Faculty Directory
Matthew Tresch

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech M313
Evanston, IL 60208-3107

Email Matthew Tresch


Biomedical Engineering


Ph.D. Neuroscience, MIT, Cambridge, MA

B.A. Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Research Interests

We examine the neural control of movement, focusing on the role of spinal circuitry.  We use an interdisciplinary approach in this research, using a combination of behavioral, biomechanical, and neurophysiological techniques.  Our current research examines the neural control of internal joint variables, evaluating the hypothesis that the nervous system actively regulates the stresses and strains within joints in order to minimize injury. We examine this issue using biomechanics, characterizing how muscles affect the stresses and strains within joints; using behavioral studies, characterizing how the CNS adapts kinematics and muscle activations to compensate for alterations in joint structures; and using electrophysiological studies, examining the neural systems involved in regulating joint stresses and strains.

We are also developing neuroprostheses for restoring functional movements following spinal cord injury. This is collaborative work with Dr. Lee Miller.  Previous work from his lab has shown the potential of cortically controlled FES: using cortical predictions of muscle activation to drive stimulation of paralyzed muscles, thereby restoring natural control of a paralyzed animals’ own limb.  We are developing these procedures in a rodent model, examining whether this approach can be used to restore the hindlimb movements underlying locomotion in animals paralyzed by spinal cord injury.

Selected Publications

  • Raeed H. Chowdhury, Matthew C. Tresch, Lee E. Miller, “Musculoskeletal geometry accounts for apparent extrinsic representation of paw position in dorsal spinocerebellar tract”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (2017)
  • Katharina A. Quinlan, Elma Kajtaz, Jody D. Ciolino, Rebecca D. Imhoff-Manuel, Matthew C. Tresch, Charles J. Heckman, Vicki M. Tysseling, “Chronic electromyograms in treadmill running SOD1 mice reveal early changes in muscle activation”, Journal of Physiology, (2017)
  • Max Berniker, Anthony Jarc, Konrad Kording, Matthew Tresch, “A Probabilistic Analysis of Muscle Force Uncertainty for Control”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, (2016)
  • Eric M. Schearer, Yu Wei Liao, Eric J. Perreault, Matthew C. Tresch, William D. Memberg, Robert F. Kirsch, Kevin M. Lynch, “Semiparametric Identification of Human Arm Dynamics for Flexible Control of a Functional Electrical Stimulation Neuroprosthesis”, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, (2016)
  • Cristiano Alessandro, Filipe Oliveira Barroso, Matthew Tresch, “Working hard to make a simple definition of synergies. Comment on”, Physics of Life Reviews, (2016)
  • Lynch, Kevin M.; Tresch, Matthew C.; Perreault, Eric J.; Schearer, Eric M.; Liao, Yu-Wei, “Evaluation of a semi-parametric model for high-dimensional FES control”, International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, NER, (2015)
  • Tresch, Matthew C.; Perreault, Eric J.; Steele, Katherine M., “Consequences of biomechanically constrained tasks in the design and interpretation of synergy analyses”, Journal of Neurophysiology, (2015)
  • Lynch, Kevin M.; Tresch, Matthew C.; Perreault, Eric J.; Schearer, Eric M.; Liao, Yu-Wei, “Identifying inverse human arm dynamics using a robotic testbed”, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, (2014)