Professor Evangelia Micheli-Tzanakou developed an experimental operation at Rutgers University that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electrodes placed in the brain to reduce Parkinson's disease symptoms. Following surgery, patients walk and move without the usual unsteadiness that accompanies the disease. "The work is the most rewarding science I have done in my entire career," Micheli-Tzanakou says.

The researcher also created the first computer-to-brain interface by combining computational intelligence with online brain activity recordings to analyze brain responses from humans and animals. To encourage scientists like Micheli-Tzanakou to advance healing technologies, the Whitaker Foundation, created in 1975, has focused its giving on biomedical engineering.

Inspired by Uncas A. Whitaker, an engineer and attorney who believed the marriage of medicine and engineering would bring advances in healing, the foundation has boosted its spending from $14 million to $60 to $70 million annually for a total of $575 million since 1992....

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