Join us for Techna Rounds as we welcome Milos R. Popovic to be our speaker for the month. Milos R. Popovic is the Toronto Rehab Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research. He is also a Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, as well as Senior Scientist and the Neural Engineering and Therapeutics Team Leader at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Popovic’s fields of expertise are functional electrical stimulation, neuro-rehabilitation, brain machine interfaces, modeling and control of linear and non-linear dynamic systems, robotics, power systems, signal processing, and safety analysis. His interests are in the areas of neuro-rehabilitation, physiological control systems, assistive technology, and brain machine interfaces.
In 1997 he was a co-recipient of the Swiss National Science Foundation Technology Transfer Award. In 2008, Dr. Popovic was awarded the Engineering Medal for Research and Development from the Professional Engineers of Ontario and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. In 2012, he won the 1st Prize and the Best Intellectual Property Award at the annual TiEQuest Business Venture Competition for his company Simple Systems Inc.
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) therapy has a potential to improve: a) voluntary reaching and grasping among individuals with hemiplegia secondary to stroke, and b) voluntary grasping among individuals with tetraplegia secondary to spinal cord injury. In this lecture I will present the results of the two single site randomized control trials, that have shown that the FES therapy for upper limb function has been able to generate both clinically relevant and statistically significant improvements in severe sub-acute stroke patients and sub-acute spinal cord injury patients. During the lecture we will also discuss some potential mechanisms that the FES therapy engages to produce these dramatic improvements.