Gunduz receives NIH BRAIN Initiative grant

Congratulations to Aysegul Gunduz, Ph.D., assistant professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, and neurosurgeon Kelly Foote, M.D., with collaborators Michael Okun, M.D., chair of neurology, and Dawn Bowers, Ph.D., professor of clinical and health psychology, for receiving an NIH BRAIN Initiative grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The BRAIN Initiative, or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, is a multi-agency effort announced by President Obama in 2013 aimed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain.

The 5-year, $2 million dollar grant will allow the group to conduct a clinical study to advance next generation invasive recording and neuromodulation devices in patients with essential tremor in collaboration with their industrial partner Medtronic Neuromodulation. This is the first NIH BRAIN Initiative grant awarded to the University of Florida since the initiative was launched in 2014.

“The ultimate goal is to help patients enjoy a better quality of life by delivering a responsive therapeutic stimulation to patients with essential tremor. Closed-loop systems are designed to sense physiologic changes and adjust treatment accordingly, resulting in more effective treatment and fewer side effects,” said Dr. Gunduz.

The funding opportunity has the aim of developing ‘innovative technologies to understand the human brain and treat its disorders’. The UF team chose essential tremor as a model to achieve this goal, as it is the most common movement disorder. The project will also lead the way for future closed-loop adaptive DBS systems designed for other movement disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders, and neuroprostheses.

Congratulations, Dr. Gunduz!