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Innovations in neuromodulation: Modulating brains and improving lives through neural stimulation

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Innovations in neuromodulation: Modulating brains and improving lives through neural stimulation

09 September 2020

12:00 p.m. ET

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Speakers

Neuromodulation describes the process by which neural activity at specific, physiologically relevant locations in the nervous system can be altered using highly targeted, external stimuli. Physical signals—electrical, magnetic, optical, or other—are delivered to the site of interest with the goal of diminishing the negative impacts of particular diseases and ultimately improving the patient’s quality of life. Neuromodulation is a rapidly growing field and has become one of the most important treatments for neurological disorders including pain, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy, among others. Neuromodulation is also a promising and rising treatment for mental disorders such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is critical that the next generation of brain–machine interface technologies not only treats disease, but also addresses the needs of people with disabilities by enhancing the brain’s ability to connect to the world around us. The Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation aims to promote innovation in this field by awarding the most creative research in basic and translational neuromodulation. This webinar invites the 2020 prize winners together with the prize cofounder and a preeminent neuromodulation researcher and physician to discuss advances in state-of-the-art technologies in experimental neuromodulation. They will also highlight possible future directions for this field, particularly in light of aging populations across the world.


During this webinar, the panelists will:

  • Explain the growing role of clinical neuromodulation in the treatment of nervous system disorders
  • Discuss the latest cutting-edge neuromodulation technologies
  • Provide insight into future directions for neuromodulation and translational neuroscience
  • Answer your questions live during the broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D.

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA

Dr. Gradinaru received her B.S. from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford Medical School. After a year in industry, in 2012 she established her own laboratory in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech, where she is now Professor of Neuroscience and Biological Engineering. Her research group specializes in developing neuroscience tools and methods, including engineering of microbial opsins and viral vectors with optimized brain tropism following systemic delivery. Her research uses mouse models of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, combined with electrophysiology and optogenetics, to understand the cellular basis of dysfunction with the goal of developing novel strategies for intervention.

Guosong Hong, Ph.D.

Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Dr. Hong received his undergraduate degree from Peking University and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University in 2018, he moved to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University, where he opened his first laboratory. His research aims to develop new materials-enabled neurotechnologies to interrogate and manipulate the brain with high spatiotemporal resolution, minimal invasiveness, and targeted neural specificity.

Luming Li, Ph.D.

Tsinghua University
Beijing, China

Dr. Li graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1991 and a Ph.D. in 1996, both from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He then joined the faculty at Tsinghua in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is currently the Cheung Kong Scholar Chair Professor and foundering director of the National Engineering Laboratory for Neuromodulation. As a leader of a multidisciplinary research group at Tsinghua, he provides innovative, affordable neuromodulation techniques for patients in developing countries. He is the inventor of variable-frequency stimulation (VFS) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. To help patients in China’s undeveloped areas, he developed remote programming techniques using a unique, secure web-based wireless remote system. VFS devices with the teleprogramming feature are now widely used across China; more than 10,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and other brain disorders are carrying these implanted devices. Dr. Li was awarded First Prize of China’s National Science and Technology Progress Award in 2018 and is one of three founders and the vice president of the Chinese Neuromodulation Society.

Xiaomin Wang, Ph.D.

Capital Medical University
Beijing, China

Dr. Wang graduated from China Medical University in 1982, obtaining his doctoral degree in 1993 from Beijing Medical University and the University of Munich through a joint Ph.D. training program. He is currently a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology at Capital Medical University in Beijing, where his studies have focused on Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Wang has held numerous prestigious positions, including vice president of Capital Medical University (2003–2017), director of the Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders (2012–2017), president of the Beijing Society for Neuroscience (2000–2008), vice president of the Chinese Society for Neuroscience (2002–2010), president of the Chinese Association for Physiological Sciences (2010–2018), chairman of the International Alliance for Translational Neuroscience (2012–2017), chairman of Federation of the Asian and Oceanian Physiological Societies (2015–2019), council member of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (2013–2021), and chief scientist at the National Key Basic Research Program of China for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (2006–2015).

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Science/AAAS
Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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