University Receives Grant for Biomedical Research

Posted: May 25, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and the Department of Physics and Astronomy have received a three-year, $210,000 grant from the Whitaker Foundation. The award, in support of biomedical engineering research, is the first from the Whitaker Foundation for both George Mason and the Krasnow Institute. The goal of the project is to lay a foundation for a novel neural prosthetics based on electric field modulation of brain network activity. One specific focus is to create seizure control devices that may be implanted into the brain.

The research will be led by Bruce Gluckman (Krasnow, Physics and Astronomy) in collaboration with Paul So (Krasnow, Physics and Astronomy) and Steven Schiff (Krasnow, Psychology).

“This research has the potential to change the lives of millions of Americans,” says James Olds, director of the Krasnow Institute. “It’s a clear example of how basic research at the intersection of neurobiology and physics can translate into the doctor’s clinic or medical intensive care unit.”

Gluckman and his collaborators have already demonstrated the ability to modulate seizure activity using electric fields. Their efforts under this grant are to design the hardware and software needed to interact with networks locally and responsively.

The Krasnow Institute, located on the Fairfax Campus, is an independent research institution focused on interdisciplinary research at the intersection of neurobiology, computer science, and cognitive psychology.

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