Congressional Briefing – June 15, 2015

Brain Discoveries Breaking Health Barriers

AIMBE launched its 2015 Congressional Briefing Series, “From Discovery to Development: The Role of Medical and Biological Engineering in Medical Research, Treatment, and Innovation,” with a focus on innovative, new brain research.

Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda, AIMBE President and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech/Emory, and Dr. Robert Kirsch, AIMBE Fellow and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, briefed congressional staff about studies involving the brain during an AIMBE congressional event in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 15.

The congressional briefing, “Brain Discoveries Breaking Health Barriers,” provided an opportunity for the researchers to discuss tricking cancer to grow outside of the brain, as well as using mind control to grasp without hands via neuroprosthesis.

Bellamkonda discussed his work on using innovative technologies to combat brain tumors, like glioblastoma – the leading cause of death in children after injury. With the support of a EUREKA grant from the National Institutes of Health, Bellamkonda and his team developed a mechanism to partially move tumors from inoperable locations to more accessible ones.

Kirsch presented his research on restoring arm movements to people with complete arm paralysis due to spinal cord injury or other neurological disorders. Using functional electrical stimulation, Kirsch demonstrated the ability to move previously paralyzed limbs by thinking about the movement.