NeuroTech Institute Unites Ohio State University and Battelle to Advance Brain Science

alt=neuroscientist examining a scan of a human's brain on a computer

The Columbus institutions are partnering on a nonprofit biotechnology accelerator that aims to monetize neurological research to benefit patients.

Neurosurgeon Tim Lucas was frustrated. He was sure technology could improve his patients’ quality of life, especially those whose paralysis prevented them from performing the simplest of hygienic tasks. But advances were painfully slow, stalled by a lack of funding and money-making potential, as well as a culture of scientific competitiveness that often kept collaborators at arm’s length. “Our patients were being left behind,” says Lucas, whose passion for his work comes in part from a younger sister whose massive brain tumor left her with multiple mobility and sensory challenges two decades ago. 

Now, Lucas is leading the charge to speed up technological advances for patients as founder and CEO of the NeuroTech Institute, a partnership between Ohio State University and Battelle that launched in October 2022. The nonprofit, housed on the OSU campus, is a biotechnology accelerator where scientists, clinicians and engineers develop inventions to improve patients’ lives and then spin off for-profit businesses to manufacture the inventions. “Here, we have patients as our core,” Lucas says. 

That core includes a team of patient ambassadors across the country who live with neurological disorders. They help the institute’s staff understand patients’ physical limitations so researchers can try to fashion solutions. Research is focused in three areas: “cyber physical,” which includes spinal cord disorders and neuropathy; “cell modulation,” which includes Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases; and what Lucas calls “the network of the mind,” which includes autism, epilepsy and depression. 

Read the full article here.


Apr 29, 2024


Kathy Lynn Gray


Columbus Monthly

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