UW neuroengineer Azadeh Yazdan, professor of bioengineering and of electrical and computer engineering, and UW Bioengineering Ph.D. student Julien Bloch have co-authored an article for The Conversation. Alec Greaves-Tunnell, a visiting researcher in computational neuroscience at UW, is also a co-author of the article.
In their article, “Brain stimulation can rewire and heal damaged neural connections, but it isn’t clear how – research suggests personalization may be key to more effective therapies,” Yazdan, Bloch and Greaves-Tunnell discuss the Yazdan lab’s finding that existing connections in the brain are the most important factor to predicting brain changes, rather than how stimulation is delivered. The Yazdan lab develops neural engineering technologies and new brain stimulation-based therapies aimed at restoring function and movement in people who have had a stroke or other brain injuries. Their work shows that tailoring treatment to each individual brain could help improve the effectiveness of brain stimulation therapies.
The research featured in The Conversation article was recently published in iScience. Bloch, a UW BioE Ph.D. student who works in the Yazdan lab, is lead author on that paper, titled Network structure mediates functional reorganization induced by optogenetic stimulation of non-human primate sensorimotor cortex. Based on his paper’s potential impact, quality of its technical content and originality of proposed solutions, Bloch was named the 2022 recipient of the Center for Neurotechnology (CNT) Best Paper Award for Neurotechnology Advancement. Learn more in a CNT post.
Yazdan is the Washington Research Foundation Innovation Assistant Professor of Neuroengineering, and an investigator with the UW’s Center for Neurotechnology, Weill Neurohub and the Washington National Primate Research Center. She recently received an American Heart Association Career Development Award in support of her innovative stroke treatment, and the UW College of Engineering honored her with the 2022 Junior Faculty Award.
The Conversation is an independent source for informed commentary and analysis, written by the academic and research community and edited by journalists for the general public. The site offers expert commentary on big issues of the day, and the latest research news and breakthroughs.