IEEE Brain Virtual Conference: Bioelectronics

IEEE Brain Bioelectronics Virtual Conference

IEEE Brain Initiative is proud to announce the launch of the inaugural IEEE Brain Virtual Conference.  The first event, to be held 26 November 2019, will explore the emerging field of bioelectronics.

Bioelectronics is a rapidly growing field that develops electronic systems to intelligently interact with biological tissue for applications spanning healthcare, lifestyle, and education. In this virtual conference you will learn fundamental principles of bioelectronic systems and hear from world experts about how to build a successful career in this emerging research field.

In the morning session, you will hear three tutorials presented by leading researchers on:

  • Organic bioelectronic interfaces
  • Bioelectronic microfabrication
  • Mechanics of bioelectronic devices

In the afternoon session, you will participate in an interactive question and answer session focused on career development. The first career development panel will focus on issues facing new and early-stage researchers, while the second panel will focus on building and maintaining leading research groups and working with industry. In these sessions, the panelists will answer your questions about navigating the bioelectronics research field and share some insights from their experiences.

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Date and Time

The IEEE Brain Bioelectronics Virtual Conference will be held on  Tuesday, 26 November 2019 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM CST, USA.


Jacob Robinson
Rice University

Lan Luan
Rice University

Preliminary Program

    Note: Prelimnary program times are not final and may be subject to change.
    Start Time
    (Central Standard Time, USA)
    10:00 AMTutorial 1: Organic BioelectronicsJonathan Rivnay, Northwestern University
    10:30 AMQ&A 1
    10:40 AMBreak
    10:45 AMTutorial 2: Electrode MicrofabricationJohn Seymour, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
    11:15 AMQ&A 2
    11:25 AMBreak
    11:30 AMTutorial 3: Electrode MechanicsNanshu Lu, The University of Texas at Austin
    12:00 PMQ&A 3
    12:10 PMLunch Break
    12:45 PMYoung Faculty PanelCynthia Chestek, University of Michigan
    Bozhi Tian, University of Chicago
    Flavia Vitale, University of Pennsylvania
    1:45 PMBreak
    2:00 PMSenior Faculty PanelBianxiao Cui, Stanford University
    Kip Ludwig, University of Wisconsin
    John Rogers, Northwestern University
    3:00 PM Adjourn



John Seymour
Jonathan Rivnay
Northwestern University
Tutorial 1: Organic Bioelectronics

Jonathan Rivnay earned his B.Sc. in 2006 from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). He then moved to Stanford University (Stanford, CA) where he earned a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering studying the structure and electronic transport properties of organic electronic materials. In 2012, he joined the Department of Bioelectronics at the Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne in France as a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow, working on conducting polymer based devices for bioelectronics. Jonathan spent 2015-2016 as a member of the research staff in the Printed Electronics group at the Palo Alto Research Center (Palo Alto, CA) before joining the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in 2017. He is a recipient of the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (2018), and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Chemistry (2019).

John Seymour
John Seymour
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Tutorial 2: Electrode Microfabrication
John Seymour's research is in the area of advanced neurotechnology with a focus on translational brain-machine interfaces. His research has addressed topics including reduced tissue reactivity and improved optical, electrical, and mechanical characteristics of bioelectronics devices. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the McGovern Medical School at the The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He also holds an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor in ECE at Rice University. He earned his B.S. with Honors in Engineering Physics from Ohio State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. His industry experience includes working at NeuroNexus as a Principal Scientist. Dr. Seymour’s other academic experience includes serving as research faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan where he developed novel neural interface systems including neuroscience mapping tools.

Dr. Nanshu Lu
Nanshu Lu
The University of Texas at Austin
Tutorial 3: Electrode Mechanics
Dr. Nanshu Lu is currently Temple Foundation Endowed Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and then Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship at UIUC. Her research concerns the mechanics, materials, manufacture and human integration of soft electronics. She has published more than 80 journal articles with more than 11,000 citations. She has been named 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review (TR 35) and has received NSF CAREER Award and multiple DOD Young Investigator Awards.

Cynthia Chestek
Cynthia Chestek
University of Michigan
Young Faculty Panel
Cynthia A. Chestek received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2005 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2010. From 2010 to 2012, she was a Research Associate at the Stanford Department of Neurosurgery with the Braingate 2 clinical trial. She is now an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, where she joined the faculty in 2012. She runs the Cortical Neural Prosthetics Lab, which focuses on brain and nerve control of finger movements as well as to high-density carbon fiber electrode arrays. She is the author of 34 full-length scientific articles. Her research interests include high-density interfaces to the nervous system for the control of multiple degree of freedom hand and finger movements.

Bozhi Tian
Bozhi Tian
University of Chicago
Bozhi Tian received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and the A. M. and Ph. D. degrees in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 2010, Cambridge, MA. He is an associate professor at the University of Chicago, working on semiconductor-enabled fundamental studies of subcellular biophysics and soft matter dynamics. Dr. Tian’s accolades from his independent career include the Inaugural ETH Materials Research Prize for Young Investigators (2017), Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (2016), NIH new innovator award (2016), Searle Scholars (2013), and TR35 honoree (2012).

Dr. Flavia Vitale
Flavia Vitale
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Flavia Vitale is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Bioengineering and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a core faculty of the Penn Center for Neuroengineering and Therapeutics and of the Center for Neurotrauma, Neurodegeneration & Restoration at the Philadelphia Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Università di Roma "La Sapienza", then completed her training in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering a at Rice University in 2015, where she was a R. A. Welch Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Vitale has received a number of awards, including the Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Rome "La Sapienza", the Taking Flight Award from CURE and the McCabe Fellow Award. Dr. Vitale research interests are in high-resolution, multimodal neuroelectronics enabled by carbon nanoallotropes and other nanostructured materials.

Bianxiao Cui
Bianxiao Cui
Stanford University
Bianxiao Cui is a professor of Chemistry and a fellow of the Wu Tsai Stanford Neuroscience Institute at Stanford University. She holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago and a BS degree from University of Science and Technology of China. She worked as a postdoctoral scholar with Prof. Steven Chu before joining the faculty of Stanford University, Department of Chemistry. Her main area of interest is to understand how cells and tissues interact with nanoscale topographic features of material surfaces. She also develops nanoscale tools to study electrophysiology and signal transduction in neurons at normal conditions and in neurodegenerative diseases. Her awards and distinctions include Barany Award from Biophysical Society, NIH New Innovator Award, NSF CAREER award, NSF Inspire award, Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering, Hellman Scholar, Searle Scholar
Award and Dreyfus New Faculty award.

Kip Ludwig
Kip Ludwig
University of Wisconsin
Dr. Kip Ludwig’s Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin focuses on developing next-generation neuromodulation therapies that use minimally invasive strategies to ‘wiretap’ the nervous system to treat circuit dysfunction and deliver biomolecules to target areas with unprecedented precision. Dr. Ludwig previously served as the Program Director for Neuroengineering at the National Institutes of Health. He co-led the Translational Devices Program at NINDS and led the NIH BRAIN Initiative programs to catalyze implantable academic and clinical devices to stimulate and/or record from the central nervous system. He also developed the NIH/Industry Neurotechnology Public/Private Partnership Program. Dr Ludwig was an NINDS liaison to the FDA, including the FDA’s Stimulation Safety and Early Feasibility Studies Working Groups.
Dr. Ludwig also worked in Industry as a scientist, where he conceived, developed and demonstrated the chronic efficacy of a next-generation neural stimulation electrode for reducing blood pressure in both pre-clinical studies and clinical trials. Through his industry work he oversaw Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non-GLP studies enabling clinical trials in Europe and the United States, as well as participated in the development and execution of those trials, leading to approval for sale in twenty countries and a successful U.S. Pivotal trial.
Dr. Ludwig connects his research to industry through multiple consulting and advisory roles. He is the Chair of the NeuroOne Scientific Advisory Board, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Battelle, Blackfynn, Cala Health and the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies, and is a co-founder of Neuronoff, Inc.

John Rogers
John Rogers
Northwestern University
John A. Rogers is the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine at Northwestern University, with affiliate appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemistry, where he is also Director of the recently endowed Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics. He has published more than 700 papers, is a co-inventor on more than 100 patents and he has co-founded several successful technology companies. His research has been recognized by many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship (2009), the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2011), the Smithsonian Award for American Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences (2013) and most recently the MRS Medal (2018) and the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute (2019). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.