NTU Partners With NNI For Neurology Research

NTU Singapore and NNI are collaborating to bring engineers and clinicians under one roof to conduct research on neurological diseases.

AsianScientist (Aug. 31, 2017) – Singapore’s National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) has partnered Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) to develop innovative technologies to better diagnose and treat patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and brain injuries.

Over the next three years, the collaboration aims to foster closer working relations between medical practitioners and engineers through annual fellowships and student attachment programs. Managed by NTU’s Institute for Health Technologies, the one-year fellowship program will see up to two neurosurgical residents at NNI work full-time with NTU professors on campus. Each resident will receive S$100,000 (~US$73,000) to complete and commercialize their projects.

“This collaboration creates a unique multidisciplinary research environment by integrating healthcare with both medical and engineering expertise from NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and College of Engineering,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice President for Research.

One project initiated under this program is the development of an artificial intelligence system that accurately identifies and classifies traumatic brain injuries based on computed tomography scans. Another involves creating computing algorithms for more precise identification of tissues during brain surgeries. The knowledge and applications from these studies could help restore the neurological functions of patients suffering from various conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

A student attachment program spanning a few weeks will also be introduced, allowing NTU engineering students to work alongside neurosurgeons at NNI. Students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand exposure to various aspects of clinical medicine by interacting with neurosurgeons. With these insights, they may be better equipped to translate their engineering knowledge into medical practice.

“Innovation occurs at intersections of disciplines, knowledge and expertise,” said Associate Professor Ng Wai Hoe, Medical Director of the National Neuroscience Institute. “Doctors have a deep understanding of clinical needs from their everyday interactions with patients. Our unique collaboration brings these medical needs to engineering laboratories–an environment where imagination is encouraged in the form of technological advances and capabilities.”

“This will not only nurture next-generation doctors armed with a multidisciplinary skillset to meet Singapore’s healthcare needs, but also enhance medical technologies to diagnose and treat neurological conditions more effectively,” he added


Source: Nanyang Technological University.
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