PROVIDENCE – Israel recently bestowed a $1 million prize to Brown University’s BrainGate researchers for their work in developing an interface that may help people with severe paralysis live more independent lives.
On Oct. 15th, Israeli President Shimon Peres presented the award to John Donoghue and Arto Nurmikko, who accepted it on behalf of the BrainGate team during a ceremony at a brain science technology conference in Israel.
Donoghue, who directs Brown’s Institute for Brain Science and is co-director of the BrainGate team , said in a statement that the team was greatly honored to receive the Moshe Mirilashvili Memorial Fund BRAIN Prize, which is awarded for breakthroughs in brain technology which better humanity.
“It will support our continued research to help people with paralysis, some of whom cannot speak, to restore their connection to the world around them,” he said.
The interface consists of a small grid with 96 electrodes, which can be implanted in the brain and help command robotic arms and other devices. With the device, people can move their robotic hands and arms just by thinking about it.
Nurmikko said that the award recognizes an extraordinary collaboration of gifted Brown University scientists across multiple disciplines.
“We work as a team unlike any other place I know,” he said.