Dr. Eli Peli Of Schepens Eye Research Institute Elected SPIE Fellow

The International Society for Optical Engineering will honor 56 new Fellows of the Society this year. Fellows are members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. They are honored for their technical achievement, for their service to the general optics community, and to SPIE in particular. More than 480 SPIE members have become Fellows since the Society’s inception in 1955.

“The annual recognition of Fellows provides an opportunity for us to acknowledge outstanding members for their service to the general optics community,” says Brian Culshaw, SPIE President.

Eli Peli Schepens Eye Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, USA, for specific achievements in image understanding and perception, visual psychophysics, and physiological optics for the visually impaired.

Peli has done significant basic and applied research towards enhancing imagery for the visually impaired. His work has led to significant pioneering work in digital image processing of retinal images in the 1980s. He was one of the first researchers to apply digital image processing to analysis of nerve fiber layer in Glaucoma and for the measurement of drusen and their changes in age related macular degeneration or AMD. His work on electronic and optical devices for impaired vision has led to several products on the market as well as many novel approaches for testing the effects of vision enhancement and image quality.

Peli’s service to the optics community is impressive. He has supported numerous workshops, advisory panels and committees relative to impaired vision as well as modeling of normal vision. He has also worked with the National Institute of Health on the development of public information and education. His service to SPIE includes chairing sessions relating to visual representation and processing, presenting a continuing education seminar on vision models for simulation and image quality metrics, and serving on the technical committee of visual communications and image processing.

SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering is dedicated to advancing scientific research and engineering applications of optical, photonic, imaging, and optoelectronic technologies through its meetings, education programs, and publications. For more information, visit our website at spie/

Contact: Patti Jacobs

Schepens Eye Research Institute

UK Government spin on success of NHS cataract privatisation criticised

Patricia Hewitt, the UK’s Secretary of State for Health, is wrong to announce that independent sector-treatment centers (IS-TCs) reduced waiting times for cataract operations, states the author of a correspondence letter in this week’s issue of The Lancet.

Patricia Hewitt recently announced to the Fabian Society that “the first wave of IS-TCs has already brought down the waiting times for cataract operations to three months, a target achieved four years earlier than promised”. However, ophthalmic surgeon Simon Kelly states that it is the National Health Service (NHS) ophthalmic staff and not the IS-TCs that have delivered improved services to English cataract patients. The letter follows the recent Lancet editorial, (Lancet 2005; 366:1293), which called for the UK government’s programme of wide-ranging privatisation of the NHS to be stopped until there is independent evidence on the effect of the policy.

Kelly states that targeted capital to construct new NHS ophthalmic facilities and improved practice arising from Action on Cataracts (an NHS scheme run along with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists) not IS-TCs increased the rate of cataract surgery from 170,000 operations in 1998/99 to over 300,000 operations per year by 2003/04. He also notes that the South African corporation Netcare, which won the bid for the Government’s mobile cataract IS-TC scheme, will have to be paid for over 44 000 cataract operations in contracts arranged over 5 years, irrespective of whether they are needed or even carried out.

Mr Kelly (Bolton Eye Unit, Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust, UK) comments: “It is not the IS-TCs that have delivered improved services to English cataract patients, it is National Health Service (NHS) ophthalmic staff�The Lancet is correct to call for a robust analysis of IS-TC evidence and dismiss spin.”

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists have produced a statement in response to this letter. Please visit rcophth.ac

Joe Santangelo

Can Poor Vision Or Hearing Affect Your Mind?

Loss of acuity in hearing and vision is a common accompaniment to aging. While only an estimated one in every 1,000 people under the age of 45 has visual impairment, one in every 13 people over the age of 65 does, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Hearing suffers a similar decline: among people aged 65 to 74, 23 percent have trouble hearing; after age 75, the figure climbs to nearly 40 percent.

In addition to weakening important connections to the environment, this often gradual onset of sensory deprivation can have other important effects on the brain. It is associated with the development of mood disorders, and with declines in key aspects of mental functioning. Finding ways to prevent sensory change, and to adjust to impairments if they develop, is important to maintaining mental health as we age, according to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Mind, Mood & Memory.

“Vision and hearing loss are major public health issues because they affect so many older individuals, and because they have an adverse impact on mental health,” says Dennis Norman EdD, Chief of Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital. “If the senses are limited, everything is affected, including interaction with surroundings, relationships, activities, and feelings of self-worth. Impairment can lead to depression, anxiety, social isolation and many other problems.”


Visual impairment is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as blindness in one eye, blindness in both eyes, or any other significant trouble seeing. Hearing impairment is defined as deafness in one ear, deafness in both ears, or any other significant trouble hearing. According to CDC figures, an estimated 3.6 million Americans aged 70 or over suffer from some form of visual impairment, while 6.7 million older adults report hearing impairment. An estimated 1.7 million adults aged 70 and over report both vision and hearing impairment.

These older people with sensory deficits are at greater risk for a variety of health problems, according to a recent CDC survey. Compared to older individuals without impairments, those with sensory impairment are significantly more likely to encounter functional problems such as difficulties in walking, getting outside, getting into or out of a bed or chair, or managing medications. They are more vulnerable to falls, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and depression. Those with visual impairment are also less likely to socialize than individuals without sensory impairment.

“That’s why evaluating vision and hearing should be part of any health checkup,” Dr. Norman says. “It’s important to catch subtle changes, because the earlier you treat them, the better people are able to deal with the impairments.”


People with vision and hearing problems are also more vulnerable to depression and anxiety, and are less likely to engage in social activities. Depression is characterized by a low mood lasting two weeks or more with symptoms such as pervasive sadness, loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed, feelings of worthlessness, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, agitation, fatigue, and suicidal thought.

A study presented at the International Congress Series in London in April 2005 found that among a group of people with seriously impaired vision, 22 percent exhibited signs of major depression. A National Council on Aging study of 2,300 people with hearing loss found that among individuals with untreated impairment, up to 30 percent reported major depression, and up to 17 percent reported suffering anxiety for a month or more in the preceding year. Mood disorders associated with sensory impairments were often significantly improved through rehabilitation training and/or the use of assistive devices such as hearing aids.


Research suggests that cognition and memory, too, can suffer when vision and hearing fade, although the precise reasons for these changes are not clear. A study of 2,946 people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD, a condition in which a key area of the retina degenerates and people lose the ability to see objects in detail) uncovered a strong link between visual problems and cognitive impairment. From 2000 to 2004, researchers measured the degree of visual impairment of each subject, then administered a series of six tests designed to measure thinking, learning and memory abilities. They found subjects with the greatest degree of visual impairment had the poorest average scores on the test of cognition, and that scores decreased as vision decreased, according to a report in the April 2006 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. The authors proposed that AMD and cognitive decline may result from common risk factors; or that visual impairment may cause cognitive impairment by reducing people’s participation in stimulating events; or that impairment may cause depression and isolation, which may then lead to cognitive decline.

People with hearing impairment may also experience problems with cognitive functioning. Work by researchers at Brandeis University suggests that memory ability among people with hearing loss may be compromised by the extra effort required to hear. In a study comparing a group of older people with mild-to-moderate hearing impairment with a similar group without hearing impairment, participants were read a list of 15 words and instructed to remember only the last three words. People with hearing impairments were able to remember the final word as well as the unimpaired, but they did significantly worse at remembering the other two words. Differences between the two groups may indicate that resources that would otherwise be available for higher-level comprehension or encoding information in memory was expended by the hearing-impaired in the effort to hear accurately, the researchers suggested.


Make an effort to prevent hearing and vision loss by getting regular checkups to catch problems early, and by taking preventative measures such as these:

Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses to reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) that might damage the eyes; use eye protection when operating machinery that may inflict injury from flying objects such as sparks or chips.

Protect your ears from loud noises (85 decibels or more) that can damage the delicate hair cells of the inner ear by avoiding noise sources, using earplugs or keeping earphone volume low.

Maintain health by getting regular medical checkups, giving up smoking, and managing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure that can damage eyes and/or ears.

Eat right: A healthy diet can protect your eyes. Consume plenty of citrus fruits and juices for vitamin C; eat carrots and dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach for beta-carotene; eat whole grains, nuts, and eggs for vitamin E; and get needed zinc from fish, meats, whole grains and dairy products. For nutrients that strengthen or protect hearing, eat foods rich in: vitamin D (fortified dairy products, seafood, fortified cereals); vitamin B12 (meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and shellfish); and folate (liver, eggs, beans, fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, and fruits).

Consider supplements. Ask your doctor about taking supplements. In addition to the vitamins and minerals mentioned above, supplements of bilberry (huckleberry) have been thought to perhaps help protect eyesight, and ginkgo biloba and vinpocetine may help prevent or ameliorate hearing problems.
There are also basic steps that can be taken to help people cope with existing impairment of hearing and vision.

“Recognize the fact that you or a loved one may need assistance,” advises Dr. Norman. “Try to accept help from others, and take advantage of devices such as magnifying lenses and hearing aids that can help ensure independence.”


Get professional help for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Make an effort to continue social activities. Isolation can lead to depression and lack of mental stimulation.

Learn about the impairment, and how other people cope with it. Consider joining a support group.


These groups that offer support and information to help people cope with hearing and vision impairment

Visit, eyecareamerica

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Health Minister Announces New Programme To Speed Up Eye Treatment, Wales

Nine treatment centres will be established across Wales to help ensure faster, fairer treatment for patients at risk of losing their sight, Health Minister Edwina Hart announced today. It follows a review of current arrangements by Local Health Boards for delivering treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD is the primary cause of sight loss in the UK.

Last June, Mrs Hart announced that the NHS in Wales would fund Lucentis treatment for first and second eye patients with wet AMD.

Mrs Hart also announced a further ??10m for providing treatment for wet AMD in 2009/10. ??5m is already being made available for treatment in 2008/09.
Edwina Hart said:
“Since the summer, when I announced that the Assembly Government would fund treatment for wet AMD in both eyes, it has become clear that there are differences in service delivery across Wales. To ensure that every patient is guaranteed the same quality of care, nine treatment centres will be established across Wales. Funding treatment for both eyes will mean added pressure on ophthalmology services. I am therefore pleased to announce that staffing levels will also be increased this month.

“An ophthalmology network will also be established so that, in the longer term, there is a vehicle for clinical training and expertise in the field of wet AMD. All this will ensure we provide a faster, fairer, higher quality service for patients.”

Patients in Wales are already undergoing treatment for wet AMD in the second eye. Treatment for wet AMD in the first eye will commence from 20 November.
Mrs Hart also said that patients who have self-funded treatment for wet AMD will be allowed to transfer their treatment with future costs being met by the Welsh Assembly Government.

1. The nine treatment centres will be located at:

North Wales:
— Ysbyty Gwynedd
— H M Stanley, St. Asaph
— Wrexham Maelor

West Wales:
— Bronglais, Aberystwyth
— Amman Valley, Ammanford
— Singleton

South East Wales:
— Royal Glamorgan
— University Hospital, Cardiff
— St. Woolos, Newport

With the exception of Amman Valley, which is a new treatment centre, all the other locations are hospital based and are already treating patients.

2. On 24 June 2008, the Health Minister made a written statement announcing that the NHS in Wales would fund Lucentis treatment for first and second eye patients with Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration, to the tune of ??5m for 207/08.

3. On 14 July 2008, the Health Minister made a further written statement announcing that Chris Martin, Chair of Pembrokeshire LHB, would assess how the care of patients with wet AMD would be delivered across Wales.

Health Minister (Wales) Edwina Hart

View drug information on Lucentis.

Ampio Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation Of Phase II Clinical Trial Of Optina™

Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AMPE) announced the initiation of a Phase II clinical trial of Optina™ for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, an early stage of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic macular edema is responsible for most vision loss in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Ampio Pharmaceuticals has completed a formal agreement with St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada as a final step for ethics board approval which is expected in the next few days. “We are very excited to be commencing this trial and pending the final approval of the ethics board we will commence patient recruitment in the next weeks,” stated Don Wingerter, CEO of Ampio Pharmaceuticals. Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. David Bar-Or added, “After accumulating in vitro and animal data, it is gratifying to begin treating patients for this debilitating disease.”

Diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy are complications of diabetes mellitus that occur in approximately one third of patients 10 years after the onset of diabetes and are rapidly growing causes of blindness worldwide. There is currently no effective oral medication to treat diabetic macular edema or diabetic retinopathy. Optina™ is a repurposed oral drug with an established human safety profile. Pre-clinical studies have shown the potential for Optina™ to significantly reduce diabetic macular edema in patients.

About Ampio Pharmaceuticals

Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. develops innovative proprietary drugs for metabolic disease, eye disease, kidney disease, inflammation and CNS disease. The product pipeline includes new uses for previously approved drugs and new molecular entities (“NMEs”). By concentrating on development of new uses for previously approved drugs, approval timelines, costs and risk of clinical failure are reduced because these drugs have strong potential to be safe and effective while their shorter development times can significantly increase near-term value. A key strategy includes actively exploring partnership, licensing and other collaboration opportunities to maximize Ampio’s product development programs.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain of the above statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements are within the meaning of that term in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors.

Source: Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Strong International Presence And High Attendance Mark American Academy Of Ophthalmology Joint Meeting

Turnout was strong for the largest and most comprehensive ophthalmic educational meeting in the world, the 2009 American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy)-Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) Joint Meeting, held in San Francisco Oct. 25 to Oct. 27. Preliminary figures for attendance at the meeting were approximately 25,000, a 17 percent increase over 2008. More than 6,000 international physicians attended the meeting, an increase of 50 percent compared to 2008. Preliminary figures for attendance at the Subspecialty Day events Oct. 23 and 24 also showed a strong increase, totaling more than 7,100, a 37 percent rise over the previous year.

“That 25,000 people from all fifty states came to the meeting in the midst of economic turmoil speaks volumes about the appetite of ophthalmologists for the latest knowledge and skills,” said David W. Parke II, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the Academy. “The presence of so many of our international colleagues was especially gratifying and enriched the meeting even more. Our patients come first, and we all recognize that providing the highest quality care means committing to continual education.”

The opening session on Oct. 25 included the presentation of the 2009 Laureate Recognition Award, the Academy’s highest honor, to Bernard Becker, MD, for his leadership in ophthalmic research, clinical care, and education. In addition, the session featured a tribute to H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, who retired as the Academy’s executive vice president in March, 2009 after 16 years.

Science highlights from the media included research about a wide range of ophthalmic issues, including the vision of Iraqi war veterans, barriers to care among glaucoma patients, and complaints about vision changes as an early clue to Alzheimer’s. A full listing of highlights is available in the Academy’s Joint Meeting Newsroom.

Press briefings at the Joint Meeting included presentations on advances in cataract surgery and intraocular lenses and a panel on key issues to emerge during the year, including advances in diabetic retinopathy, the relationship between learning disabilities and vision, and advances in management of dry age-related macular degeneration. Audio recordings of these brief briefings are also available on the Academy’s Web site.

American Academy of Ophthalmology

Blocking neurodegeneration by radiation and bone marrow transfer prevents inherited glaucoma in mice

In a discovery that could point to new treatments for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases, Jackson Laboratory
researchers have found that high-dose radiation and bone marrow transfer treatments on glaucoma-susceptible mice completely
blocked the development of glaucoma, by preventing neurodegeneration.

Glaucomas are among the most common neurodegenerative diseases, and a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Many
patients with glaucoma have high intraocular pressure (IOP), long believed to be a cause of the degeneration of the optic
nerve and nerve cells in the retina that leads to vision loss. The standard treatment for glaucoma is reducing the
intraocular pressure by medication or surgery.

However, researchers have also observed that some patients with elevated IOP do not develop optic nerve and retinal damage,
while others do incur damage despite relatively normal IOP. “It’s increasingly clear,” says Dr. Simon W.M. John, leader of
the Jackson Laboratory research team and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, “that multiple mechanisms are at
work in this disease.”

John and researchers elsewhere have identified several genes associated with glaucomas. They have also developed inherited
mouse glaucoma models that reliably develop glaucoma in mid-life. One of these models is the DBA/2J mouse.

The Jackson research team treated 5- to 8-week-old DBA/2J mice with a single, high dose of gamma radiation, together with
bone marrow transfer.

When they examined the mice at 12-14 months–an age at which most DBA/2J mice have advanced glaucoma–the researchers were
amazed to find that the vast majority of mice did not have glaucoma. There was no detectable loss of the retinal ganglion
cells, which typically degenerate in glaucoma.

“It was very surprising and we had to be very careful,” John said. “We repeated the experiment two more times with the same

The research paper, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to suggest that
high-dose radiation together with bone marrow transfer–treatments in use today for human patients with leukemia and other
cancers–could potentially treat glaucoma.

“It is possible that the treatment may also protect against other neurodegenerative diseases, but many experiments are needed
to test this,” he noted. Conditions in this category include Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Of course, full-body radiation and bone marrow transfer is not an appropriate therapy for human glaucoma. Dr. John said his
lab would be investigating whether directing radiation locally to the optic nerve and retina might be equally effective in
preventing glaucoma in mice. Ultimately, studies that reveal how the treatment works may lead to new types of therapy for

The Jackson Laboratory, founded 75 years ago, is the world’s largest mammalian genetics research institution. Its research
staff of more than 450 investigates the genetic basis of cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma,
diabetes, and many other human diseases and disorders. The Laboratory is also the world’s source for nearly 3,000 strains of
genetically defined mice, home of the Mouse Genome Database and many other publicly available information resources, and an
international hub for scientific courses, conferences, training and education.

High-dose radiation with bone marrow transfer prevents neurodegeneration in an inherited glaucoma. Michael G. Anderson,
Richard T. Libby, Douglas B. Gould, Richard S. Smith, and Simon W. M. John. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
online publication March 9, 2005.

Contact: Joyce Peterson
Jackson Laboratory

Eye movements not only help with image stabilization, they help us recognize partially hidden or moving objects

Ever watch a jittery video made with a hand-held camera that made you almost ill? With our eyes constantly darting back and forth and our body hardly ever holding still, that is exactly what our brain is faced with. Yet despite the shaky video stream, we usually perceive our environment as perfectly stable.

Not only does the brain find a way to compensate for our constantly flickering gaze, but researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that it actually turns the tables and relies on eye movements to recognize partially hidden or moving objects. Their findings will be published in a forthcoming issue of Nature Neuroscience.

“You might expect that if you move your eyes, your perception of objects might get degraded,” explains senior author Richard Krauzlis, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute. “The striking thing is that moving your eyes can actually help resolve ambiguous visual inputs.”

Our eyes move all the time, whether to follow a moving object or to scan our surroundings. On average, our eyes move several times a second – in fact, in a lifetime, our eyes move more often than our heart beats. “Nevertheless, you don’t have the sense that the world has just swept across or rotated around you. You sense that the world is stable,” says Krauzlis.

Just like high-end video cameras, the brain relies on an internal image stabilization system to prevent our perception of the world from turning into a blurry mess. Explains lead author Ziad Hafed, Ph.D. “Obviously, the brain has found a solution. In addition to the jumpy video stream, the visual system constantly receives feedback about the eye movements that the brain is generating.”

Hafed and Krauzlis took the question of how the brain is able to maintain perception under less than optimal circumstances one step further. “If you think of the video stream as a bunch of pixels coming in from the eyes, the real challenge for the visual system is to decide which pixels belong to which objects. We wondered whether information about eye movements is used by the brain to solve this difficult problem,” says Hafed, who is an NSERC (Canada) and Sloan-Swartz post-doctoral researcher at the Salk Institute.

Krauzlis explains that the human brain recognizes objects in everyday circumstances because it is very good at filling in missing visual information. “When we see a deer partially hidden by tree trunks in a forest, we can still segment the visual scene and properly interpret the individual features and group them together into objects,” he says.

However, even though recognizing that deer is effortless for us, it is not a trivial accomplishment for the brain. Teaching computers to recognize objects in real life situations has proven to be an almost insurmountable problem. Artificial intelligence researchers have spent much time and effort trying to design robots that can recognize objects in unconstrained situations, but so far, their success has been limited.

To determine whether eye movements actually help the brain recognize objects, Hafed and Krauzlis asked whether people perceived an object better when they actively moved their eyes or when they stared at a given point in space. Human subjects watched a short video that allowed them to glimpse a partially hidden chevron shape that moved in a circle.

When they kept their eyes still by fixating on a stationary spot, observers perceived only random lines moving up and down. But when they moved their eyes such that the input video streams through them were unaltered, viewers easily recognized the lines as a circling chevron.

“It turns out that eye movements not only help with image stabilization, but that this additional input also plays a fairly important role for the perception of objects in the face of all the challenges that real life visual scenes pose – that objects are obscured or are moving, and so on,” says Hafed.

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fundamental discoveries in the life sciences, the improvement of human health, and the training of future generations of researchers. Jonas Salk, M.D., whose polio vaccine all but eradicated the crippling disease poliomyelitis in 1955, opened the Institute in 1965 with a gift of land from the City of San Diego and the financial support of the March of Dimes.

Contact: Gina Kirchweger

Salk Institute

Specific Brain Regions Show Increased Activity During Hallucinations

Ever seen or heard something that wasn’t there? For most of us such experiences – termed hallucinations – are a normal, fleeting, brain glitch; yet for a few they are persistent, distressing and associated with a range of psychiatric, neurological and eye conditions.

In the September Issue of Cortex Dominic H. ffytche at the Institute of Psychiatry in London reviews what we do know and moves the field forward, by introducing a new experimental approach to studying hallucinations as they occur.

Surprisingly little is known about brain changes that occur during hallucinations because of their brief, unpredictable nature. One cannot anticipate when a hallucination will occur, so the chances of capturing one during a brain scanning experiment are small. It has long been recognized that flashes of light at particular frequencies produce hallucinations of intricate patterns and vivid colours. Using a combination of brain imaging methods in normal subjects, the author harnesses the technique to examine localized changes in brain activity and changes in brain connections during hallucinations.

“We observed increases in activity in visual brain regions”, says ffytche, “Increases in visual connection strength and an alteration in relationship between visual relay and receiving stations, together suggesting that hallucinations were caused by a transient form of ‘blindness'”.

The work highlights the need to consider the hallucinating brain from a wider perspective than previously thought. Changes in both localized brain activity and in connections between brain areas occur during hallucinations, raising further questions as to how these changes interact with pre-existing abnormalities in patients susceptible to hallucinations.

The article is “The Hodology of Hallucinations” by Dominic H. ffytche, and it appears in Cortex, Volume 44, Issue 8 (September 2008), pp 637-648, published by Elsevier in Italy.

This article is published in a Special Issue of Cortex entirely dedicated to the novel MRI methods to study human brain connections. In the same issue an article by Thiebaut de Schotten et al shows that disorders of spatial awareness are frequently associated with lesions of the fibres connecting the frontal and parietal lobes. Similarly for the left hemisphere Catani and Mesulam revisit the anatomy of the language pathways and show that beyond the classical language network connecting Wernicke’s and Broca’s area there are additional circuits involved in complex language functions. This hodological approach begins to reveal important details on the architectural backbone of human cognition and could explain the anatomical basis of symptoms commonly observed in a wide range of disorders including schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

About Cortex

Cortex is an international journal devoted to the study of cognition and of the relationship between the nervous system and mental processes, particularly as these are reflected in the behaviour of patients with acquired brain lesions, normal volunteers, children with typical and atypical development, and in the activation of brain regions and systems as recorded by functional neuroimaging techniques. It was founded in 1964 by Ennio De Renzi. The Editor in-chief of Cortex is Sergio Della Sala, Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. Cortex is available online.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier’s 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (sciencedirect/), MD Consult (mdconsult/), Scopus (info.scopus/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier (elsevier/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (reedelsevier/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier’s ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Source: Valeria Brancolini


Nanoimprint Lithography NSF Grant Awarded To Micro Device Lab At Stevens

Dr. Eu-Hyeok (EH)Yang, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Micro Device Laboratory (MDL) at Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation UniversityTM, will receive funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the acquisition of a Nanoimprint Lithography System (NIL) for the purpose of nanoscience research and education based on low-dimensional materials at Stevens. The Co-PIs of the project are Drs. Besser, Choi, Cappelleri and Strauf. This equipment acquisition is an important step in achieving Dr. Yang’s goal of integrating research and education in nanotechnology at the MDL. In addition, nanoimprint lithography will benefit local institutions searching for nearby solutions for nanopatterning. “The system will be an open local resource for researchers,” Yang says.

“The NIL system is the latest piece of equipment in completing the fabrication process flow for micro/nano devices at Stevens,” Yang says. “The MDL’s capabilities for research and education increase significantly with this system.”

The grant funds the acquisition of a Nanonex 1000 Nanoimprint Lithography System, a whole-wafer (4-inch) nanoimprinter for thermoplastic resins that has high-resolution (~10 nm) and high-throughput (~60 sec) capabilities. This acquisition will strengthen the exploration of high-throughput nanoscale patterning as a key part of the research projects funded by NSF, DARPA, US Army, AFOSR, and ONR. These inter-disciplinary, high-risk, high-payoff research projects will provide a consistently growing user base and cultivate a multidisciplinary research-intense learning environment in nanotechnology at Stevens along with collaborators in the New York City metropolitan area.

This research capability also supports cross-disciplinary educational initiatives already underway at Stevens. It provides hands-on experience to students in the Nanotechnology Graduate Program and undergraduates alike. One of Yang’s undergraduate senior design teams plans to create an Intra Ocular Pressure Relief Valve, used to treat glaucoma by releasing fluid when pressure builds up in the eye. The nanoimprint lithography system will greatly benefit their fabrication process.

“The MDL is an integral component of the Nanotechnology research thrust at Stevens,” says Michael Bruno, Dean of the Charles. V. Schaefer School of Engineering and Science. “The NIL acquisition enhances Stevens’ capabilities for nanotechnology research in the area and simultaneously offers outside organizations a solution for their nanotechnology research needs.”

Researchers at Stevens previously relied on an external nanoimprint lithography facility at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. Therefore, the aavailability of the in-house nanoimprint lithography system will significantly increase the efficiency and output of work done in the laboratory, increase the training capabilities for Stevens staff and students, and enable many undergraduate and graduate educational initiatives. Investigators from and outside of Stevens will have easy access to nanoimprint lithography in the Micro Device Laboratory on the Stevens campus. Professor Ioana Voiculescu at City College of New York is listed as Senior Personnel of the Project.

“Over the next few years we will be a major force in nanotechnology research as this facility, along with future acquisitions, continues to grow,” says Dr. Constantin Chassapis, Professor, Deputy Dean of the School of Engineering & Science, and Director of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Eui-Hyeok Yang
Stevens Institute of Technology