Oct. 10, 2008
Providence, R.I. - A former competitor for the Brown fencing team and current Associate Professor of Engineering Leigh R. Hochberg '90 is one of 20 physician-scientists conducting clinical research to receive Clinical Scientist Development Awards of $135,000 per year for three years from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The award provides start-up funding for physician-scientists establishing their own research teams and enables them to spend the majority of their professional time doing clinical research.
Hochberg's research project is entitled "Neural Interfaces for Restoration of Function After Paralysis." After earning his M.D. and Ph.D. at Emory University, followed by a residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Hochberg formed the HMS Neurotechnology Workgroup. He helped design the pilot trials of a brain-computer interface for paralyzed patients. In preliminary trials, the BrainGate system has allowed those patients to move a computer cursor using only neural activity.
Hochberg and neuroscience professor John Donoghue '79 Ph.D. will continue to collaborate closely in the development of neural interface systems for people with paralysis or limb loss.