Jamie Tyler presents work on transcranial focused ultrasound at Carnegie Mellon workshop

William “Jamie” Tyler, PhD

William “Jamie” Tyler, PhD

William “Jamie” Tyler, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, gave a presentation at the second-annual Next Generation Medical Imaging Workshop, held at Carnegie Mellon University on September 27–28, 2013.

Tyler’s talk, “High Resolution Modulation of Human Brain Circuits Using Transcranial Focused Ultrasound,” highlighted his laboratory’s recent advances in devising novel methods for the control of neuronal activity in intact brain circuits.

Tyler’s fellow presenters in the Ultrasound in Neurotechology session included Stephen Baccus, an associate professor of neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Elisa Konofagou, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at Columbia University. Ronald Walsworth, a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics at Harvard University, moderated the session.

Workshop sponsors included the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint venture of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University; the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University; and Butterfly Network, a company that seeks to convene world-class talent in computer science, physics, and electrical engineering to create new approaches to diagnostic imaging and treatment.

Tyler has developed several technologies that apply pulsed ultrasound noninvasively to directly modify the molecular substrates of nerve cells to change their electrical signaling properties in a controllable fashion. Tyler expects his work to provide a foundation for the design and implementation of brain stimulation therapies useful in managing a host of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and major depression.

Tyler, who also holds an assistant professorship at the Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, received a McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award in 2012.