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The Center for Neuroengineering

Understanding and treating injury and degeneration of the brain is one of the greatest challenges of our time, especially as the population ages. Neuroengineering is a game-changer. The field combines neuroscience with the power of device development and robotics, nanotechnology, computation, and mathematics to ultimately improve patients’ cognitive and motor function.

By establishing the Center for Neuroengineering (CNE), Georgetown will build on its existing expertise and partnerships to develop groundbreaking technologies, using new understandings of the brain’s neural networks to treat traumatic brain injuries and neurodegenerative disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.

3,000,000 emergency room visits/year for traumatic brain injury
60,000 Parkinsonʼs disease patients diagnosed each year
795,000+ people nationwide will have a stroke in the next year

With Georgetown in the lead as convener and conductor, the CNE will bring together the unique capacities of four leading, global institutions. The alliance’s interdisciplinary work will make possible discoveries that no one institution could accomplish alone.

  • Georgetown University

    The CNE will deploy Georgetown’s comprehensive expertise in cognitive neuroscience, world-class teaching, passionate students, proximity to key organizations, and national leadership in bioethics.

    Georgetown has a long history and deep portfolio of research on the brain. Our scholarship spans neuroscience, neurology, cognitive science, brain plasticity and recovery, and rehabilitation medicine. Building capacities in technological interventions through the CNE will add a complementary element to Georgetown’s existing pharmaceutical, cognitive, and biological interventions.

    In addition, the CNE will be distinguished by our foundational commitment to the field of bioethics, which Georgetown helped to invent. The 50-year-old Kennedy Institute of Ethics was one of the first academic ethics centers in the world, and bioethical contemplation permeates our medical research. We are intensely interested in the ethical implications of interventions in the brain—questions involving personhood, agency of free will and self determination, or treating patients when they have lost function and cannot give consent.

    Through the CNE and its partnerships, Georgetown will educate new generations of researchers, clinicians, and engineers equipped to understand the ethical application of technology to care for the human brain.

  • MedStar Health

    MedStar Health, Georgetown University Medical Center’s clinical partner of more than two decades, is the largest clinical system in the mid-Atlantic area. It has access to a huge patient population, including 4,000+ stroke cases a year.

    MedStar’s ongoing collaboration will enable iterative learning as patients are treated and studied, pave the way for more effective technological interventions, and ultimately accelerate the translation of new insights from the laboratory bench to the bedside.

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is an applied-science national security organization with best-in-class expertise in high performance computing, precision engineering, and biocompatible electronics.

    Georgetown’s partnership with LLNL began in 2009, spearheaded by Spiros Dimolitsas, Georgetown’s senior vice president for research and chief technology officer, who served as LLNL’s associate director for engineering between 1995 and 2001.

    Georgetown and LLNL have since collaborated on a host of projects and programs that combine the institutions’ strengths to benefit faculty research, student learning and internships, scientific and technological endeavors, and communities worldwide.

    “Our collaboration with Lawrence Livermore is limited only by our imaginations. The partnership will allow us to accomplish things that neither of us could do alone.”

    — Spiros Dimolitsas, Senior Vice President for Research & Chief Technology Officer, Georgetown University

  • Technical University of Munich

    Technical University of Munich (TUM) is the top-ranked technical university in Germany and an international leader in robotics and biomechanics.

    Working with TUM, neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center are uncovering critical insights—for instance, the brain malady responsible for tinnitus, uncomfortable sensations that can persist long after an initial injury.

    Discoveries like these are the first step in developing effective therapies, and TUM’s partnership will facilitate the creation of more powerful technologies and robotic interventions capable of improving patients’ lives.

Your investment will make a difference

Donor support will be essential as we work to build a neuroengineering center with the equipment, faculty, staff, students, and collaborative research funds needed to fuel technological innovation.

We invite you to join us in transforming this field—and the lives of patients and caregivers affected by brain injuries and neurodegenerative disorders.

To learn more or to contribute to these priorities, please contact us at giving@georgetown.edu.