A neuroscience seminar highlights technologies for brain injuries and vaccine developments.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The same technology that helps treat traumatic brain injuries in athletes and soldiers may one day help doctors determine the effectiveness of vaccines on patients.

This technology is among the neuroscience innovations and research in the spotlight as Purdue University’s Center for Paralysis Research and Plexon Neurotechnology Systems present the Seminar for Neurotrauma and Diseases. The seminar series, which runs through April, features speakers from Purdue, Harvard Medical School and the medical industry.

“Purdue has an incredible environment for developing advances in neuroscience and neurotrauma,” said Riyi Shi, the Purdue Mari Hulman George Endowed Professor of Applied Neuroscience in the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor of biomedical engineering. “We have very strong expertise in engineering, veterinary medicine and science. Our collaborative approach brings about unique engineering solutions for modern medical problems.

“Through this Purdue-Plexon alliance, an example of an academic and corporate partnership, the new Seminar of Neurotrauma and Diseases, sponsored by Plexon Neurotechnology Systems, will result in immediate and long-lasting impact for neurotrauma research that will transcend scientific and geographic boundaries.”

Some of the topics being presented during the seminar series are novel approaches to treating traumatic brain injuries, newly discovered potential biomarkers for neurological diseases and integrative neuroscience techniques for medical imaging.

“The topics for this seminar series are germane to what we do and the equipment we produce,” said Andrew Klein, vice president of sales and marketing at Plexon “We team up with researchers like those at Purdue and work with Purdue’s neuroscience community and Purdue Research Foundation to help answer questions and understand what happens in the brain.”

The seminar series is powered by Purdue’s Center for Paralysis Research, working closely with both the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience and Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery.

“This series is just another example of how the Center for Paralysis Research is consistently striving to push exciting new basic research ideas to the forefront of modern medicine and beyond, and we are excited to collaborate with industry leaders like Plexon to help accomplish that mission,” Shi said.

Shi is a neuroscience innovator who, along with several Purdue colleagues, has developed a drug that has gained FDA approval for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Recently, he has discovered a new treatment using a World War II chemical agent antidote. The drug shows success in eliminating toxins in the brain that are linked to Parkinson’s disease.

It is one of several technologies Shi patented with the help of the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. This office operates as one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S.

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