Plenary and Keynote Speakers

  • Scientist of Vision Award Recipient- Michael Levin

    Michael LevinThe IFESS 2012 committee is proud to present the Scientist of Vision Award to Dr. Michael Levin for his work in new frontiers of FES.  Dr. Levin obtained his B.Sc. from Tufts University and his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical school.  He is currently Professor and Director of the Centre for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts University . The Levin laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms cells use to communicate with one another in the 4-dimensional dynamical system known as the developing embryo. Through experimental approaches and mathematical modeling, Dr. Levin examines the processes governing large-scale pattern formation and biological information storage during animal embryogenesis. In contrast to other groups focusing on gene expression networks and biochemical signaling factors, the Levin group is pursuing the roles of endogenous voltages (electrical fields), pH gradients, and ion fluxes as epigenetic carriers of morphological information. Using gain- and loss-of-function techniques to specifically modulate cells' ion flow we have the ability to regulate large-scale morphogenetic events relevant to limb formation, eye induction, etc.
  • Daniel Bader

    Dan BaderDan Bader’s interests cover the biomechanics of soft tissues in health and disease, at a range of hierarchical levels covering patients to cells, and the development of functional systems for tissue engineered repair. Since 2000, he has been a Part-Time Professor in Soft Tissue Remodelling at Eindhoven University of Technology. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Tissue Engineering Group in the University of Malaya in Malaysia. He is an Elected Member of World Council of Biomechanics (2006-) and an Elected Trustee of the European Pressure Ulcer Panel (2010-).

  • Todd A. Kuiken

    Todd A. KuikenTodd A. Kuiken received a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University (1983), a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (1989) and his M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School (1990). He was the Frankel Research Fellow at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in 1992. He completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (1995) and is a board certified Physiatrist. Dr. Kuiken was an attending physician at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and an Assistant Professor in the Department of PM&R at Wayne State University Medical School from 1995-97. He also served as the Director of Orthopedic Rehabilitation. Dr. Kuiken currently is the Director of Amputee Services at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of PM&R and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Northwestern University. He is also the Associate Dean, Feinberg School of Medicine, for Academic Affairs at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. His research interests include prosthetic control systems, using nerve-muscle grafts to obtain additional myoelectric control signal, bioelectromagnetics modeling, prosthetic design, human gait, and care of the amputee.

  • Andres Lozano

    Dr. Andres LozanoDr. Andres Lozano is a distinguished neuroscientist of international reputation. His research is focused on developing novel surgical treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders particularly for Parkinson’s disease and depression. Dr. Lozano obtained his MD degree from the University of Ottawa and his PhD in Neurobiology and neurosurgical training from McGill University. He was appointed to the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto in 1991 and was named full Professor in 1999. He is currently Professor and RR Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery and holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience. Dr. Lozano’s work has appeared in over 300 peer reviewed publications and he is highly cited ranking in the top 5 in the world in the fields of both Deep Brain Stimulation and Parkinson’s disease. He is the editor in chief of the Textbook of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and has trained approximately 50 neurosurgical fellows and PhD students. He has served on the board and executive of several international organizations and is Past-President of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. Dr. Lozano has received a number of awards including the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Penfield Award, the Order of Merit of Spain and the Jonas Salk Award and has been elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Lozano’s research focus is on novel surgical approaches to treat Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. His team uses brain imaging, electrophysiology and surgical techniques. Their work in humans is complemented by laboratory work involving cell death in Parkinson’s disease, effects of stimulation on hippocampal neurogenesis and animal models of deep brain stimulation.

  • Robert Shepherd

    Robert ShepherdProfessor Robert Shepherd is the Director of the Bionic Ear Institute and Professor of Medical Bionics in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne.

    Prof Shepherd received his Ph.D. in Otolaryngology from the University of Melbourne. His doctoral thesis examined the safety and efficacy of multichannel cochlear implants and contributed to Cochlear Ltd’s successful FDA approval for the clinical use of a multichannel cochlear implant. Prof Shepherd has held international research appointments throughout his career at institutions such as the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.; Department of Physiology.

    Prof Shepherd has authored 145 peer-reviewed scientific papers and invited book chapters. He has been the Principal Investigator on more than $5.3M of research funding including grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. He continues to work closely with industry through research links with Cochlear Ltd. and Living Cells Technologies Ltd.

  • Richard Stein

    Richard SteinDr. Richard Stein received his DPhil from the University of Oxford.  Dr. Stein joined the Department of Physiology at the University of Alberta in 1964 and during his 40-plus year career; Dr. Stein has spearheaded many advances in the field of spinal cord research.  Dr. Steins work​ has led to the creation of multiple spin-off companies and commercialized devices including the WalkAide system which helps thousands of people who suffer from foot drop.  Dr. Stein was recently awarded the Barbara Turnbull Award for Spinal Cord Research, one of the top awards for spinal cord research in Canada.  Research in the Stein lab is focused on pattern generation of walking, reflex modulation during movement, replacement of function after spinal cord injury and optimization of muscle and bone after atrophy.

  • P. Hunter Peckham

    P. Hunter PeckhamDr. Peckham received his PhD in 1972 from Case Western University.  Since then Dr. Peckham has established a distinguished career including Director of Rehabilitation Engineering Center, Case Western University, Director of FES Center of Excellence, Case Western University, Founder and Board of directors of NeuroControl, Director of Orthopaedic Research at Metro Medical Centre, Senior Research Career Scientest at the Cleveland VA Medical Center, and Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western. The major area of Dr. Peckham’s research is in rehabilitation engineering and neuroprostheses. Dr. Peckham’s research effort focuses on functional restoration of the paralyzed upper extremity in individuals with spinal cord injury. He and collaborators have developed implantable neural prostheses which utilize electrical stimulation to control neuromuscular activation. They have implemented procedures to provide control of grasp-release in individuals with tetraplegia. This function enables individuals with central nervous system disability to regain the ability to perform essential activities of daily living. His present efforts concern the integration of technological rehabilitation and surgical approaches to restore functional capabilities.

  • Alim Louis Benabid

    Alim Louis BenabidProf. Alim-Louis Benabid, the ex-chairman of neurosurgery at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. Prof. Benabid first developed the procedure of deep brain stimulation (DBS), a technique that uses an implanted electrode to deliver continuous high-frequency electrical stimulation to parts of the brain that control movement such as the thalamus, globus pallidus or subthalamic nucleus. The technique can reduce tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity, which are common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Unlike ablative surgery — which had long been one of the treatments of choice for these disorders — DBS does not destroy brain tissue and is thus less risky. Prof. Benabid now heads a national centre for nanotechnologies in healthcare, based in Grenoble, which is one of 4 “new Research Technologies” Directorates of the French Commissariat d’ Energie Atomique (CEA). As such, his group will be one of the major components of a new French Government Initiative, called “le Polygone Scientifique” that will include CNRS, CEA, Cyclotron/ Radiochemistry, Energy and Structural Biology.

  • Ulf Gorman

    Ulf Gorman

    Ulf Görman is emeritus professor in ethics and former head of the unit of ethics in the faculty of humanities and theology at Lund University, Sweden. He is still working part time as senior professor, among else with the Linnaeus project “NeuroNano Research Center” (NRC), which aims at developing a new generation of nano brain implants. He is also guest professor in ethics at Jönköping University, Sweden. His research is focused on problems in bioethics, among else on ethical questions in relation to post-genomic research, personalized nutrition, and brain machine interfaces. He is workpackage leader for ethical and legal aspects of the EU FP7 project “Personalised nutrition: an integrated analysis of opportunities and challenges” (Food4Me). He is scientific secretary of the Ethical Review Board at Lund.

  • Jay Ingram (Host of Plenary Sessions I and II)

    Jay_ingramJay Ingram was the host of Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet from the first episode in January, 1995 to June, 2011. Daily Planet is the only hour-long, prime-time daily science show in the world. Prior to joining Discovery, Jay hosted CBC radio’s national science show, Quirks and Quarks, from 1979 to 1992. During that time he won two ACTRA awards, one for best host, and several Canadian Science Writers’ awards. He wrote and hosted two CBC radio documentary series and short radio and television science stories for a variety of programs. He was a contributing editor to Owl magazine for ten years, and wrote a weekly science column in the Toronto Star for twelve. Jay has also written eleven books - which have been translated into twelve languages - and is working on more.

    He has received the Sandford Fleming medal from the Royal Canadian Institute for his efforts to popularize science, the Royal Society’s McNeil medal for the Public Awareness of Science and the Michael Smith award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. He is  a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Alberta, has received five honorary doctorates and is a member of the Order of Canada.