Neuroengineering Initiative

Rice has invested $50 million to launch a new Neuroengineering Initiative, an initiative that includes 26 researchers including scientists from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine. The university works closely with clinicians and their patients to study neural function and not only devise new technologies for interacting with the brain, but also create new ways to diagnose, treat and even prevent diseases and disorders ranging from Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and Parkinson’s to chronic pain and depression. One such project that gained a lot of ground in 2020 is aimed at developing headset technology that can directly link the human brain and machines without the need for surgery. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funded the team’s proof-of-principle research toward a wireless brain link in 2018, has asked for a preclinical demonstration of the technology that could set the stage for human tests as early as 2022. Read more about this research in Rice News.