2019 NEURAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

April 4 - 5, 2019 | University of Miami

Overview

Welcome to the third Annual Neural Engineering Symposium at the University of Miami organized by the Institute for Neural Engineering (INEM), Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the Department of Biomedical Engineering and A Seed for Success (SEEDS). Neural Engineering facilitates the development of new clinical technologies for the assessment of neurological function and the treatment of neurological diseases. To energize fundamental aspects of neural science, engineering and reparative medicine, and facilitate collaborations across various disciplines, the University of Miami is hosting this third Research Symposium in Neural Engineering and invites you to be a part of the event.

Research Symposium aims to bring together the research, education, innovation and industry communities that can help energize fundamental aspects of neural science, engineering and reparative medicine, and facilitate collaborations across various disciplines.

Program

Click HERE to view program.

Thursday, April 4th - Lois Pope Life Center, 7th Floor Auditorium (Miller School of Medicine campus)
9:00am - 11:30 am Session 1: Translational Neuroscience
11:45am - 1:45 pm Poster session and lunch. This year we will also have dynamic poster presentations!
2:00pm - 4:30pm Session 2: Neurotechnology and Development
Friday, April 5th - School of Nursing and Health Studies, 3rd floor Auditorium (Coral Gables campus)
9:00am - 12:00pm Session 3: Science and Health Applications using Augmented Reality

Program committee members:

Coleen Atkins, PhD
Associate Professor
Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

Helen Bramlett, PhD
Professor
Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

Julia Dallman, PhD
Associate Professor
Biology

Michael Hoffer, MD
Professor
Otolaryngology

Fabrice Manns, PhD
Professor
Biomedical Engineering

 

Ozcan Ozdamar, PhD
Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Monica Perez, PhD
Professor
Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

Abhishek Prasad, PhD
Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Odelia Schwartz, PhD
Associate Professor
Computer Science

Organized by the Institute for Neural Engineering at the University of Miami
Dr. W. Dalton Dietrich and Dr. Suhrud M. Rajguru, Co-Directors, Institute for Neural Engineering

Key Dates

Friday, March 1st Last day to Submit Abstract
Monday, March 11th Last day to Register

Abstract Submission

*For any registration and/or abstract submissions after the deadline, please email Dr. Suhrud Rajguru.*

Participants will receive notification of acceptance for poster presentations by Thursday, March 7th. 

CLICK HERE to browse abstracts scheduled for poster presentation at the Symposium. 

The poster session at this meeting is aimed to allow for the exchange of scientific discoveries and novel innovations within the neuroscience and neural engineering field. Please follow guidelines below to prepare your posters:

  • Each poster presenter will receive an identifier (poster number) and is assigned a six foot (1.8 m) by four foot (1.2 m) poster board to use for presentation.
  • Poster session will take place between 11:30am to 2:00pm.

Speakers

Come and join colleagues from biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, neuroscience, neurosurgery, and psychology in this two-day event. Network with neuroengineering researchers and key opinion leaders from other Florida institutions including University of Florida, Florida International University, University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, Max Planck and Scripps Research.

Translational Neuroscience
Lucina Uddin, PhD

Lucina Uddin, PhD
Associate Professor
Psychology
University of Miami

Clinical Network Neuroscience

The newly emerging fields of “network neuroscience” and “human connectomics” are based on the realization that theories from network science and complex systems can provide unique insights into brain and cognitive processes. Our current projects aim to translate network neuroscience findings into the clinical realm. Contemporary theories in this domain posit that brain signal variability and dynamics across large-scale networks underlie flexible brain function. Findings from children with neurodevelopmental conditions including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder suggest that atypical development is characterized by marked alterations in brain signal variability that are related to symptomatology in these disorders. Our work contributes to an emerging consensus that quantification of brain dynamics and brain signal variability can provide novel insights into the neural mechanisms underlying individual differences in cognitive and behavioral flexibility.

Bio

After receiving a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the psychology department at UCLA in 2006, Dr. Uddin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center at NYU. For several years she worked as a faculty member in Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at the Stanford School of Medicine. She joined the psychology department at the University of Miami in 2014. Dr. Uddin’s research uses multi-modal neuroimaging to examine the organization of large-scale brain networks supporting executive functions. Her current projects focus on understanding dynamic network interactions underlying cognitive inflexibility in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Dr. Uddin’s work has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex, JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, PNAS, and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

Timothy A. Allen, PhD

Timothy A. Allen, PhD
Assistant Professor 
Psychology
Florida International University

Pigs as an Ideal Model for Translational Behavioral Neuroscience

In order to understand complex cognition, it will be critical to record and manipulate large networks of neurons across the brain. Whole-brain fMRI in humans has revealed network activation states thought to subserve cognitive function, and there is associated evidence for homologous networks in other mammals. However, MRI experiments cannot evaluate the activity of individual neurons which requires invasive approaches most common in rodents and primates, each of which presents significant obstacles for large-scale neuronal recording and network manipulations during cognitive tasks. We suggest a new model using the domestic pig. Similar to humans, pigs have a large gyrencephalic neocortex with a total brain mass only 1/10th of the human. By contrast, the rat is lissencephalic and 1/500th the mass. In developing the pig as a model for behavioral neuroscience, we established two memory tasks. The first is a non-spatial conditional associative learning paradigm identical to one used in human fMRI studies. For the pig, the task was adapted with a touchscreen and run with custom PsychoPy scripts. Behavioral performance mirrored that observed in humans. Next, we aimed to copy spatial memory tasks used in rodents. We built a large automated T-maze (5m x 4m) with guillotine doors, return arms, and real-time tracking, all controlled via custom MATLAB functions. In the T-maze, pigs perform a spatial alternation task commonly used in electrophysiological studies of the hippocampus. Lastly, we developed a method for untethered chronic large-scale electrophysiological recordings in pigs. We designed a 3D printable stereotaxic enclosure system which supports at least eight separate chronic electrode probe assemblies for multisite implants. The electrophysiological recording system itself (SpikeGadgets) is also small enough to fit within our enclosure and onboards data to an SD card (up to 256 channels). This wireless implant setup allows subjects free mobility within and between behavioral rigs. Although early in our development of the pig model, it has become clear that there is unique opportunity here, not only for the addition of a large animal translational step in the research pipeline, but also toward addressing previously intractable questions regarding the function of large-scale networks of neurons during complex cognition.

Bio

Dr. Allen is the Director of the Neurocircuitry & Cognition Lab at Florida International University. The lab was established to study the neurobiological mechanisms of cognition and related mental health disorders, with an emphasis on the role of long-range connections between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in animal models. The lab translates animal findings to human populations through collaborations with neuroimaging and clinical experts.
Dr. Allen earned his doctorate at Yale University in 2008 and completed work as a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the University of California, Irvine in July 2013. Dr. Allen then served as an Associate Project Scientist in the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine until he joined the faculty in the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at Florida International University in August 2015

Steven Bressler, PhD

Steven Bressler, PhD
Interim Director & Professor
Psychology
Florida Atlantic University

 

Mario A. Saporta, MD, PhD, MBA

Mario A. Saporta, MD, PhD, MBA
Assistant Professor of Clinical
University of Miami

Bio

Mario Saporta, MD, PhD, MBA is an assistant professor of Neurology and Human Genetics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is the director of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) Center of Excellence and Muscular Dystrophy Association Care Center at the University of Miami where he coordinates a multidisciplinary clinic to provide specialized care for patients with neuromuscular neurogenetic diseases. He also leads the CMT translational stem cell laboratory where he develops patient-derived platforms for drug discovery in CMT.

After completing his Neurology training in his home country of Brazil, Dr. Saporta trained in neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine with emphasis in the peripheral neuropathies, in centers in the United Kingdom (Institute of Neurology, University College London), France (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bicêtre) and the US. He did his Neuromuscular/Neurophysiology fellowship at the Detroit Medical Center with Prof. Michael Shy and was the first clinical research fellow of the NIH Inherited Neuropathy Consortium.

Dr. Saporta has published extensively on the pathophysiology of different types of CMT, using various disease models, including patients’ skin biopsies, knockin mouse models and stem cell derived motor neurons from patients with CMT. He has worked for 2 years as a visiting scientist at iPierian, a biotechnology company that pioneered the use of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells for drug discovery in neurological disorders. Dr. Saporta was the first investigator to publish on the use of patient-derived motor neurons to study CMT.

Dr. Saporta’s current research interest includes the identification of mediators of axon degeneration in inherited neuropathies and the use of patient-derived neuronal cell lines for drug discovery in neuroscience.

Julia Dallman, PhD

Julia Dallman, PhD
Associate Professor & Associate Chair
Biology
University of Miami

Assessing Altered Sensory Function and Gastrointestinal Distress in a Zebrafish Model of Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is currently estimated to affect more than 1% of the world population. While ASD is diagnosed by communication deficits and repetitive behaviors, co-occurring symptoms such as developmental delay, altered sensory processing, and gastrointestinal (GI) distress are also common. It is not clear whether or not these diverse symptoms are causally related. Here we assess multiple systems in a zebrafish to model Phelan McDermid Syndrome that is caused by mutations in SHANK3 gene.

To generate this zebrafish model of Phelan McDermid Syndrome, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce clinically-informed frameshift mutations in the proline rich domain of both shank3a and shank3b (shank3abC) zebrafish paralogues. Because ASD phenotypes in humans are caused by haploinsufficiency, we assessed heterozygous and homozygous zebrafish larvae for both shank3a and b paralogues for sensorimotor integration (escape kinematics, Visual Motor Response, and seizure susceptibility) and GI phenotypes. For some phenotypes, we attempted rescue either by injecting fertilized eggs with human SHANK3 mRNA or by transplanting cells to create genetic mosaics. When sensorimotor phenotypes were significantly different between shank3abC+/- or -/- and wild type (WT) larvae, we used pERK/tERK staining to identify underlying neural circuitry.

We found significant differences between shank3abC mutants and WT in both sensorimotor and GI functional assays. In GI assays, we found significantly slower rates of digestive tract (DT) peristaltic contractions with correspondingly prolonged passage time in shank3abC mutants. Rescue injections of mRNA encoding the longest human SHANK3 isoform into shank3abC+/- mutants produced larvae with intestinal bulb emptying similar to WT, but still deficits in posterior intestinal motility. Serotonin-positive enteroendocrine cells (EECs) were significantly reduced in shank3abC mutants while enteric neuron counts and overall structure of the DT epithelium, including goblet cell number was unaffected in shank3abC mutant larvae. In sensorimotor assays, shank3ab mutants exhibited reduced motor responses to tap, visual motor responses (VMR), and PTZ-induced hyperactivity, with neural circuit mapping and rescue transplants of wild type cells pointing to altered hindbrain function.

These data support mutations in SHANK3 are causal for symptoms of GI dysmotility and altered sensory processing. Reductions in serotonin-positive EECs and serotonin-filled ENS boutons suggest an endocrine/neural component to GI dysmotility with a critical role for the hindbrain in sensory phenotypes.

Bio

Julia Dallman is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Miami. She helped design and now directs the UM Zebrafish Facility. Julia has twenty-five years of experience using animal models (sea squirt, fly, and zebrafish) to understand neurodevelopmental processes. Julia received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College. She did her doctoral training in electrophysiology and developmental neuroscience with William Moody at the University of Washington, and post-doctoral training in molecular and chromatin biology and genetics with Gail Mandel and Paul Brehm at Stony Brook University. Her research seeks to understand how genetic mutations impact the development of neural circuits to produce behavioral phenotypes. She has helped to launch many collaborative studies with human geneticists and clinicians at UM and other universities that utilize zebrafish as a model for inherited disorders including forms of autism spectrum disorder caused by mutations in SHANK3 and SYNGAP1.

Neurotechnology and Development
Jonathan R. Jagid, MD

Jonathan R. Jagid, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical
Neurological Surgery and Neurology
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

A Brain Machine Interface for Functional Restoration of Grasp in Cervical Quadriplegia

Neural interface research has been strongly motivated by the need to restore communication and control to the estimated 1.7% of the U.S. population, or some 5.3 million people, which currently suffer from some form of paralysis - largely due to stroke (33.7%), spinal cord injury (SCI) (27.3%), and multiple sclerosis (18.6%). We recently recruited a patient with a chronic cervical spinal cord injury (C5 ASIA A) as a result of a motor vehicle accident to undergo placement of a brain machine interface aimed at restoring unilateral upper distal extremity function. During this talk we will describe the pre-clinical work leading up to the study, details of surgical implantation, and initial experiences with the implant. Early testing demonstrates the ability to decode movement intent information with an accuracy of approximately 90%, giving further hope that these technologies can be employed for the restoration of motor function in patients living with paralysis.

Stephen E. Saddow, PhD

Stephen E. Saddow, PhD
Professor 

Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering
University of South Florida

Silicon Carbide Biotechnology

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a semiconductor that displays ceramic-like properties. Long known for its hardness and resistance to chemical attack, research into developing SiC electronics has been an active topic since the 1950’s. Numerous reports of SiC as a potential material for interfacing with the human body have been around for decades, but only recently has a comprehensive look into SiC for biomedical devices been undertaken. Starting in 2005 the USF SiC Group started to study the biocompatibility of various SiC single-crystalline forms, known as polytypes, and our research was aimed at both understanding the potential of SiC for biomedical applications and to understand why discrepancies in the literature existed: some reports stating that SiC was cytotoxic and other biocompatible. We have since this time studied various forms of SiC, mainly 3C-, 4H-, 6H- and amorphous SiC to various biological systems as skin and connective tissue, blood platelets, neurons, etc. We have also compared the in-vivo response of tissue (wild type mice) to 3C-SiC and Si and have found a very promising null response for 3C-SiC, at least for 30 days in-vivo. Additional work has shown similar results for a-SiC coated probes thus motivating the development of implantable biomedical devices using SiC as the requisite materials. At the University of South Florida a team of electrical engineers and neuroscientists have been developing silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor devices for use as implantable neural interfaces (INIs). This lecture will discuss both the state of the art of SiC biotechnology as well as review other research in Prof. Saddow’s laboratory in the area of biomedical technology.

Bio

Dr. Saddow’s research interests are to develop wide-bandgap semiconductor materials for biomedical applications MEMS/NEMS applications. His group has demonstrated the in-vitro biocompatibility of 3C-SiC to numerous cell lines and lately his research has focused on the central nervous system. His ultimate research objective is to develop smart sensors for harsh environments and biomedical applications based on wide band gap semiconductor materials. His main expertise was in the development of a hot-wall CVD growth capability specializing in the growth of SiC epitaxial films on Si substrates. He edited a book on SiC electronic materials/devices with one of the power electronics pioneers at Cree, Inc. S. E. Saddow and A. Agrawal, Editors Advances in Silicon Carbide Processing and Applications, © 2004 Artech House ISBN 1-58053-740-5. He is a senior member of the IEEE and has over 100 publications on SiC materials and devices, with nearly half in archived journals.

Presently he has pioneered the use of SiC for biomedical applications, having demonstrated that 3C-SiC, which is the cubic form that can be grown heteroepitaxially on Si substrates, is both bio- and hemo-compatible. His group has demonstrated several advanced biomedical devices, such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs), neural probes, in-vivo glucose sensors and impedance-based biosensors. He recently edited a second book on SiC entitled Silicon Carbide Biotechnology: A Biocompatible Semiconductor for Advanced Biomedical Devices and Applications, Second Edition, © 2015. For more information on Dr. Saddow's research activities visit his homepage at http://www.eng.usf.edu/~saddow.

George Spirou, PhD

George Spirou, PhD
Professor
Medical Engineering
University of South Florida

Nanoscale Mapping of Neural Circuits that Encode Temporal Features of Sound

Bushy cells of the cochlear nucleus are the best characterized of all auditory CNS neurons. They receive convergent input from auditory nerve fibers via large terminals, and are thought to sharpen temporal coding via a coincidence detection mechanism. However, the structural and functional basis for this hypothesis has not been appropriately tested. We reconstructed the neural circuit using volume electron microscopy, and ported cellular structures into a computational framework (NEURON) to test functional contributions of subcellular circuit elements to neural activity patterns. I will discuss the pipeline, required technical developments, and big data challenges to build nanoscale neural wiring diagrams, called connectomes, and the value and limitations of this approach in evaluating existing and discovering new biological principles.

Bio

George A. Spirou, PhD, is Professor of Medical Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF). He completed undergraduate training in physics and philosophy at Denison University, doctoral work in neuroscience at the University of Florida and a fellowship in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He then joined the Otolaryngology and Physiology Departments at West Virginia University (WVU), and was eventually promoted to Professor and John W. and Jeannette S. Straton Research Chair in Neuroscience. As Director of the WVU Center for Neuroscience, he guided growth in neuroscience research from approximately 20 to 50 laboratories in an integrated, cross campus program. He joined USF in January, 2019. Dr. Spirou has served on numerous NIH review panels, and chaired the AUD and fellowship review panels. Research in the Spirou laboratory is focused on formation of neural circuits in early development and on construction of connectomes, or neural wiring diagrams, at nanoscale resolution. The generation of large image volumes for this work necessitated development of tools to understand these complex data sets. Leveraging long-standing interest in 3D reconstruction of brain structure, he and collaborators joined the revolution in immersive virtual reality to develop software for viewing, annotating and analyzing images. Their software, called syGlass, is marketed by their company, IstoVisio, Inc., which began operation in summer, 2017.

Andrew Dykstra, PhD

Andrew Dykstra, PhD
Assistant Professor 

Biomedical Engineering
University of Miami

The Mismatch Negativity Operates on Conscious Stimulus Representations: Evidence from Magnetoencephalography and Informational Masking

Bio

Andrew Dykstra is Assistant Professor of Neural, Cognitive, and Brain Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami. An expert in auditory neuroscience, Dr. Dykstra's research combines electrophysiology and functional neuroimaging to study how humans across the lifespan perceive and process sound, and uses this information to inform the design of better hearing aids. Dykstra has bachelors and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), respectively, and earned his PhD from the Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology at MIT. Before joining the University of Miami, he gained postdoctoral experience in the Department of Neurology at Universität Heidelberg (Germany) and the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University (Canada).

Monica A. Perez, PhD and Jorge Bohorquez, PhD

Monica A. Perez, PT, PhD
Associate Professor
Neurological Surgery
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis

Bio

Dr. Perez received a Ph.D. in physical therapy from University of Miami School of Medicine in 2003. She attended the University of Copenhagen as a post-doctoral fellow at the laboratory of Professor Jens B. Nielsen until 2005. She joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH in 2005 as a research fellow working with Dr. Leonardo G. Cohen until 2008. Her research has focused on studying adaptations in motor cortical and spinal cord circuits during acquisition of a novel motor skill using upper and lower limb muscles. This work has been complemented by studies aiming to better understand modulation in motor cortical circuits, including intracortical and interhemispheric interactions between primary motor cortices, during voluntary movement.

 

 

Jorge Bohorquez, PhD
Associate Professor in Professional Practice
Biomedical Engineering
University of Miami

Science and Health Applications using Augmented Reality
Jennifer Esposito and William Tapia

Jennifer Esposito
Magic Leap

 

 

 

 

William Tapia 
Magic Leap

Michael E. Hoffer, MD

Michael E. Hoffer, MD
Professor
Otolaryngology
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

A Neuroengineering Approach to Neurosensory Dysfunction: From Southwest Asia to Cuba and Beyond

Mild traumatic brain injury is an increasingly common disability in modern society and has a significant impact on the lives of those affected as well as society as a whole.  While a great deal of effort and research funding has been dedicated to this disorder there are still many questions related to mTBI that remain to be answered.  In order to answer these questions and better treat those who suffer from this disorder, an accurate diagnosis must be obtained.  This is particularly challenging undertaking for a disorder that is very heterogenous in both etiology and its impact on those affected and a disorder in which no gold standard diagnostic test exists to utilize in developing new testing modalities.  In this presentation we discuss the use of a virtual reality technology that tests oculomotor function, vestibular function, and reaction time (OVRT)can be utilized in diagnosing this disorder and in distinguishing more unusual phenomenon seen around the world.  The talk will focus on the technology, how this technology provides information on underlying neurologic pathology, and the critical next developmental steps necessary to move this technology forward and increase its utility.

Bio

Michael Hoffer, MD, FACS is a Professor of Otolaryngology and Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami. Dr. Hoffer assumed these roles after an over twenty year military career in which he studied mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) on active duty service members. Dr. Hoffer is a clinician-scientist who performs both basic and clinical research along with his Otology/Neurotology clinical practice. Dr. Hoffer’s lab focuses on traumatic damage to the inner ear and brain. He is authored over sixty papers and several textbooks and has a particular expertise in dizziness and balance disorders as well as neurosensory consequences after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Dr. Hoffer and his collaborators have done pioneering work on pharmaceutical countermeasures for mTBI as well as optimized diagnosis and management of neurosensory disorders seen after mTBI. Dr. Hoffer graduated from UCSD Medical School, was a resident at the University of Pennsylvania, and did a Neurotology Fellowship at the Ear Research Foundation. He has an active clinical practice in otology/Neurotology and is very active in the University of Miami’s cochlear implant and hearing restoration services.

Michael Ivan, MD and Timur M. Urakov, MD

Michael Ivan, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical
Neurological Surgery
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Bio

Dr. Michael E. Ivan is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami where he acts as Jackson South's Chief of Cranial Neurosurgery and Neuro-oncology Service and Co-Director of Neurosurgery. He is also the Director of Research for the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative within Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and is a leader among his peers, serving as an executive member of the Young Neurosurgeon's Committee for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Ivan graduated from Cornell University and received his Doctorate of Medicine and Master's Degree from UMDNJ/Rutgers University. While at Rutgers Medical School, he served as President of his class and was honored as a Gold Humanism Scholar. He then completed his neurological surgery training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), consistently ranked as one of the top neurosurgical training programs in the United States. At UCSF, Dr. Ivan focused on the treatment and management of brain tumors, vascular malformations, and skull base lesions. He was awarded the Howard Naffziger award for best clinical resident and received multiple awards for his research on brain tumors and stereotactic neurosurgery. As a testament to his dedication to medical education, Dr. Ivan was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for Cherished Housestaff from UCSF. After residency, he moved to Miami and completed a fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at the University of Miami (UM). At UM, he continues his research on minimally invasive brain tumor management with state of the art treatments, including laser interstitial thermal therapy and fluorescence guided surgery. The primary focus of Dr. Ivan's clinical, academic, and research interests has been on the microenvironment of brain tumors and their invasive qualities.
 

Timur M. Urakov, MD
Neurological Surgery Resident

University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Augmented Reality is exciting and versatile. Its applications are penetrating every major field including the Neurosurgery. The presentation will focus on AR uses for medical education, preoperative planning, and as assist in Spine surgery. Current limitations and future directives will also be discussed.

Bio

Dr. Urakov is a Chief resident in Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami who will be joining the faculty in July 2019. He has experimented with Augmented Reality since 2016 and currently lead an IRB-approved clinical study at the UM Hospital.

George Spirou, PhD

George Spirou, PhD
Istovisio Inc.

Leveraging Visual Cortex with VR/AR for Insight into 3D Data: Big Data and the Potential to Discover New Biological Principles

We carefully collect 3D image volumes to understand structure and its relationship to function, so why not view them in 3D? Viewing scenes in 3D frees our mind to observe new spatial relationships and consider what we see. New tissue processing and imaging technologies permit imaging larger tissue volumes, up to entire brains, at increased resolution, and generate extremely large data files, thereby raising the bar for accessing the information they contain. This challenge prompted us to develop a software tool (www.syGlass.io) to visualize, analyze and annotate imaged objects and features regardless of file size. I will present syGlass, and also explore the difficulty of and possible solutions to communicating key information in 3D to collaborators, the scientific community, and the interconnected world.

Bio

George A. Spirou, PhD, is Professor of Medical Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF). He completed undergraduate training in physics and philosophy at Denison University, doctoral work in neuroscience at the University of Florida and a fellowship in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He then joined the Otolaryngology and Physiology Departments at West Virginia University (WVU), and was eventually promoted to Professor and John W. and Jeannette S. Straton Research Chair in Neuroscience. As Director of the WVU Center for Neuroscience, he guided growth in neuroscience research from approximately 20 to 50 laboratories in an integrated, cross campus program. He joined USF in January, 2019. Dr. Spirou has served on numerous NIH review panels, and chaired the AUD and fellowship review panels. Research in the Spirou laboratory is focused on formation of neural circuits in early development and on construction of connectomes, or neural wiring diagrams, at nanoscale resolution. The generation of large image volumes for this work necessitated development of tools to understand these complex data sets. Leveraging long-standing interest in 3D reconstruction of brain structure, he and collaborators joined the revolution in immersive virtual reality to develop software for viewing, annotating and analyzing images. Their software, called syGlass, is marketed by their company, IstoVisio, Inc., which began operation in summer, 2017.

syGlass Bio

IstoVisio, Inc.. markets syGlass software for 3-dimensional (3D), virtual/ augmented reality (VR/AR) visualization, annotation and analysis of 3D image volumes. syGlass supports any imaging mo

dality (light and electron microscopes (LM, EM), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), ultrasound) and the full range of head-mounted displays (HMD) for VR. syGlass began as an NIH-funded laboratory research project in 2012, to visualize cellular objects segmented from volume EM images on an array of 3D TV screens and thereby gain insight into biological principles. The company followed rapid progress in HMD design, and developed syGlass into a fully proprietary software tool for use with these devices. syGlass design features are uniquely geared to work with big data image and movie files (tens of TB). As a result, syGlass is a partner with several big data projects designed to generate cellular and subcellular databases across large tissue volumes for use by the research community. In parallel, syGlass is priced for the individual laboratory and contains analytic tools for rapid quantification of complex 3D image volumes.

Contact Us

Department of Biomedical Engineering
s.rajguru@miami.edu
305-284-2445
1251 Memorial Drive
McArthur Engineering Addition
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

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