Faculty members John Pearson and Ricardo Henao receive Research Incubator Awards

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John Pearson, PhD
Dec. 11, 2018

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) recently announced its 2018-2019 Research Incubator Award recipients.  Faculty John Pearson was selected as the PI for “Interrogation and Manipulation of Brain States through Real-time Analysis of Neural Activity” and Faculty Ricardo Henao was selected as part of the team “Harnessing Sleep/Circadian Rhythm Data as a Biomarker to Mitigate Health Risks.”

The DIBS awards provide seed funding to support collaborative brain science research for projects of exceptional innovation and broad significance to the field.  Six interdisciplinary Duke faculty teams representing 11 departments in 3 schools received awards. This year’s research topics include the sense of smell and copper metabolism, sleep rhythms and their relationship to health, neuron specialization, brain states as assessed by real-time analysis of neural activity, and early language development in the visually impaired. Each team will receive $100,000.

John Pearson’s project aims to build a platform for real-time analysis of brain data. In collaboration with Eva Naumann (Neurobiology), his lab is working to design software and algorithms capable of processing the terabytes of data generated by experiments in which tens of thousands of brain cells are imaged multiple times per second. Typically, these experiments involve saving all data to disk, followed by overnight processing on computing clusters. But by analyzing data as they arrive, neuroscientists could perform adaptive experiments that stimulate brains in response to their current states, potentially informing the design of brain stimulation for treatment of disease.

Visit the DIBS site for more information about this project and other awards.