Winter Speaker Series: David Borton

February 29, 2020 2:00 pm Griswold House

"Wired and Rewired: On the Cutting Edge of Neuroscience"

David Borton, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Brown University

Our brains have evolved to enable flexible behavior in a dynamic and uncertain world. The neural computations necessary to perceive, process, and act within one’s environment are dynamic, changing across time, space, and social contexts. Such complex brain circuit interactions define what it is to be human. But what happens when traumatic brain injury or severe mental illness interrupts or prevents this circuitry from working properly? In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 people currently live in the U.S. with spinal cord injury, including 11% completely unable to move, and 9.6 million adults suffer from mental illness sufficiently significant to disrupt everyday life.

Join us for a rare and fascinating peek into the Brown University neuroscience lab, where cutting-edge and life-altering neurotechnological developments designed to work in synergy with the brain are being piloted to restore agency to those suffering from spinal cord injuries and severe mental illness. Just imagine if reanimating paralyzed limbs was possible…

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David Borton received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2006, his PhD in Bioengineering from Brown University in 2012, and performed a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellowship at the Ecole Polytechnique Fèdèrale de Lausanne.

David Borton is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Brown University School of Engineering, the Carney Institute for Brain Science, and is a Biomedical Engineer at the Providence Veterans Affairs Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology. Prof. Borton leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on the design, development, and deployment of novel neural recording and stimulation technologies. Prof. Borton’s team leverages engineering principles to untangle the underpinnings of sensorimotor and neuropsychiatric disease and injury. In 2015, Prof. Borton was awarded prestigious Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award for his work on spinal cord electrical stimulation as a means to restore sensory perception, followed in 2017 by the DARPA Director’s Award. His work has been featured in Nature, Neuron, and Science Translational Medicine, among others and the laboratory is currently supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and industry partnerships.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Lee C. Bakalarski
Lockett Ford Ballard, Jr., in memory of Canon Lockett Ford Ballard & Charlotte Carr Morrinson Ballard

Johanna and Ronald Becker
Mary Jennings
Cynthia Sinclair
Kathleen Shinners
The Hope Foundation

This event is made possible by your support of the Annual Fund.

Thank you to the Winter Speaker Series Committee

Johanna Becker, Chairwoman
Bruce Amand
Cristin Searles Bilodeau, Director of Community Engagement
Eleanor Doumato
Richard Hunt
Anne DeBose Joslin
Susan Kieronski
Kathleen Shinners