RICHARDSON, Texas (June 21, 2006) — The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will host a three-day conference beginning June 26 that will highlight the latest advances in neurological bioengineering. The Neuroengineering Now symposium, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Jonsson School’s TI Auditorium on the UTD campus and feature leading experts from across the United States, as well as researchers from local universities, including UTD, UT Southwestern Medical Center and The University of Texas at Arlington.
Many of the neuroengineers participating in the event have focused their studies on creating neuro-interfaces between the human nervous system and machines that assist, restore or enhance human abilities. Conference discussions will address those discoveries, and, among other things, theoretical and technical issues; research aimed at assisting, restoring or enhancing human sensory abilities; neuro-prostheses as a replacement for lost limbs; and neuroimaging.
Conference highlights will include:
- Dr. Bruce Wheeler of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will give a talk titled “Brain on a Chip,” which will detail his work with cultured neuronal networks.
- Drs. Jay Rubinstein and Jeffrey Longnion, both of the University of Washington, will discuss refining and improving cochlear implants. Others, including Dr. Donald Eddington of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dr. Philip Loizou of UTD, will present research about augmented audition and cochlear implants.
- Dr. Gregory Gerling of the University of Virginia will discuss fingertip microstructures and the neural encoding of touch.
- Dr. Joseph Pancrazio of the National Institutes of Health will report about the initiative to develop a new generation of prostheses that will enable amputees to achieve more normal function than ever before.
- Dr. Karen Moxon of Drexel University will discuss brain-level implants for controlling neuro-prostheses, and Dr. Pedro Irazoqui of Perdue University will talk about prosthetic devices for epilepsy and spinal cord repair.
- Dr. Curtis Ponton of the company Neuroscan will discuss the simultaneous acquisition of EEG and fMRI neuroimaging.
A number of local companies also are participating in the conference, including Plexon, based in Dallas, and Plano-headquartered Advanced Neuromodulation Systems (ANS). Harvey Wiggins, chief executive officer of Plexon, has created a grant to support outstanding students who are attending and presenting their research at the conference, and ANS will host a tour and reception on Tuesday evening, June 27 at their facility on Preston Road. Additionally, Dr. Lawrence Cauller of UTD will discuss his collaborative research with Dallas’ Zyvex Corporation in the development of a neuro-micro-transponder.