University of Houston, USA
Metin Akay received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey in 1981 and 1984, respectively and a Ph.D. degree from Rutgers University in 1990. He is currently the founding chair of the new Biomedical Engineering Department and the John S. Dunn professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston. He has played a key role in promoting biomedical education in the world by writing and editing several books, editing several special issues of prestigious journals, including the Proc of IEEE, and giving several keynote and plenary talks at international conferences, symposiums and workshops regarding emerging technologies in biomedical engineering. He is also the founder director of the US-Turkey Advanced Institute on Healthcare, sponsored by the NSF and endorsed by the NAE.
Medical University of Vienna
Prof. Aszmann joined the Division of Plastic Surgery in Vienna, Austria in 1998 where he now holds the position of Associate Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Both his research and clinical focus have always been peripheral nerve reconstruction and extremity/hand rehabilitation. Since 2006 he has entered a close collaboration with the company Otto Bock to explore the possibilities and limits of bionic reconstruction which has now led to the establishment of a Center for Extremity Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. This Center has at its core interest the recovery and rehabilitation patients with impaired extremity function.
The Biorobotics Institute
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa
Title: Achievements and challenges towards the development of thought controlled prostheses
Christian Cipriani is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Head of the Artificial Hands Area at The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA), Pisa, Italy. He received the M.Sc. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2004 and the Ph.D. in BioRobotics from the IMT Institute for advanced studies, Lucca, Italy in 2008. He has been working at the SSSA since 2005 and –as a Visiting Scientist– at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, in 2012, within many national and international research projects on prosthetics and robotics. His current field of research is (bio)mechatronics applied to the area of upper limb prosthetics. He is interested in mechatronic, controllability and sensory feedback issues of dexterous robotic hands to be used as thought-controlled prostheses. On these topics he has authored ~100 peer reviewed scientific papers, ~50 of which on international journals in the field of prosthetics and rehabilitation robotics. He also filed eight patents on related fields and founded a spin-off company of the Scuola Sant’Anna – Prensilia. Dr. Cipriani is the recipient of several awards including a Starting Grant from the European Research Council in 2015, an early career grant by the Italian Ministry of Research in 2011 (FIRB 2010 program), a Fulbright Research Scholar fellowship in 2011 and the d’Auria Award from the Italian Robotics and Automation Association, in 2009.
Universita’ di Messina
Title: Muscle synergies for motor control
Andrea d’Avella obtained a B.Sc. in Physics at Milan University, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at M.I.T. (2000) working on the modular organization of the motor system under the supervision of Emilio Bizzi. In 2003 he joined the Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology at Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy. Since 2015 he is Professor of Physiology in the Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging at the University of Messina, Italy. His research is focused on investigating sensorimotor control of reaching and interceptive movements, muscle synergies, and motor adaptation. He has developed a decomposition algorithm to identify time-varying muscle synergies from multi-muscle EMG recordings and an approach using myoelectric control in a virtual environment (“virtual surgeries”) to probe the synergistic organization of the motor system. He has coordinated and participated in international research projects funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program Organization and by the European Union. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Neural Control of Movement from 2007 to 2016. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Motor Behavior, the Journal of Neurophysiology and Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.
Cajal Institute, CSIC
Title: Pathway-specific local field potentials: extraction and applications
Degree in Biological Sciences and PhD, Univ. Complutense of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Staff Researcher, Itto Cajal – CSIC, Madrid, Spain
His early career involved training in in vivo electrophysiology (LFPs and evoked potentials) that he combined for the first time with microdialysis to study mechanisms of sensory input processing by the hippocampus. Dr. Carreras took a detour into translational research during a postdoc time in Somjen’s lab at Duke University (NC, USA) to study electro-physiological aspects of ischemia, epilepsy and migraine-related events that granted me experience in slow sustained field potentials and non-standard current generators in brain pathology. His team made notable contributions to the biophysics of spreading depolarization waves that characterize ictus and TBI, and the metabolic relation between neurons and glia; they proposed their failure as primary trigger of neuron death. They later developed an optimization of blind source separation techniques for analysis of intracerebral LFPs to obtain parallel readouts of pathway-specific activities, which has been successfully employed to check for sustained changes of activity upon synaptic plasticity, maturation of synaptic circuits, functionality of induced spinogenesis, and currently to the irradiation of abnormal activity from an epileptic focus into cortico-hippocampal circuits.
IRCCS Fondazione S. Lucia
Title: Robots for rehabilitation or rehabilitation for robots. Physical therapist and technology in the loop for rehabilitation
Dr. Marco Molinari (Neurologist, Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, PhD in Neuroscience) is the Director of Neurorehabilitation Translational Researchand Clinic at IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome. The Department integrates Neuroscience research and clinical neurological rehabilitation units. The clinical ward is devoted to rehabilitation of patients with brain or spinal cord lesions in a multidisciplinary environment. Research activity span from basic science approaches in animal models to development and testing of new rehab approaches in humans. Dr. Molinari is author of over 150 articles published on indexed journals. SCOPUS H-index 45. He is Review Editor of The Cerebellum. Research activity has been always focused on brain plasticity mechanisms and functional recovery both at basic science and clinical levels.
Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics
Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR)
University of Heidelberg
Title: Understanding and improving human movement with model-based optimization
Katja Mombaur is a full professor at the Institute of Computer Engineering (ZITI) of Heidelberg University and head of the Optimization in Robotics & Biomechanics (ORB) group as well as the Robotics Lab. She holds a diploma degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Stuttgart and a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from Heidelberg University. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Robotics Lab at Seoul National University, South Korea. She also spent two years as a visiting researcher in the Robotics department of LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse. Katja Mombaur is coordinator of the newly founded Heidelberg Center for Motion Research. She also is PI in the European H2020 project SPEXOR and the Graduate School HGS MathComp as well as in several national projects. Until recently, she has coordinated the EU FP7 project KoroiBot and was PI in the EU projects MOBOT and ECHORD–GOP. She is founding chair of the IEEE RAS technical committee Model-based optimization for robotics.
Her research focuses on understanding human movement and using this knowledge to improve motions of humanoid robots and in the interactions of humans with exoskeletons, prostheses and external physical devices. Her particular interest is on dynamic motions such as walking, running, and other kinds of motions in sports, as well as motions of daily life. She and her team use and develop dynamic models and optimization methods for motion studies, based on the assumption that human movement is optimal. In this context they are also interested in inverse optimal control which can determine what a human is optimizing in a given situation.
Title: Induction of neural plasticity in humans
Natalie Mrachacz-Kersting, Ph.D., obtained the M.Ed. degree in Human Movement Science from the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, in 1997, and the PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark in 2005. In 2005-2007 she has been a lecturer at the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand and in 2007-2009 an assistant professor in Motor Control at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark. Since 2009 she has worked as associate professor at the Department of Health Science and Technology at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark. There she is the head of two laboratories, the Motor Control Laboratory and the Neuroplasticity Laboratory. Her main research interest is focused on the role of feedback from muscle afferents in both motor control and neural plasticity.
Director, National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies
Wadsworth Center. New York State Deparment of Health
Department of Neurology, Albany Stratton VA Medical Center
Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Columbia University
Over the past 30 years, Dr. Wolpaw’s laboratory has developed and used operant conditioning of spinal reflexes as a model for defining the plasticity underlying learning. His group’s recent work shows that reflex conditioning can guide spinal cord plasticity in spinal cord-injured rats and can thereby improve locomotion. Clinical researchers are now finding evidence that such conditioning can improve locomotion in people with partial spinal cord injuries. For the past 20 years, Dr. Wolpaw has also led development of EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) technology to provide non-muscular communication and control to people who are paralyzed. Most recently, his group has begun to provide BCI systems to severely disabled people for daily use in their homes.
Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research
Title: Brain-state dependent stimulation: a novel avenue for neurorehabilitation?
Clinical Director of the Department Neurology & Stroke, and Co-Director of the Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Germany
Clinical expertise: Clinical Neurophysiology, stroke, emergency neurology, multiple sclerosis, neurooncology, peripheral neurology. Research focus: Human motor cortex, excitability, plasticity, motor learning, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), non-invasive brain stimulation, brain-state dependent stimulation, closed-loop stimulation, neuropharmacology, TMS-EEG, neuroimaging. Current positions: Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Neurophysiology; member of ExCo of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) and of the German Society of Clinical Neurophysiology and Functional Neuroimaging (DKGN). Awards: Richard-Jung Prize of the DGKN, NIH Merit Award, NIH Fellowship Award for Research Excellence. Publications: 266 peer-reviewed publications, 38 book chapters, 6 Books, Cumulative IF: 1.174, Citations: 15.848, ISI h-index: 67.
Dipl.-Ing., Dr. techn., CEO
g.tec medical engineering GmbH
g.tec medical engineering Spain SL
g.tec neurotechnology USA, Inc.
GUGER TECHNOLOGIES OG
Title: Brain neural computer interfaces and novel medical applications
Günter Edlinger, PhD. studied control engineering at the University of Technology Graz, Austria and carried out research work at the Graz Institute for Biomedical Engineering where he worked as an assistant professor and teacher. He is co-founder and CEO of g.tec since 1999 and responsible for R&D with special emphasis on the development and production of the biosignal sensing, acquisition and processing hardware for the g.tec medical systems.