Feinstein’s Tracey to head bioelectronics summit

MIRA, MIRA, on the ball: Feinstein Institute head Kevin Tracey is one of two Feinstein researchers receiving major NIH awards this week.

Feinstein Institute chief and global bioelectronics pioneer Kevin Tracey will headline a September New York Academy of Science conference on bioelectronic medicine.

Tracey, Feinstein’s president and CEO and the brains behind bioelectronic startup Sanguistat, will share keynote duties with Peder Olofsson, a longtime Feinstein Institute researcher and Wallenberg Academy Fellow at the Karolinska Institutet. The two will headline Key Symposium 2016: Bioelectronic Medicine – Technology Targeting Molecular Mechanisms, presented by the Feinstein Institute, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Internal Medicine and the NYAS.

The three-day conference, slated to be held at the academy’s World Trade Center facility, includes nearly two dozen speakers from across the bioelectronic medicine spectrum, addressing an agenda filled with brain interfaces, molecular sensors and other tools and techniques mashing the cutting-edge worlds of neuroscience, biology and computing.

The Karolinska Institutet, a longtime Feinstein strategic partner, is Sweden’s leading medical research institution and home base of the committee that bestows the annual Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. It’s also where Olofsson earned his PhD, and has returned to serve as founding director of the institute’s Center for Bioelectronic Medicine.

Karolinska is well known in bioelectronics circles for a 2015 breakthrough in which researchers built a fully functional neuron using organic bioelectronic components, capable of mimicking the functions of human nerve cells.

That brand of next-level medicine will infuse the Sept. 21-23 conference, where the long list of scheduled speakers includes former Battelle Memorial Institute chief scientist Chad Bouton.

Sanguistat CTO Chad Bouton

Sanguistat CTO Chad Bouton

Bouton migrated in 2015 to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health’s R&D arm, to work on Tracey’s Neural Tourniquet. The bioelectronic device, which electrically stimulates neural pathways to reduce blood loss in field and surgical patients, is the heart of Sanguistat, where Bouton serves as chief technology officer.

He’s also has been named managing director of the Center for Bioelectronic Medicine, the $300 million hub Northwell Health is assembling in Uniondale.

Also scheduled to speak at the 13th-annual Key Symposium is Anthony Zador, the neuroscience chair and a professor of biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where his team uses computational and electrophysiological techniques to study neural circuits.

Zador joins an impressive roster of scheduled speakers hailing from Harvard University, MIT, GlaxoSmithKline, DARPA and other international bioelectronic medicine hubs, gathered to discuss ways that bioelectronics “may change the future of therapies for a wide variety of diseases,” according to the NYAS.

“This groundbreaking discipline is aimed at interfacing electronics with nerves to specifically target the biological processes underlying disease,” the academy said in a statement. “Bioelectronic medicine is now at the epicenter of where healthcare, technology and science converge. A unique moment exists to characterize the challenges and opportunities facing the future of this scientific domain.”

More on the NYAS symposium, including a full program of events and registration information, is available on the conference website.