Pioneers

Researchers across the world have been working on BrainGate and other Brain-Computer Interfaces.  Some of these pioneers have merely advanced the field in general, others have helped specifically develop the BrainGate intellectual property, and many of these individuals are not associated with BrainGate™.  This page is in large part in homage to the outstanding research and academic integrity that has helped to make BrainGate™ possible:

Today, there are many people involved in work on both BrainGate™ specifically and brain-computer interfaces (BMIs) in general.  Below is a list of some of the key contributors to the field:

  • Dr. Theodore W. Berger
    The research of Dr. Berger involves the complementary use of experimental and theoretical approaches to developing biologically constrained mathematical models of mammalian neural systems. The focus of the majority of current research is the hippocampus, a neural system essential for learning and memory functions. http://www.neural-prosthesis.com/
  • Merit Cudkowicz, M.D.
    Dr. Cudkowicz is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. She is trained in Neurology and Experimental Therapeutics with a focus in neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Cudkowicz is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cudkowicz co-directs the MGH ALS clinic and the Neurology Clinical Trials Unit at MGH and Partners HealthCare System. She is leading several multi-center clinical trials in ALS.
  • Dr. John P. Donoghue, Ph.D.
    Dr. Donoghue is currently the Henry Merritt Wriston Professor at Brown University. Since 1991, Dr. Donoghue has been Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and since 1998 he has served as Executive Director of the Brain Science Program at Brown University. Dr. Donoghue has performed over 20 years of research on brain computer interfaces and his laboratory is internationally recognized as a leader in this field. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Health (“NIH”), the National Science Foundation (“NSF”), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”), as well as private foundations. Dr. Donoghue has over 50 publications, including in top journals such as Nature, Science and the Journal of Neuroscience and he has served on many external advisory panels, including those for the NIH’s Neurology and Mental Health institutes and the space medicine panel of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”). Dr. Donoghue received an A.B. from Boston University in 1971, an M.S. in Anatomy from the University of Vermont in 1976 and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brown University in 1979. Dr. Donoghue co-founded Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems in 2001. http://donoghue.neuro.brown.edu/
  • Judy Hackett
    Ms. Hackett is a co-founder of BrainGate, Co. and has worked with Drs. Donoghue and Hatsopoulos on potential uses of BrainGate and brain-machine interfaces.  She has also consulted for ZEO, a sleep research company that has a number of commercial products that utilize EEG technology to predict brain activity.  Ms. Hackett has more than 20 years experience in strategic planning, marketing, sales, advertising, product and brand development. Ms. Hackett additionally leads marketing efforts at FourSpots.com, a leading technology start-up in the self-serve video advertising industry. Previously, Ms. Hackett served as Chief Marketing Officer for Web.com, a leading provider of websites and web services for small businesses, where she led the company’s marketing and sales operations in a successful turnaround and sale. Hackett was also SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for CareerBuilder Inc., a leading online and print recruitment company. Prior to CareerBuilder, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at HeadHunter.NET and helped take the company public in 1999. Hackett also served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising for TBS Superstation and has held several roles in advertising and marketing management at Fox, CBS, ABC and independent television stations, where she won an Emmy for her efforts.
  • Dr. Nicholas G. “Nicho” Hatsopoulos, Ph.D.
    Dr. Hatsopoulos is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago. Dr. Hatsopoulos is also Chairman of the Computational Neuroscience graduate program. He is currently running a laboratory with five graduate students, two postdoctoral fellows, and several technicians which is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. From January 1998 to December 2001, Dr. Hatsopoulos was an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University. Dr. Hatsopoulos completed two postdoctoral research fellowships, one in the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University and the other in the Computational Neuroscience Program at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Hatsopoulos completed his B.A. in Physics from Williams College in 1984, his M.S. in Psychology in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 1992. In 2001, he co-founded a company, Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, which is taking the basic scientific research he and his colleagues have conducted to develop neural prosthesis technology to assist people with severe motor disabilities. http://pondside.uchicago.edu/oba/faculty/Hatsopoulos/lab/
  • Donald Humphrey
    Our laboratory focuses upon the organization and the role of the primate motor cortex in the control of learned, skilled movements. Two major areas of research are currently addressed. In the first, experiments are conducted with alert, behaving monkeys in which modern electrophysiological methods are used to examine the plasticity of motor cortical representations of the body. In the second series of experiments, we are examining the extent to which the discharge of motor cortical neurons can be brought under voluntary control by the alert animal.
  • Lisa Krivickas, M.D.
    Dr. Krivickas is Associate Chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at MGH and practices at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. She received her M.D. degree from Harvard University and completed her Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Fellowship at the Department of Neurology at Cleveland Clinic. She currently serves on the Board of scientific advisors for the Massachusetts ALS Association Chapter.
  • Miguel Nicolelis
    Nicolelis is best known for his pioneering work in “reading monkey thought”. He and his colleagues implanted electrode arrays into a monkey’s brain that were able to detect the monkey’s motor intent and thus able to control reaching and grasping movements performed by a robotic arm. He received an M.D. degree from University of São Paulo Medical School in 1984. He got a Phd in 1988/89 at the Institute of Biomedical Science, University of São Paulo.  Currently, Nicolelis is a Professor of Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering and Psychological and Brain Sciences, and he and Craig Henriquez, a Professor in Biomedical Engineering, serve as Co-Directors of the Center for Neuroengineering, Duke University Medical Center (since 2001). He is also currently involved with setting up an international neuroscience research centre in Natal, state of Rio Grande do Norte, the International Institute for Neuroscience of Natal (IINN). In 2004, he was chosen by the journal Science as one of the 100 most influential scientists of the year. He also appears in the 2004 Scientific American listing of most influential research leaders of the year. http://www.nicolelislab.net/
  • Prof. Jerry Pine
    Dr. Pine is Professor of Physics currently residing in the division of Biology, has been contributing to the biophysics/neurobiology field for over 20 years.  Professor Pine and his collaborators have developed a number of new technologies for studying neural systems. Examples include an x-ray microscope for living cells, multi-electrode cell culture chambers, fiber-optic photodiode arrays and high-speed CCD cameras for imaging of neural activity, and silicon probes for long-term interfacing of neural tissue with external electronics.  He is currently leading the Pinelab to develop the neurochip. http://www.its.caltech.edu/~pinelab/new_pinelab_page/pine_lab.htm#jerry
  • Florian Solzbacher, Ph.D.
    Dr. Pine is Professor of Physics currently residing in the division of Biology, has been contributing to the biophysics/neurobiology field for over 20 years.  Professor Pine and his collaborators have developed a number of new technologies for studying neural systems. Examples include an x-ray microscope for living cells, multi-electrode cell culture chambers, fiber-optic photodiode arrays and high-speed CCD cameras for imaging of neural activity, and silicon probes for long-term interfacing of neural tissue with external electronics.  He is currently leading the Pinelab to develop the neurochip. http://www.its.caltech.edu/~pinelab/new_pinelab_page/pine_lab.htm#jerry
  • Florian Solzbacher, Ph.D.
    Besides working as a general MEMS service provider for on and off campus partners, Florian Solzbacher’s core focus in research is in Harsh Environment MEMS.  Solzbacher is also the founder and CEO of BlackRock Microsystems.  The current objective is to team up with industrial partners who will set the specifications and test conditions (and carry out some of the tests) while working towards a better understanding and subsequently better properties on materials together with partners in the USA and Europe.
    http://www.microsystems.utah.edu/main4d34.html?menuItem=5.2
  • Jeff Stibel
    Stibel is a founder and Chairman of BrainGate™ Co.  In addition to BrainGate™, he has also worked with non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, including as a founding Board member of ZEO™, a sleep research company that has a number of commercial products that utilize EEG technology to predict brain activity.  Stibel is currently President and a member of the Board of Directors of Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW), a leading provider of online marketing services for entrepreneurs. Prior to Web.com, Stibel was Senior Vice President and General Manager at United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD), a technology company that owns and operates leading web services, including NetZero, Juno, and Classmates.com. He serves on the board of directors for a number of public and private companies. He also serves on the Board of Brown University’s Entrepreneurship Program and Tufts University’s Gordon Center for Leadership. Stibel currently writes for Harvard Business School Publishing and has authored numerous articles on a variety of subjects. He is the named inventor on the US patent for search engine interfaces. Stibel was a Brain and Behavior Fellow while studying for his PhD at Brown University and studied business at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
  • Timothy Surgenor
    Until BrainGate acquired the assets of Cyberkinetics, Surgenor was President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of CyberKinetics, Inc., a commercial developer of brain-machine interfaces. Mr. Surgenor joined Cyberkinetics in 2003 from Haemonetics Corporation, a medical device company located in Braintree, MA where he was Executive Vice President with responsibility for business development, global marketing, quality assurance and regulatory affairs from 1999- 2003. While at Haemonetics, Mr. Surgenor was an active member of the investor relations team. From 1994 -1999, Mr. Surgenor was President of Genzyme Tissue Repair, the cell therapy division of Genzyme Corporation located in Cambridge, MA. While at Genzyme Tissue Repair, Mr. Surgenor led successful public offerings which raised approximately $100 million. Previously, Mr. Surgenor was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BioSurface Technology, Inc. and also held various positions in operations at Integrated Genetics. Mr. Surgenor received a B.A. in Biochemistry from Williams College in 1981 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1987.