The New York Academy of Science (NYAS) is planning an important scientific conference entitled, Building Better Brains: Neural Prosthetics and Beyond, to be held September 23-25, 2010 at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, CO. The principal investigator for this conference grant is Andrew Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh. Other members of the scientific organizing committee are Richard Andersen, Ph.D., the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience, California Institute of Technology, and P. Hunter Peckham, Ph.D., Donnell Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedics, Case Western Reserve University. The use of neural prosthetics to replace motor, sensory, or cognitive functions lost by disease or injury holds great therapeutic promise. However, neural prosthetics have not yet been widely used in humans. This meeting will highlight the most cutting-edge developments on neural prosthetic devices for humans and a will include a careful review of the current obstacles to using neural prosthetics therapeutically, as well as the related ethical and regulatory issues. This symposium will bring together physicians, neurosurgeons, neurobiologists, cognitive neuroscientists, computer scientists, mathematicians, bioengineers, ethicists, and regulatory officials to increase understanding of the issues inherent in developing effective neural prosthetics. This meeting is also expected to increase collaborations and communications among basic researchers and physicians, and will include detailed and extensive dissemination for both the scientific community and lay public/patients. The agenda lists confirmed participants who are all world-renowned experts in their fields. The goal of our conference is to develop and disseminate information that will enhance the utilization of neural prosthetic devices that are therapeutically viable for patients. The conference agenda will address the following issues;1) presentation of the most recent advances in basic neurobiological research to inform development of neural prosthetics, 2) an overview of cutting edge discoveries in bioengineering and materials that will allow for the development of neural prosthetic devices that function effectively within the human body, 3) discussion of how to improve upon the clinical trial results on neural prosthetics, 4) the unique regulatory and ethical problems that are associated with using neural prosthetics in people, and 5) how to use neural prosthetics to treat disorders including not only neurodegenerative diseases and paralysis, but also depression and epilepsy. Participants will include both established and young career scientists, providing a platform for young people to enter this field. Furthermore, the meeting content will be available to a wider audience including the general public via the electronic and print dissemination materials.
The use of neural prosthetics to replace motor, sensory, or cognitive functions lost by disease or injury holds great therapeutic promise however this technology have not yet been widely used in humans. The importance of this conference """"""""Building Better Brains: Neural Prosthetics and Beyond"""""""" is to bring together a diverse community of experts in neurobiology, bioengineering, and medicine to discuss the immediate issues that need to be addressed for clinical efficacy and use of neural prosthetic devices in patients.