CSNE (Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering) is one of the 20 Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) supported by NSF. The lead institution is University of Washington with SDSU and MIT as core partners. University of Freiburg and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are international partners. The main mission of the Center is to develop closed-loop and co-adaptive BBCI (bi-directional brain-computer interface) that can record and stimulate the central nervous system to encourage neuroplasticity, promote recovery and restore sensorimotor function. The Center was initially funded in 2011 at $18.5 million for 5 years with SDSU getting ~$2.5million over the same period of time. In 2015, NSF extended funding for a further 5 years at an additional ~$15 million level. SDSU researchers will bring about $2.25 million of that to SDSU to support research, education, and outreach programs between now and 2021.
SDSU is well-represented in CSNE with as many as 12 faculty from ME, ECE, and Philosophy departments having been actively engaged in funded research on topics varying from wireless powering to wireless transmission of brain signals and novel electrodes. Further, additional 4 SDSU staff were funded in K-12, community college, and undergraduate educational and outreach programs of CSNE. A faculty at Philosophy department is currently funded for research in neuroethics, a signature contribution of CSNE to the field of neural engineering.
SDSU graduate and undergraduate students are also represented through SLC (Student Leadership Council) that has a direct link to other CSNE students at UW and MIT. So far, SDSU researchers have published 12 journal papers and numerous conference papers, trained > 35 graduate students, 5 undergrad interns, and 2 REU students from Harvey Mudd College and Purdue University. A new specialization in neural engineering under the bioengineering program spearheaded by Dr. Karen May-Newman is also in the works. In the next 5 years of funding, SDSU CSNE researchers are poised to make significant impact in research (BCI, wireless powering, communications, materials, neuronal and glial cell migration modeling and electrodes), educational and outreach programs. As part of the sustainability of work started at CSNE, our PIs are leveraging the Center and its work in going after additional external funding.
ME Faculty who are part of the CSNE:
Dr. Sam Kassegne – Deputy-Director since 2015
Dr. Kee Moon – Founding Deputy-Director (2011-2015)
Dr. Karen May-Newman – Education Co-Director until 2016
Dr. Parag Katira – PI