Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Laboratory

Dr. Gillick with children during a lab study.

Empowering Children for Life.

The Gillick Pediatric Neuromodulation Laboratory focuses on cortical plasticity and recovery from neurologic insult across the lifespan. The Laboratory research encompasses the use of different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial Direct Current stimulation), in combination with behavioral training, for improved motor function after brain injury.


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The NIH highlighted Dr. Gillick's NIH K01 research project Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Constraint-Induced Therapy in Cerebral Palsy  Over 50 investigators and collaborators contributed to this research, with the dedication of 20 enrolled children and their families from across the United States.
  • NEW STUDY! “Brain Stimulation and Function” for children and young adults 7-21 years. Click HERE for more details.
  • Dr. Gillick, McKnight Land-Grant Professor, has been named a Representative on the Global Professional Education Committee for the International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability. This Alliance represents the American/Canadian, Australasian and European Academies of Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Medicine and Childhood Disability. Her role will involve promoting a global standard of multi-disciplinary education and dissemination surrounding interventions for children with disabilities and their families. In addition, Dr. Gillick has been awarded the Eugene Michels Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This national award recognizes outstanding contributions to research related to the physical therapy profession.

Look inside the lab                       Gillick  Newsletter


Summary: In this study, we evaluated the children from our repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)/Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) clinical trial using MRI, a finger tracking task, and TMS testing.  TMS testing allows us a “window into the brain” to learn if the child has preserved corticospinal tract input to the more-affected hand.  We learned that the group of children who had preserved corticospinal tract input (identified with a motor evoked potential on their lesioned hemisphere), had greater volumes in brain structures as compared to the group of children who did not have preserved corticospinal tracts. The difference in volumes was associated with reduced ability to accurately complete a finger tracking task with their less-affected hand. 

Summary: Pilot study incorporating our computerized modeling outcomes to investigate safety and feasibility using a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS). TDCS has not previously been investigated in children with hemiparesis. No serious adverse events occurred, and no decline in cognitive or motor function was found. Minor adverse events are described.

Summary: Study which created a computerized model of a brain in order to establish optimal safety for the dose of non-invasive brain stimulation called transcranial direct current stimulation

Summary: Expansion of description from our original publication, specific to safety. No serious adverse events occured in our rTMS/CIMT study which used a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with constraint--induced therapy. The procedures we used to work with establishing and analyzing safety in our study and minor adverse events which are further described.

In response: A commentary article - Hoare, B. Putting some excitement into constraint-induced movement therapy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2014; 56(1)5-6 doi:10.1111/dmcn.12272

Summary: Comments from an international expert on the novelty and outcomes related to our work.

Summary: Description of the changes in hand function and other measures in our rTMS/CIMT study. This study used a form of non-invasive brain stimulation called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) combined with constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). We found that this intervention was well-tolerated and that 8 of 10 children in the intervention group showed significant improvements in hand function. No serious adverse events occurred, with the most common minor adverse events being headache and cast irritation which resolved within 24 hours.

Summary: Discussion of neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to change).


McKnight Land Grant Professor (2017-2019)
New Mexico Brain Injury Conference, Plenary Speaker
American Physical Therapy Association, Eugene Michels New Investigator Award
Representative, Global Professional Education Committee, Int'l Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability

President Kaler/MnDRIVE Press Conference Speaker to MN Legislature
MN Governor Dayton Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month May 2016 Proclamation Co-Author
Australian Consulate Cerebral Palsy Alliance Award, NYC, NY

NIH Fellowship: Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials
American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine 2015 Plenary Speaker

AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar - University of Minnesota Medical School Representative
Developmental Medicine Child Neurology Journal - Editor's Choice Manuscript

American Physical Therapy Association Section on Pediatrics - Best Dissertation Award
Keynote 2013 Graduation Speaker - Doctor of Physical Therapy

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - Top 25 Article Summer 2012
University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute - Best Poster Award



Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program provides children with cerebrovascular disease and their families with state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and support while providing the opportunity to participate in leading clinical research initiatives. 

Cerebral Palsy Research Registry is a multi-institutional collaborative effort whose primary mission is to improve our understanding of cerebral palsy.

Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association exists to help children who have survived an early brain injury that results in hemiplegia or hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body. is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. is a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke offers the needed resources, support, inspiration, knowledge and information that will empower you to better understand pediatric stroke.

Research Match is a free and secure registry developed by major academic institutions across the country who want to involve you in helping today's research studies make a real difference for everyone's health in the future.


Novel Neuromodulatory Intervention in the Rehabilitation of Pediatric Hemiparesis

Funding: NIH K01 Career Development Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Timeline: September 2014- June 2019
Project Goals: Evaluate the safety and efficacy of combined tDCS/CIMT in children with hemiparesis; and examine the influence of combined tDCS/CIMT on brain excitability and reorganization
Dr. Gillick's role: Principal Investigator

The Alberta Perinatal Stroke Program: Neuromodulation to Optimize Outcomes
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Timeline: July 2015-June 2022
Dr. Gillick's role: Co-investigator


Previous Funding 

Associated Facilities

Gillick Lab (map)
Room 320
426 Church St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0222

Center for Neurobehavioral Development (map)
717 Delaware Street SE, Ste. 333
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Clinical & Translational Science Institute (map)
Masonic Memorial Building
424 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (map)
2021 Sixth Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Lab Director

Bernadette T. Gillick
Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT
Principal Investigator 

Contact Us

Phone: 612-626-6415
Fax: 612-625-4274

Lab Location

320 Children's Rehabilitation Center
426 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address

Gillick Pediatric Research Lab
University of Minnesota
420 Delaware Street SE
MMC 388
Minneapolis, MN 55455