Scientific Research and Scientific Dissemination Projects

2006

Neurotechnological Center Focused on Interfaces: Brain-Machine, Learning, Sleep, and Language.

Project supported by FINEP, effective between 2006 and 2012, with participation of AASDAP, UFRN, and the Sírio Libanês Hospital.


This agreement contributed to the implementation of the first AASDAP Research Center in Natal through the acquisition of equipment and consumables that enabled biocompatibility studies for brain-machine interfaces, immunohistochemistry in rodents and nonhuman primates, learning, sleep, and language. In partnership with UFRN, experimental animal behavioral and neuroanatomy studies were performed. In partnership with HSL, a study was carried out to test electrodes in the brain of patients with Parkinson's disease for the treatment of motor disorders.

2007

Second Symposium in Neuroscience of the International Institute of Neurosciences of Natal

The Second Symposium in Neuroscience of the International Institute of Neurosciences of Natal was held from February 23 to 25, 2007 at Hotel Sehrs in Natal, Brazil. The Symposium was attended by 666 registered and renowned neuroscientists from around the world who presented the advances in brain research, from the molecular and cellular levels to the neurobiology of systems, behavior, and neuroengineering. To access the Annals of the Second Symposium click here.


During this Symposium, the partnership between AASDAP and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation was announced and the name of the International Institute of Neurosciences of Natal (IINN) was changed to International Institute of Neurosciences of Natal – Edmond and Lily Safra (IINN-ELS).

Opening ceremony of the II Symposium in Neuroscience of the IINN: performance of the Petrobrás Talent Orchestra. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis and Mrs. Lily Safra during the announcement of the AASDAP partnership with the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and the rename of the IINN to IINN-ELS (Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience). Dr. Miguel Nicolelis’opening lecture of the II Symposium. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis’opening lecture of the II Symposium. Speakers and participants of the II Symposium. Speakers and participants of the II Symposium. Neiva Paraschiva (Director of Institutional Relations of AASDAP, current Executive Director of AASDAP) and Prof. Dora Montenegro (Director of the Scientific Education Centers of AASDAP) during the opening ceremony of the II Symposium. Speaker of the II Symposium: Dr. Rick Lin (University of Mississipi). Speaker of the II Symposium: Dr. Idan Segev (Hebrew University). Speaker of II Symposium: Dr. Pedro Maldonado (Universidad de Chile) and Dr. Sidney Simon (Duke University). Participants of the II Symposium during poster presentation. Participants of the II Symposium during poster presentation.

2007

Dopaminergic regulation of REM sleep / Corticostriatal mechanisms underlying dopamine-related motor dysfunction

Projects developed at the Rio Grande do Norte Research Centers in a partnership between AASDAP and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation.


Resources from the Edmond J. Safra Foundation enabled the implementation and maintenance of specialized spaces for research on Parkinson's disease at the Natal Research Center (vivarium of wild and DAT-KO mice, Parkinson's disease model, molecular biology laboratory, and surgical center for mice) and the Macaíba Research Center (vivarium of primates, equipment for surgery, and experimentation of Parkinson's disease models), as well as the acquisition of equipment and consumables needed for these studies.

2007

Taste sensitivity according to genotype and metabotype.

A project conducted at the Laboratory of AASDAP within the Institute of Studies and Research of the Sírio Libanês Hospital, as part of an international scientific collaboration between Duke University, AASDAP, and EPFL, coordinated by the International Neuroscience Network Foundation (INNF) and fostered by the Nestle Research Center.


The project was effective between 2007 and 2011. As part of the scientific collaboration, AASDAP carried out medical evaluation, psychogenetic taste tests, and urine and blood collection of the research participants.

2008

1st CAPES and IINN-ELS / UFRN Summer School

The 1st CAPES and IINN-ELS / UFRN Summer School was an initiative of researchers from AASDAP and professors of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) with resources from the Program of School of Higher Studies of CAPES and AASDAP to promote the scientific-cultural exchange of students enrolled in Master's and Doctorate programs.


The School was held from July 1 to August 29, 2008 at the Research Center of AASDAP, located in Macaíba, RN, Brazil. There, nine courses were offered, taught by 23 renowned neuroscientists:


Neuroengineering

Dr. Alan Rudolph – Adlyfe Inc., USA

Dr. Gordon Cheng – ATR International, Japan


Memory and Learning

Dr. Susan Sara – Collège de France

Dr. Jan Born – University of Luebeck, Germany

Dr. Federico Bermudez-Rattoni – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico


Membrane Biophysics

Dr. Rick Lin – University of Mississippi, USA

Dr. David Spray – AECOM, Yeshiva University, USA

Dr. Evan Evans - UBC, Canadá / Boston University, USA


Neuroethology

Dr. Claudio Mello - OHSU, EUA

Dra. Constance Scharff – FU-Berlin / Max Planck, Germany

Dr. Asif Ghazanfar - Princeton University, USA


Cognitive Neuroscience

Dr. Marshall Shuler – Johns Hopkins University, USA

Dra. Anna Nobre – University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Dr. Mariano Sigman – Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina


Sensory Processing

Dr. Sidney Simon - Duke University, USA

Dr. Yves Frégnac – INAF, CNRS, France

Dr. Pedro Maldonado – Universidad de Chile, Chile

Dr. Horacio de la Iglesia – University of Washington, USA


Computational Neuroscience

Dr. Mikhail Lebedev – Duke University, USA


Neural Plasticity

Dr. Gabriel Mindlin - Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr. Erika Fanselow – University of Pittsburgh, EUA


Development and Neurotherapy

Dr. Jean Rossier – École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, France

Dr. Manuel Kukuljan – Universidad de Chile, Chile


Fifty graduate students from several Brazilian states were selected to participate in all classes of the School, with the expenses borne by the initiative. All federal and state universities in Brazil were invited to participate in the online broadcast of the Summer School. The interested universities received a password, which ensured the transmission of the lectures and the interaction by chat with professors in real time. Access to the lectures in real time was also open to the public. Lectures were broadcast in English (original) and Portuguese (simultaneous interpretation). During the two months of the event, the School's website received 611 registrations for access to the broadcasts, and it was accessed 11,967 times.

2009

Brain-Machine Interface Institute of Science and Technology (INCeMaq).

Project under the Program of National Science and Technology Institutes of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/MCT), focused on the research on the Brain-Machine Interface (BMI). The project was effective from 2009 to 2017 and had resources from CNPq and FAPERN.


The research lines developed in INCeMaq were: Brain-Machine Interface – development and biocompatibility of multielectrode matrices, decoding of the activity of neuronal populations and generation of commands for devices;


Spinal Cord Neuromodulation – development of epidural stimulation electrodes; behavioral, electrophysiological, and immunohistochemical evaluation of the effects of the stimulation.


Among the studies carried out under the INCeMaq, we can mention the first technological development activities of the Walk Again Project.


In addition to the basic and applied research on BMI, INCeMaq also had a program of scientific initiation for high school students of the public schools of Natal and Macaíba, named Scientists of the Future. The Program of Scientists of the Future provided activities with scientific content at the science frontier and allowed the insertion of 54 students in the practice of data collection and interpretation, in the discussion, and in the application of solutions in real challenges. The activities of the Project of Scientists of the Future are described in the photo book.

Researcher during an experiment on the first brain-brain interface that allowed the transmission of tactile and motor information between an animal encoder located in Natal, RN and an animal decoder located in Durham (North Carolina, USA) Students of the Scientists of the Future Program manufacturing microelectrodes. Students of the Scientists of the Future Program during activities. Student of the Future Scientist Program during scientific exhibit.

2012

Walk Again Project

The Project, financed by FINEP, was effective between 2012 and 2019. and was carried together with Association for Assistance of Disabled Children – AACD (Brazil); BIA Turnkey Systems, Paris (France); Brain-Machine Interface Institute of Science and Technology – INCeMaq (Brazil); Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital, Health Care Kentucky University, (USA); Colorado State University (USA); Duke Immersive Virtual Environment, Duke University (USA); Duke University Center for Neuroengineering (USA); École Superieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de La Ville de Paris (France); Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience of Natal – IIN-ELS (Brazil); International Neuroscience Network Foundation (INNF); Laboratoire de Systèmes Robotiques, École Polytechnique Féderale de Lausanne - EPFL (Switzerland); Neuroprosthetic Center at École Polytechnique Féderale de Lausanne - EPFL (Switzerland); Robotics, Autonomous Systems, and Controls Laboratory, UCDavis, (USA); Robotics Group at ATR Laboratories of Kioto (Japan); Technical University of Berlin (Germany) and Technical University of Munich (Germany).


The Walk Again Project was created in order to develop the first exoskeleton controlled by the human brain to restore gait in individuals affected by paralysis. The feasibility of this exoskeleton was demonstrated at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, when one of the volunteers of the research performed the inaugural kick. After the development of the exoskeleton, the research continued, focusing on the investigation of an unpublished protocol of neurorehabilitation for persons with spinal cord injury. For more details on this project, click here.

Exoskeletons in the Walk Again Project Laboratory. Virtual reality and brain-machine interface experiment performed as part of the Walk Again Project studies. Experiment at the Walk Again Project Laboratory. Dr. Solaiman Shokur, AASDAP Sênior Researcher, presenting the results of the Walk Again Project at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

2013

Master's Program in Neuroengineering

The Master's program in Neuroengineering, recognized and recommended by the Technical and Scientific Council (CTC) of CAPES, was another initiative of AASDAP to strengthen scientific education, and it was the first graduate program in neuroengineering in Brazil. Since 2014, the coordination of this program has been carried out by the Santos Dumont Institute (ISD).