Hello from Athens! I’m LIMBS member Erin Sutton, and this week I’m at the International Conference of Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention. My collaborator, Ben Fuerst, and I are presenting our latest research in bioelectric navigation, a system for technology for catheter navigation during endovascular procedures that does not require ionizing radiation. The sensor technology was inspired by the weakly electric fish, one of our favorite model systems in LIMBS.
Dr. Sandy Wells, reviewing the broad range of topics represented at this year’s conference.
Our talk can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/GutD3Cc6LxA?list=PLsrNuu93xWxUDbZ9h5NLlOQ7ax5HZYTen (we start around 1:00:00). The talk was well-received, and attendees showed a lot of interest in the project. If you’d like more information, you’re welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ben at email@example.com.
Luke Arend took First Place in the Final Presentations at the LCSR’s 2016 CSMR REU program. Congratulations Luke!
The LIMBS Laboratory has a new postdoc position available — see our Opportunities page.
On on Feb 9, 2016, Erin Sutton passed the dreaded Graduate Board Oral Exam…. Congratulations, Erin!!
LIMBS Lab director Noah Cowan and his colleague, neuroscientist Eric Fortune, were awarded a $805,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, entitled “Neural Mechanisms of Active Sensing”.
Animals, including humans, routinely use movement to sense the world around them. For example, to sense the texture of an object, a person might move her hand over the surface, whereas to measure the object’s weight, she might hold it in her palm and move it up and down. This use of different movements to sense features of the environment is called Active Sensing. Although active sensing is commonplace in human behavior, how the brain generates and controls these movements is poorly understood. The goal of this project is to reveal and describe (in mathematical equations) the brain’s strategies for active sensing. This will be achieved by studying a specialized animal species, the weakly electric glass knifefish. This animal was chosen because it has a suite of properties that make it ideally suited for the experimental approach. The expected findings will have broad implications for active sensing in other animals (including humans) because active sensing behaviors are similar across species. This work will have broad societal impacts, including the possible transformation of robotic control systems and enhanced understanding of the brain that may ultimately improve our understanding of neurological disorders. Further this work includes multidisciplinary training of promising students in critical STEM fields.
How do you keep track of where you are as you walk through a known environment, such as your house or a shopping mall? To study this question, Mechanical Engineering professor Noah Cowan and Neuroscience professor James Knierim were selected to receive two awards that aim to use engineering approaches to shed new light on the brain’s “inner GPS”.
- 2015 Johns Hopkins Discovery Award, entitled “Engineering Approaches to Studying Spatial Representations in the Brain”. PI: Noah J. Cowan. $100,000.
- A National Institutes of Health R21, entitled “A Control Theoretic Approach to Addressing Hippocampal Function“, PI: Noah J. Cowan. $202,500.
On Thursday December 11 Alican Demir presented his PhD dissertation research to a packed seminar room at Johns Hopkins. Alican joined the lab as a Freshman in 2013, performed MSE thesis research in the lab, worked as a research specialist for a few years, and then completed his PhD, so his contributions have been monumental in shaping the LIMBS laboratory over the years. Congratulations Alican!
PhD candidate Mustafa Mert Ankarali has been selected to join the prestigious Siebel Scholars Class of 2015. This scholarship is awarded annually for academic excellence and demonstrated leadership to 85 top students from world’s leading graduate schools. Mert is the first Siebel Scholar from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at JHU.