June 20: Life Sci SIG Technologies targeting neurological issues
Neuromodulation has transformed from a research-only paradigm to a therapy with potential to change the entire approach to many human health problems. Targeted neuro-therapies may provide suppression of many issues with pain, depression, and other neurological effects, without the side effects of far less effectively targeted chemical (drug) therapies.
Neuromodulation approaches also can enhance many prosthetics, from visual to aural to mechanical.
For this program, we have three biomedical expert from Draper Labs to talk about the possibilities.
Moderated by Amy LaChappelle
- Jim Moran, Technical Director, Draper/ DARPA SUBNETS (Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies) Project
- John Lachapelle, Technical Director, Draper/ DARPA HAPTIX (Hand Proprioception and Touch) Project
- Philip Parks, MD, Draper Labs, Program Manager, Biomedical Solutions, Neural Systems & Neurotechnologies
Neuromodulation has many meanings, but for the sense of this discussion has to do with enhancing or changing response of targeted portions of the neural system with directed electrical stimulation of close-by neurons.
Neuromodulation approaches also can enhance many prosthetics, from visual to aural to mechanical. DARPA has invested in approaches to both cortical (brain) and peripheral (limb) neuromodulation therapies in order to advance the state of the art more rapidly than existing commercial applications. Draper is involved in two of these DARPA projects, as well as a variety of other research in the neuromodulation space.
A top-down summary of general activities in the neuromodulation/ electroceutical space will be given. Then Jim and John will outline the DARPA goals for SUBNETS and HAPTIX (found on DARPA’s website) and how Draper hopes to advance the state of the art in implanted neuro-therapies. Though promising, the challenges with neuro-therapies include issue with electronic miniaturization in an implanted biological environment, use of software and algorithms in human targets, and basic understanding of how neurons operate (biologically) and communicate in networks.
John Lachapelle, Draper’s principal investigator for HAPTIX. Technical Director, Draper HAPTIX project. John has been involved in Draper-DARPA SUBNETS Project. His focus is circuits and systems for sensor and communications applications. I've worked together with strong innovators in MEMs and biomedical sensors, telemetry, and various WLAN, GPS, and land mobile communications. He holds several patents.
He has completed Biomedical Engineering studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and has MSEE University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BSEE University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
Jim Moran is Senior Member of Technical Staff at Draper Laboratory. He is a member of the HDL Design and Verification group and specializes in the design of custom and embedded digital systems. His recent work has centered on building an implantable neuromodulation device, miniature low-power communications systems using software defined radio and the design of telemetry and recharging systems for implanted medical devices. Prior to joining Draper Laboratory, Mr. Moran held positions at a number of communications and computing companies.
He received a BS (1983) and an MS (1986) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an ALM (2013) in Biotechnology with a concentration in Bioengineering and Nanotechnologies from Harvard University. Mr. Moran is an adjunct professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell and a Senior Member of the IEEE.
Dr. Philip Parks has more than 15 years of experience as clinician, scientist, leader, military officer, and strategic advisor with significant accomplishments in new business development, strategic advisement and scientific, engineering, and technical advisement on research, development, testing, and evaluation initiatives.
He joined Draper in early 2012 as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff (DMTS) and transitioned to Biomedical Solutions Program Office in the summer of 2013. As a DMTS, Dr. Parks was directly responsible for winning $5M in new projects and successfully executed engineering projects as a technical director and contributed as a technical advisor. In Biomedical Solutions, Dr. Parks has been directly responsible for new business development in neurotechnology programs ($17M in new business). He currently leads Draper’s neurotechnology portfolio including DARPA and NIH funded programs.
Prior to Draper, Dr. Parks was a consultant and SETA (Scientific Engineering Technical Assistant) for a federal government science and technology (S&T) office and was responsible for providing engineering management and scientific advisory functions for the S&T office’s neuroscience and neurotechnology portfolio.
Dr. Parks holds an Undergraduate degree from Davidson College, Molecular Biology and Philosophy and attended Tulane University School of Medicine. He is board certified and continues to be active in clinical practice.
Committee: Patti Durr, Jerry Shapiro, Mark Hediger, Amy LaChapelle, Carmel Denis, Howard Lin
Co-Chairs, Jerry Shapiro and Barbara Finer
Contact our Chair with questions or if you want to volunteer in some capacity (Jerrold)