 2013 May;5(5):400–407. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2013.01.005 Pubmed PMID: 23419718
  • Brose SW, Boninger ML, Fullerton B, McCann T, Collinger JL, Impink BG, Dyson-Hudson TA. Shoulder ultrasound abnormalities, physical examination findings, and pain in manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Nov;89(11):2086–2093. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2008.05.015 Pubmed PMID: 18996236
  • Brose SW, Weber DJ, Salatin BA, Grindle GG, Wang H, Vazquez JJ, Cooper RA. The role of assistive robotics in the lives of persons with disability. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Jun;89(6):509–521. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181cf569b Pubmed PMID: 20134305


Chief of the Spinal Cord Injury and Disabilities Service
Syracuse VA Medical Center

Cleveland FES Center

SCI Medicine Fellowship Director
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Associate Professor of PM&R
SUNY Upstate Medical University

Associate Editor
American Journal of PM&R

Associate Editor
Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine

Chair, Awards Committee
American Spinal Injury Association


Program Contact
Steven Brose

Contact Number
(315) 425-4400

Contact Email