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Neuroscience & Neurotechnology

Recent advances have transformed neuroscience research. Wadsworth scientists and engineers are augmenting and exploiting these advances in many different areas. For example, several investigators study the genetic, anatomical, physiological, and immunological bases of neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, environmental, and traumatic disorders. Furthermore, the recent realization that activity-dependent plasticity occurs continually throughout the CNS and throughout life, and that new technology can support complex real-time adaptive interactions with the CNS to induce and guide this plasticity, enables others to develop powerful new research tools and therapeutic methods that can restore useful function to people disabled by injury or disease. These investigators are developing new methods for interacting with the CNS so as to induce plasticity and improve impaired functions. They place strong emphasis on translating basic science advances achieved in the laboratory into clinical studies in humans and eventually into clinical practice. This translational work is concentrated in the new Wadsworth-based National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies, which is supported by a P41 grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.   

Research Area Profile

  • Valerie J. Bolivar

    Valerie J. Bolivar, Ph.D.

    • Neurobehavioral Genetics

    We examine the genetics of brain abnormalities and behavioral impairments associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Our current focus is identifying genes involved in abnormal forebrain connectivity and autism-relevant behaviors in mice.

  • Jonathan Carp, Ph.D.

    Jonathan Carp, Ph.D.

    • Neural Injury and Repair

    We identify the harmful plasticity that occurs after spinal cord injury, which leads to urinary dysfunction, and the development of methods for counteracting or reversing this harmful plasticity.

  • Xiang Yang Chen

    Xiang Yang Chen, Ph.D.

    • National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies

    We elucidate in animal models the complex patterns of brain and spinal cord plasticity that underlie motor skills, and explore how we can enhance CNS plasticity and guide it to promote functional recovery in humans after injury or disease.

  • Bruce J. Herron

    Bruce J. Herron, Ph.D.

    • Mammalian Genomics

    We utilize an array of mammalian genomic tools to discover genetic modifiers that influence multifactorial diseases. These susceptibility loci are targets for diagnosis and treatment of similar disorders in humans.

  •  David A. Lawrence

    David A. Lawrence, Ph.D.

    • Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology and Immunology

    We study the immunological aspect of the system biology effects from genetic susceptibilities and environmental stress defined as the exposome on autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, and neurodegenerative and neurobehavioral illnesses.

  • Dennis J. McFarland, Ph.D.

    Dennis J. McFarland, Ph.D.

    • National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies

    We develop EEG-based BCI systems, particularly those that use sensorimotor rhythms.

  • Gerwin Schalk

    Gerwin Schalk, Ph.D.

    • National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies

    We have developed methods for characterizing complex brain signal processes detected by recordings directly from the surface of the brain. We are using them to acquire new neuroscientific insights and to develop new diagnostic methods for neurosurgery.

  • Abigail Snyder-Keller, Ph.D.

    Abigail Snyder-Keller, Ph.D.

    • Director of the Histopathology Core

    We specialize in neuroanatomical techniques and brain connectivity. Our current focus is the anatomical basis of developmental disorders such as autism and epilepsy.

  • Jonathan R. Wolpaw

    Jonathan R. Wolpaw, M.D.

    • Director of the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies

    We have designed protocols for changing specific pathways in the central nervous system. With these protocols, we explore mechanisms of learning and memory and develop new therapies to restore function to people with spinal cord injury or other disorders.