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From the Director’s Keyboard

As friends, colleagues, collaborators, and new acquaintances gathered at WPI for Neuroprosthetics 2009, I felt a sense of excitement and energy in the air. This was a unique and timely event that brought together people with a common sense of purpose and passion.

The response to our invitations had been tremendous—many of the leaders in this field eagerly accepted our offer to speak. It was clear that the field was ready to coalesce on a national level, to foster the communication and the collaborations that will advance neuroprosthetics research and development.

Then, as we settled in for the first of the plenary presentations, the symposium transformed. As Col. Paul Pasquina, MD, spoke, describing the challenges amputees face and their courage in meeting those challenges, I could feel the tone of the symposium move from one of professional engagement to one of compassion and a sense of obligation.

Col. Pasquina is the chief of orthopedics and director of the amputee program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he and his team care for the most seriously injured soldiers who return from war. Their stories of heroism and sacrifice, and of the amazing level of care delivered at Walter Reed, moved me, and I believe moved everyone at the symposium. It reminded us why we do what we do.

So as you explore these web pages, and view the clinical and scientific presentations from Neuroprostheics 2009, I encourage you to begin with Col. Pasquina’s talk—it will offer you more motivation than I could ever hope, or need, to provide. Then, move on to the truly exciting presentations of the other speakers and you will see that this field is advancing rapidly, and the potential to dramatically improve the quality of people’s lives, both military and civilian, is within our grasp.

Grant McGimpsey
Director, WPI Bioengineering Institute

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Last modified: Nov 09, 2009, 20:35 EST
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