In this lecture, I will share the journey my trainees, colleagues, and I embarked on over the past twenty-five years, crafting numerous clinically relevant therapies. First, I’ll delve into FES therapy’s role in restoring motor functions. Next, I’ll explore the augmentation of FES therapies through brain-machine interfaces. We’ll then uncover the potential of electrical fields to enhance stem cell production and guide their movement. Finally, I’ll discuss the application of facial stimulation for depression treatment. With the exception of stem cell therapy, all interventions have undergone patient testing and demonstration, with several already established as commercially viable products.
Milos R. Popovic is the Director of The KITE Research Institute at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network and the Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Dr. Popovic is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He is the co-founder and director of MyndTec and the Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Association. Dr. Popovic is the co-founder and previous director of the Centre for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA) at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto and the CRANIA Neuromodulation Institute at the University of Toronto. He is also the founder of FabrIc-Based REsearch (FIBRE) Platform and the Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory, both located at the KITE Research Institute, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network. Dr. Popovic held the Toronto Rehab Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research appointment from 2007 until 2017.
Dr. Popovic received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada, in 1996, and the Dipl. Electrical Engineer degree from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1990. His fields of expertise are functional electrical stimulation, neuroprostheses, neuro-rehabilitation, neuromodulation, brain-machine interfaces, physiological control systems, assistive technology, modelling and control of linear and non-linear dynamic systems, robotics, and signal processing.
In 1997, together with Dr. Keller, he received the Swiss National Science Foundation Technology Transfer Award – 1st place. In 2008, Dr. Popovic was awarded the Engineering Medal for Research and Development from the Professional Engineers of Ontario and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. In 2012, company MyndTec Inc., which Dr. Popovic co-founded in 2008, won the 1st Prize and the Best Intellectual Property Award at the annual TiEQuest Business Venture Competition. In 2013, he received the Morris (Mickey) Milner Award for outstanding contributions in the area of Assistive Technologies from the Health Technology Exchange. Also, in 2013, together with Drs. Prodic, Lehn, Huerta-Olivares, and Tarulli, Dr. Popovic received the University of Toronto Inventor of the Year Award. In 2015, Dr. Popovic received the 2014 University Health Network’s Inventor of the Year Award. In 2017, he won the Accessibility Innovation Showcase and Tech Pitch Competition Award at the Ontario Centers of Excellence Discovery 2017 Conference. In 2018, Dr. Popovic received a Jonas Salk Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime contributions from the March of Dimes Canada. In 2019, he was awarded the Engineering Medal for Entrepreneurship from the Professional Engineers of Ontario and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. The same year he was named the Honorary Professor at the Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China. In 2020 he received the Dave Lostchuck Memorial Award for Outstanding Research from the Canadian Spinal Research Organization, Toronto, Canada.