Krishna Shenoy, PhD
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Toward clinically-viable brain-machine interfaces
Abstract: Millions of people suffer from motor disabilities and injuries, resulting in the loss of arm movements and independence. A relatively new medical technology termed brain-computer interfaces (BMIs) aims to help restore this lost function by converting movement intentions from neurons in the brain into control signals for guiding prosthetic arms and computer cursors. BMI research spans engineering, neuroscience, and translational medicine. In this talk I will discuss some recent advances in all of three domains, and describe how this is leading to higher-performance BMIs in tetraplegic participants diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) enrolled in our FDA pilot clinical trial. Future BMIs, which are a core technology for "reading information from" and "writing information to" the brain, will likely be applied to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric impairments and help ever increasing numbers of people.
Bio: Professor Shenoy investigates how the brain controls movement, and designs medical systems (brain-machine interfaces) to assist people with movement disabilities. He directs the Neural Prosthetic Systems Lab, which conducts neuroscience and neuroengineering research, and co-directs the Neural Prosthetics Translational Lab (with Professor Jaimie Henderson), which conducts translational research and clinical trials. His BS in EE is from UC Irvine (1990), MS and PhD in EE are from MIT (1992, 1995), and postdoctoral training in Neurobiology is from Caltech (1995-2001). Professor Shenoy has been on faculty at Stanford University since 2001 in the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Neurobiology (by courtesy), and Bioengineering (affiliate). He is also an HHMI Investigator, and is a member of the Bio-X and Neurosciences Graduate Programs and the Stanford Neuroscience Institute. His honors and awards include the 1996 Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize, a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in Biomedical Science, a Sloan Research Fellow, a McKnight Foundation Technological Innovation in Neurosciences Award, an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, and the 2010 Stanford University Postdoctoral Mentoring award.