• Konstantinos Michmizos

Congratulations to Prof. Konstantinos Michmizos, who has received a Busch Biomedical Grant Award for his project, entitled “Computational Neuromodulation: Neuromarkers to personalize Deep Brain Stimulation.” The award is highly competitive, with only 5% of submitted proposals receiving an award. The grant is for an amount of $50,000 (the maximum possible) for a duration of two years.The grant was submitted in collaboration with the Neurosurgeons team at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, namely Stephen Wong, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Shabbar Danish, MD, Chief, Neurosurgery and Eric Hangreaves, PhD, Instructor in Neurosurgery.The project will try to reveal the fundamental therapeutic mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a neurosurgery treating a variety of neurological disorders —most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, we will try to associate, for the first time, the intraoperative neural information with the long-term prediction of the surgical procedure. To do so, we will employ Machine Learning techniques to support the neurosurgeon in a very delicate yet, currently, highly empirical procedure that determines the success of DBS: that of finding the optimal brain area, of less than 0.5 mm in size, to apply the stimulation.If successful, this line of research will enhance the quality of life of patients, transforming the neural signals into useful personalized information by guiding the surgical procedure and enhancing DBS prognosis. In light of the fact that DBS has now started to evolve around many diseases affecting the motor, cognitive and emotional domain, the grant will unleash the computational power of the neural signals to many new directions.