About the Speakers

Keynote Speakers:

Hugh Herr is Associate Professor within MIT's Program of Media Arts and Sciences, and The Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. His primary research objective is to apply principles of biomechanics and neural control to guide the designs of wearable robotic systems for human rehabilitation and physical augmentation. In the area of human augmentation, Professor Herr has employed cross bridge models of skeletal muscle to the design and optimization of a new class of human-powered mechanisms that amplify endurance for cyclic anaerobic activities. He has also built elastic shoes that increase metabolic economy for running, and leg exoskeletons for walking load-carrying augmentation. In the area of assistive technology, Professor Herr’s group has developed powered orthotic and prosthetic mechanisms for use as assistive interventions in the treatment of leg disabilities caused by amputation, stroke, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. Professor Herr has authored or coauthored over 60 technical publications in biomechanics and wearable robotics. He was the recipient of the 2007 Heinz Award for Technology, Economy, and Employment.

COL Geoffrey Ling, MC, USA is a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), professor and interim chairman of neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), director of neuro critical care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), and attending neuro critical care physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He deployed to both Afghanistan (2003) and Baghdad, Iraq (2005), and has done shorter missions as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Gray Team. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit.


Kip Ludwig, PhD,
joined the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke as the Program Director for Neural Engineering in 2011. Dr. Ludwig received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, followed by post-doctoral work at the same institution. Dr. Ludwig's academic work included neural decoding algorithms for brain-computer interfaces (BCI), signal processing techniques to denoise neural recordings, and advanced materials to improve the chronic stimulating and recording performance of microelectrodes. More recently Dr. Ludwig worked in industry as a research scientist, where he and his team conceived, developed and demonstrated the chronic efficacy of a next-generation neural stimulation electrode for reducing blood pressure in both pre-clinical and clinical trials. Through his industry work he oversaw good laboratory practice (GLP) and non-GLP studies supporting both European and FDA Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) human trials, as well as participated in the protocol development and execution of those trials, recently leading to a CE mark. Dr. Ludwig's interest is in all aspects of neural engineering, with special emphases on neuromodulation, BCI devices, and neural interface technology development.

James J. Hickman PhD is the Founding Director of the NanoScience Technology Center and a Professor of Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Physics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Previously, he held the position of the Hunter Endowed Chair in the Bioengineering Department at Clemson University. Dr. Hickman has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Chemistry, as well as BS and MS from Penn State University in Chemistry. His Ph.D. thesis research involved the modification and characterization of microelectrodes and MEMS devices derivatized with self-assembled monolayers. For the past twenty years, he has been studying the interaction of biological species with modified surfaces, first in industry and in the latter years in academia. While in industry he established one of the first bioelectronics labs in the country that focused on cell-based sensors and their integration with electronic devices. He has extensive experience in surface modification and surface analysis for biological and neuroscience applications, and the integration of these systems with MEMS devices and components. He is also interested in creating hybrid systems for biosensor and biological computation applications and the creation of functional in vitro systems. He has worked at the NSF part-time as a special advisor to the Experimental and Integrative Activities Division in CISE in the area of biological computation and previously had worked with the Information Technology Office at DARPA to help develop new programs in Ultrascale computing. He is also the founder and current CTO of a biotechnology company, Hesperos, that is focusing on cell-based systems for high-throughput functional genomics and toxicity. He has 81 publications and 16 book chapters, in addition to 16 patents. He has presented over 80 invited presentations with more than 100 total presentations. Dr. Hickman was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineers in 2004 (AIMBE) and a fellow of the AVS in 2007 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for AIMBE. He was a founding member of the Biomaterial Interfaces Technical Group for the American Vacuum Society, and Chair from 1995-2000. He received the NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration for contributions to integrating biology and information technology research in 2002. He received the SAIC Publication Award in 1993, 1994 and 1995; the Berman Award from the NRL in 1993 and 1995; the SAIC Technology Achievement Award in 1995 and the MIT Gold Award for community service in 1989.

Florian Solzbacher, PhD, is Director of the Utah Nanofabrication Laboratory, Co-Director of the Utah Nanotechnology Institute, President and Executive Chairman of Blackrock Microsystems and of Blackrock Neuromed and holds faculty appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His research focuses on harsh environment microsystems and materials, including implantable, wireless microsystems for biomedical and healthcare applications, and on high temperature and harsh environment compatible micro sensors. Prof. Solzbacher received his M.Sc. EE from the Technical University Berlin in 1997 and his Ph.D. from the Technical University Ilmenau in 2003. He is co-founder of several companies such as Blackrock Microsystems, Blackrock Neuromed, and First Sensor Technology. He was a board member and Chairman of the German Association for Sensor Technology AMA and of Sensor + Test trade show and conference from 2001 until 2009, and serves on a number of company and public private partnership advisory boards and international conference steering committees. He is author of over 190 journal and conference publications, 5 book chapters and 16 pending patents.

Gerwin Schalk, PhD holds two M.S. degrees and a Ph.D. in computer and systems engineering. He is interested in engineering, scientific, and commercial aspects of devices that interface the brain with external devices. He authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, one book and several book chapters, and has given more than 100 invited lectures world-wide. His work has been extensively featured by the media, including features on CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, articles in Technology Review, Discover Magazine, New York Times Magazine, and Wired. He is also listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and received several awards.

Edward (Ted) A. Clancy, PhD received the B.S. degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), all in Electrical Engineering. He has worked in industry for medical instrumentation and analysis companies interested in EMG, EEG, ECG, powered upper limb prosthetics, ergonomics and blood pressure; and the defense industry (aircraft instruments and radar). He is currently an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and of Biomedical Engineering at WPI. He teaches in the areas of analog and digital circuit design, signal processing and biomedical engineering. He is interested in signal processing, stochastic estimation, system identification and instrumentation, particularly as applied to problems in medical engineering and human rehabilitation.

Bruce Wheeler, PhD, is Professor and Acting Chair of the Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. From 1980 to 2008 he was with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, most recently as Professor and Founding and Interim Department Head of the Bioengineering Department. He was also a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Beckman Institute, a former Associate Head of ECE, and a former chair of the Neuroscience Program. He is the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE and AIMBE. He received the B.S. degree from MIT and later the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell. Prof. Wheeler’s research interests lie in the application of electrical engineering methodologies, signal processing and microfabrication, to the study of the nervous system, including the microlithographic control of the patterns of growth of neurons in vitro so as to permit stimulation and recording with microelectrode arrays. Hopefully this work will lead to better understanding of the behavior of small populations of neurons and lead to better insights into the functioning of the brain. He also has had involvement in algorithm development for directional hearing aids.

Grant McGimpsey received the Ph.D. from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 1985 and worked as a Research Associate at the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa, Ontario until 1989, when he joined the Department of Chemistry at WPI as an assistant professor. His research interests include laser photochemistry, medical sensors, surface chemistry and the behavior of living systems on surfaces. McGimpsey spent sabbatical leaves at the Max Planck Institute for Radiation Chemistry in Germany and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has published over 80 refereed journal articles, holds 7 patents and has received over $12M in research funding in his career. In 2005, he was appointed the Director of the WPI Bioengineering Institute and served in that capacity until 2011. He also founded the BEI Center for Neuroprosthetics in 2005. From 2007 until 2010, he also served as WPI's Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies ad interim. In August of 2011, he was appointed Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs and Professor of Chemistry at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He maintains a close collaborative relationship with BEI researchers.

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Last modified: January 30, 2012 14:55:20