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Find Faculty / Andrea Giovannucci

Contact Information:

Andrea Giovannucci

Mary Ellen Jones 9202B
Campus Box 7545
115 Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill NC 27599-7545,

Research Areas:
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Rehabilitation Engineering
  • 2008 PhD Artificial Intelligence. Autonoma University of Barcelona and Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, Bellaterra, Spain
  • 2002 BSc Electrical Engineering, Milan Politecnico, Milan, Italy


“Your brain processes every action, thought, and feeling that composes your conscious and subconscious experience. Billions of neurons (processing units) and trillions of synapses (connections) allow this miracle to happen every day, but very little is known about the computational and biological properties of this complex machine.”

Dr. Giovannucci is an Assistant Professor in Neural Engineering at the UNC/NCSU Joint department of Biomedical Engineering. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Giovannucci was a machine learning data scientist at the Flatiron Institute (Simons Foundation) and a postdoctoral fellow (experimental neuroscience) at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Giovannucci‘s research at the Flatiron Institute has focused on developing algorithms and tools for the analysis of large imaging datasets and animal behavior. This effort has culminated in an open source software suite – CaImAn – that is widely employed by the neuroscience community and includes algorithms to solve several preprocessing problems.
While at Princeton University, Dr. Giovannucci developed hardware, software, behavioral and physiological tools to enable chronic long-term imaging and stimulation in the brain of awake behaving rodents. For the first time, he chronically imaged two types of cerebellar neurons. This opened up the possibility to follow neuronal types previously inaccessible to measurement, while isolating dendritic signals from specific populations and shedding light on coding issues. During his PhD at the Autonoma University of Barcelona and the IIIA-CSIC, Dr. Giovannucci developed scalable algorithms and mechanisms to engineer the organization of multi-agent systems.

The neural engineering laboratory (NEL), headed by Dr. Giovannucci, studies how different learning and sensing mechanisms interact within the brain, with the final goal of developing neural prostheses to recover lost motor or cognitive functions.
The laboratory research is both experimental and computational, with strong emphasis on optical brain imaging and machine learning applied to data analysis.
The NEL lab develops tools for simultaneous recording, modulation and real time extraction of neural dynamics at different brain locations and scales. We support open-source and open-science, therefore distributing our tools as free resources for the scientific community.

Research Interests

Neural engineering
Big data in neuroscience, neural prostheses, all-optical methods, motor learning


Beckman Young Investigator Award 2020
New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research fellow 2012-2015

Juan de la Cierva Fellow, Spanish Ministry of Education 2009-2010

Courses Taught

bmme_480 Machine Learning
bmme_465 Biomedical Instrumentation