May 5, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On the heels of new research published recently in Nature featuring a brain implant that allows quadriplegic patient Ian Burkhart to regain functional hand movement, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center announced today that many of the nation’s most prominent scientists, military researchers and athletes will participate in the inaugural Global Brain Health and Performance Summit on May 11-13 on the Ohio State campus.

With a keynote address by Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution, the conference will focus on efforts by scientists to widen the scope of research and collaborations to further the understanding of how everything from eating habits to stress to aging affects everyday brain health and performance. 

Media representatives are asked to contact Media Relations at 614-293-3737 to make arrangements to cover this event. Parking is available in the Ohio Union South Garage.

“Our collective understanding of the brain and how to improve its functioning is advancing by leaps and bounds,” said Dr. Ali Rezai, CEO of Wexner Medical Center’s Neurological Institute and the host of the conference. “The speakers at the Summit include global research leaders asking the question: how can we turn better measurement of brain activity into improved brain performance? And while military personnel and college athletes occupy their own end of the human performance scale, what we’re learning in our collaborative research has applications that will benefit each and every one of us during all phases of our lives.”

Based on the framework of “Sense, Assess, Augment” — which seeks to increase functionality by determining a subject’s cognitive state, evaluating performance, providing critical information for commanders and coaches, and then making adjustments as necessary — conference sessions will explore a variety of technologies that measure physiological responses and biomarkers related to brain health and overall readiness, performance optimization and recovery of physical function. The framework is already applied by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory and Ohio State Athletics, and will be explored through in-depth sessions dedicated to each topic.

Sessions will explore cutting-edge research, potential future applications, technological developments and commercialization potential. The conference will also include the presentation of results from a yearlong collaboration between Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, the United States Air Force Research Laboratory and Ohio States Athletics. 

“We’re living through an incredible time, a time that in many ways is a golden age of science – especially our understanding of the brain,” said Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. “With new studies coming out practically every day testifying to the brain’s role in every aspect of our lives, from decision-making and emotional intelligence to sleep and well-being, there’s no better time than now to open up the conversation on all the new research that will make maximizing brain health an option for everyone.”

The conference will be supported by a media and content partnership with Scientific American, to extend its reach and audience and will feature sessions with Dr. Scott Galster of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory; Dr. Adam Gazzaley of the University of California, San Francisco; Eddie George, former Ohio State football player and Heisman Trophy winner; Archie Griffin, former Ohio State football player and the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner; Dr. Michael Kahana of the University of Pennsylvania and DARPA; Clark Kellogg, CBS College Basketball Analyst and former Ohio State basketball player and current board member; Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s Head Football Coach; and Gene Smith, Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director at Ohio State.

The Summit is made possible due to the generosity of Stan and Joan “Jodi” Ross and the Rudi Shulte Research Institute. 

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Media Contact: Eileen Scahill, Wexner Medical Center Media Relations, 614-293-3737,