An ENTICeing Proposition: Neuromodulation Innovation Center

The advent of neuromodulation, the therapeutic alteration of neural activity via an implanted device, has revolutionized the treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Emory has long been at the forefront of this revolution with pioneering research on the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and the identification of novel brain targets for ablation. At the same time, Emory has also been a leader in the development of innovative deep brain stimulation (DBS) techniques for psychiatric disorders (e.g., major depression), and the use of DBS for epilepsy and dystonia. The success of these programs has propelled the expansion of neuromodulation-related research at Emory, which now spans  the Departments of Neurosurgery, Neurology, Psychiatry, Rehabilitation, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Psychology as well as the Yerkes Primate Center and collaborations with our colleagues at Georgia Tech.

Emory is now prepared to take the next step. By bringing together these clinicians, researchers, and engineers into a single center, Emory hopes to further develop these discoveries into practical solutions and products. This new center is called the Emory Neuromodulation and Technology Innovation Center (ENTICe). The goal of ENTICe is to advance the understanding and effectiveness of neuromodulation in order to reduce the burden of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The key to its success is the creation of an organization and environment that nourishes synergistic interaction among basic neuroscientists, engineers, and clinician scientists who are focused on a better understanding of brain disease mechanisms and the development, testing, and translation of new neuromodulation technologies into clinical practice.

With an eye toward eventual transfer and commercialization, ENTICe will bring investment, resources, integration, and coordination to the groundbreaking work already underway. This interdisciplinary program, with both technical and theoretical work, will be poised to propel the field forward towards novel discoveries, technology, and devices. OTT will play a distinct and important role in this process, providing intellectual property and commercialization expertise to ENTICe.  Not only does Emory itself have a long history of discovery in the neuroscience space, but OTT does as well.  Many of OTT’s current staff have advanced degrees or backgrounds in neuroscience and they too are excited to see what can be developed through this center. One such staff members is Lisa Matragrano, OTT’s marketing associate. “I’m excited to see this initiative lead the way in neuromodulation research and development and working with this discoveries will be personally rewarding.”