Yevgeny Berdichevsky, assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded a one-year, $100,000 Taking Flight Award to support his research into abnormal neural circuitry—a potential cause of epilepsy. The Taking Flight award is given by Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). CURE uses an advisory board of more than 300 scientists to review and fund the most promising, cutting-edge projects.
Berdichevsky is director of Lehigh University’s Neural Engineering Lab, where students join him in studying neurobiology from an engineering perspective. Berdichevsky develops brain tissue cultures that are compatible with microfluidic and microelectrode devices and, using a combination of engineering and molecular approaches, studies the abnormal functions that result in epileptic seizures.
In recent years, studies have consistently determined that differences between healthy and epileptic brains may go beyond chemical transmitters. Berdichevsky’s goal is to identify the precise roles that signaling molecules used by cells to regulate growth and response to injury play in the development of epilepsy. Ultimately, the goal is to find the right combination of brain pathways that could be completely knocked out, resulting in complete prevention of epilepsy with minimal side effects.
Read more about Berdichevsky in the Lehigh University news archive.