Photo of Bryan J Pfister

Bryan J Pfister


Professor and Department Chair

Professional Bio

Bryan Pfister received his PhD in Material Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 2002 and did his post-doctoral study in the Dept. of Neurosurgery, Univ of Pennsylvania. He joined the NJIT Biomedical Engineering Department in 2006 where he has served as Chair since 2015. Dr. Pfister’s research encompasses how mechanical forces affect the nervous system - developing new approaches answering long standing questions on the critical role of biomechanical loads on the growth of neurons to the pathogenesis of blast and brunt traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at molecular, cellular and systemic scales. Through novel bioreactor design and biomechanical based methods, his team demonstrated that axon stretch-growth is strain limited and regulates gene transcription distinct from known regenerative associated genes. As director, the Center for Injury Biomechanics, Materials and Medicine focuses on the biomechanics of brain injury from blunt and blast injuries using both animate models and full scale inanimate models of the human brain. He has introduced innovative TBI in vitro and animal models that can precisely control the biomechanical loading parameters. These remain unique models that can independently control the rate, magnitude and impulse of injury. His work has a great impact by linking the rate and impulse of load to the induction and progression of neuronal injury. He has been funded by the DoD, NSF, NIH and the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research. Dr. Pfister maintains a diverse research group of students at all levels training together from undergraduate to postdoctoral scientists. He focuses on the inclusion of students with disabilities and is proud of consistently providing experiences at the undergraduate level including a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program and the McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. Dr. Pfister has recently developed an UG training program, funded in part by an NIH T34 U-RISE program.
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New Jersey
United States
Council of Chairs
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Type of Employer
Area of Expertise
Neural Engineering
Area of Expertise Subspecialty
Contrast Agents and Molecular Probes