Designed especially for neurobiologists, FluoRender is an interactive tool for multi-channel fluorescence microscopy data visualization and analysis.
Deep brain stimulation
BrainStimulator is a set of networks that are used in SCIRun to perform simulations of brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and magnetic transcranial stimulation (TMS).
Developing software tools for science has always been a central vision of the SCI Institute.
 Harley Astin

Harley Astin - Graduate Research Assistant

MEB 1464
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
supervisor Dr. Benjamin Ellis


I am a Graduate student in the University of Utah's Biomedical Engineering program, currently in my first year of the Master's portion of the BS/MS degree. I have been in the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory since my junior year as an undergrad, where I have completed my senior thesis, published my research in the Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, and am currently working on my Master’s thesis.

Current Responsibilities

In the MRL I currently work on the creation of Finite Element (FE) models of the cervical spine, specifically the Craniocervial juntion (CCJ). The focus of my work has been on making comparisons between healthy, age-matched normal CCJ’s and those of patients with diseases that may cause malformations in this area of the neck, such as those with Down syndrome or Chiari Malformation.

Research Interests

The overall interest for the research I have done is to advance the field of Finite Element Modeling in Biomechanics in a way that will help make this technology even more clinically relevant. Working with surgeons from the University of Utah’s Department of Neurosurgery, we determine whether the models I have created are physiologically accurate and if the differences we see between the normal and diseases spines may have some clinical significance. This kind of technology really fascinates me, and I hope that one day it can be used predict patient specific problems the might see in their anatomy so that physicians may be able to take preventative measures for these issues rather than having to fix them after injury has occurred.