Neuralink's Wireless Brain Machine Interface for People with Motor Impairment

About the Event

Our speaker are Jayant P Menon MD, MEng is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford and Biomedical Engineer at Neuralink and his colleagues Christine Odabashian and Kate Gelman.

Jayant P Menon MD, MEng is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford and he cares for patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Dr. Menon completed his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, San Diego where he developed a clinical Brain-Machine interface for ventilator dependent quadriparetic patients. Dr. Menon was Director of Health at the international design firm IDEO, where he worked with interdisciplinary teams of engineers, sociologists, and designers on the human-centered design of new medical technologies. Dr. Menon is a NASA funded entrepreneur and is developing technologies to deliver automated medical guidance to astronauts on Mars.. At Neuralink, Dr. Menon is working with engineers, surgeons, and leadership, to deliver a high band-width wireless surgically implanted brain machine interface system that will empower patients independence and autonomy. Dr Menon is working towards a first-in-human clinical trial in 2021.

Christine Odabashian leads the Insertion Hardware team lead at Neuralink (part of the Surgical Robot team), whose responsibilities include how the robot grabs and inserts each tiny, flexible thread of electrodes from the implant into the brain (graphic warning, it shows brain: here’s a link to an excerpt from the demo). Prior to joining Neuralink in 2017, she worked at SpaceX in avionics mechanical design, propulsion production reliability, and the launch chief engineering team, where she contributed to the historical first land-landing and reuse of an orbital rocket and other missions, as well as anomaly investigations including the two launch failures 2015-2016. She studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, with a certificate in Engineering Biology. Christine’s late father was diagnosed with ALS when she was in high school, and she is deeply motivated to see tech return significant autonomy to people with neuromuscular degeneration and paralysis while medical cures are being developed.

Kate Gelman has been an engineer at Neuralink for four years. Joining at the beginning of the company has given her the unique opportunity to contribute to areas across the company and be a part of deciding the company’s direction. Her main engineering contributions have been on the tiny needle of the surgical robot and the wireless power transfer of the implant. Some of her favorite day-to-day work is designing wireless chargers for and interacting with monkeys. But, her most meaningful work has been leading Neuralink’s Patient Engagement initiative. Inspired by a visit from Steve Gleason, she knew that the perspectives of the people that will benefit the most from Neuralink’s early technology need to be incorporated into every step of the development of this technology. She communicates with people living with disabilities, caretakers, and families and ensures that their perspectives are integrated into Neuralink’s designs and goals. Outside of Neuralink, Kate is an avid runner, a volunteer soccer coach for inner city kids, and a proud dog mom to a great dane named Sirius Black.

​We look forward to seeing you at the event!