UC Santa Barbara Public Affairs and Communications

NEWS RELEASE

GRANT TO STUDY INTERFACE BETWEEN BRAIN AND MACHINES AWARDED TO UCSB RESEARCHER

August 22, 2002

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – The working together of mind and machine, the stuff of science fiction, is being studied at two UC campuses, thanks to a new grant.

Ratneshwar Lal, associate research biologist in the Neuroscience Research Institute at UC Santa Barbara, and his collaborator Luke Lee from UC Berkeley have received $318,649 in BioSTAR project funds to support the research. In addition, the biotech company Advance Biotechnology of Santa Barbara is contributing $460,000.

BioSTAR is an entity set up to strengthen and expand California's economy through jointly sponsored industry-university research partnerships in the field of biotechnology. All 10 UC campuses participate.

The new project is called, "Brain Machine Interface: Microfabricated Cell Membrane Electrophysiological Recording Arrays."

According to Lal, "The objective of this project is to develop and implement a technology that will address the question of how interconnected brain cells communicate, and for interfacing with biocompatible nanodevices. With that information, the researchers will use the devices to communicate directly with brain tissue."

###

(15)