Welcome to the SONIC Lab



Hubert H. Lim, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Institute for Translational Neuroscience Scholar

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Director of SONIC Lab


Chief Scientific Officer

Neuromod Devices Limited - link

Dublin, Ireland


The goal of the lab is to push the development and translation of neural interfaces and medical technologies from scientific concept into clinical application with close collaboration with clinicians and industry. Initial medical applications focus on treating hearing loss, tinnitus and pain. We utilize a range of invasive and noninvasive technologies and approaches including electrical stimulation, ultrasound imaging and stimulation, EEG, and invasive neural recordings in animals and humans to rapidly push technology into the clinical and consumer realm. All projects in the lab follow the translational process depicted in the schematic below. The lab consists of both animal facilities and human testing space to perform proof-of-concept experiments that can then be developed and tested in pilot human studies, followed by further scientific and translational research to achieve confirmatory clinical trials and commercialization.


The SONIC Lab is pursuing a range of neural engineering and clinical topics. Please click on the images below for further details on each project.

Please click on research image for further details

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Central Auditory Prostheses

Neural Beamforming for Tinnitus

Enhanced Hearing Aid in Humans

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Neuromodulation of Inflammation and the Immune System

Ultrasound Modulation of Brain and Nerves

New Hearing Technologies

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Encoding-Decoding Neural Activity of the Auditory System

Mapping Cross-Sensory Coding of the Brain

Autonomic & Peripheral Neural Recording and Stimulation



  • 11/19 - Congratulations to Claire Kaiser for her talk on collaborating with industry partners from a student's perspective, including advice and lessons learned at the MnDRIVE Retreat. She also won the first place poster competition!
  • 9/19 - Our company collaborators have won a $3.35 million DARPA SBIR award. Together, we will be starting a new company (SecondWave) pushing low-cost ultrasound plataforms for neuromodulation and end-organ stimulation. Congratulations! 
  • 9/19 - Congratulations to Claire Kaiser and Abby Heiller for passing their Oral Preliminar Exams! They are officially Doctoral Candidates.
  • 8/19 - Congratulations to Claire Kaiser for being awarded a second year of funding by the Neuroimaging T32 Training grant! Also, congratulations to Gerardo Rodriguez for also renewing for a second year of funding the NRT Fellowship!
  • 7/19 - Check out the new auto-commentary that the SONIC Lab has published in collaboration with GE discussing the clinical applications of peripheral ultrasound stimulation. 
  • 6/19 - An article in JAMA highlights our research into ultrasound neuromodulation of the spleen to treat disease 
  • 6/19 - Our research into ultrasound stimulation of the spleen to treat arthritis was mentioned in the June edition of Scientfic American Magazine. See Gholipou, Bahar. "Sonic Therapy" Scientific American, June 2019: 14. Print.
  • 5/19 - Check out the new article in Science Translational Medicine regarding the SONIC lab's research into treating inflammatory arthritis! 
  • 4/19 - Congratulations to Claire and Dan for placing 2nd in the Neuromodulation Symposium poster competition!
  • 4/19 - Congratulations to Claire and Abby for placing 3rd in the Medical Devices category at the IEM poster awards!
  • 4/19 - Congratulations to Abby and Gerardo for being awarded the NRT Fellowship for the 2019-2020 year!
  • 4/19 - Check out the new article on the Minnesota Dail on our new NIH grant!
  • 3/19 - Congratulations to Hubert Lim, the lead researcher on a $9.7 million NIH grant to restore hearing. This grant will fund a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, the University of Utah, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health, Hannover Medical School, International Neuroscience Institute, the Hannover Clinical Trial Center, Blackrock Microsystems LLC, and MED-EL. Read more about the grant in the links by The College of Science and Engineering, UMN, Medical School and NewsWise.