- Research Program Mentor
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
biomedical engineering, neural engineering, neuroscience, cellular signaling pathways, implantable electrodes, astrocytes, neurons, implantable neurotechnology, neurodegenerative diseases, deep brain stimulation, neurolink 'like' devices
Neurotechnology design features' impact on the identity and function of reactive astrocytes
I work with these brain computer inteface devices called microelectrode arrays. They communicate with neurons in the brain and allow for tetraplegic patients to regain some level or movement once again. The problem is after a few years, these arrays stop working. The reason why is that these other specialized brain cells, called astrocytes, act like body guards towards the neurons. They see these little devices and try to cover them up to protect the neurons. The problem is after awhile, the astrocytes behavior changes and they actually end up killing neurons. My job is to figure out what makes these astrocytes harmful and if I can reverse that process.