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Forum: Brain & Spinal Cord Injury - Current Status and Future Hope
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This extended forum will explore recent insights into Brain and Spinal Cord injuries which are increasing in prevalence and significance even as we gain understanding of their causes and consequences.

When: Wed Sept 13, 2017
3:30-8:30 PM
Where: Regis College, Fine Arts Center
235 Wellesley St
Weston, Massachusetts  02493
United States
Contact: Bill Munger

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Sept 13 MDG Forum

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury 

 Current Status and the Future Hope for Concussion, Encephalopathy, Dementia and Paralysis 

This extended forum will explore recent insights into Brain and Spinal Cord injuries which are increasing in prevalence and significance even as we gain understanding of their causes and consequences.
Concussion and resulting deterioration in brain function along with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury are two tragic injuries with disastrous consequences to the patients and their families.
Our panelists have had international impact in defining and relieving the consequences of these injuries, including the realization that apparently minor head injury can lead to serious, irreversible consequences. They have changed the medical understanding of these Nervous System impairments, worked with engineers, scientists, sports organizations and industry to respond to the needs generated by these injuries, and recently have brought hope for prevention, rehabilitation and possible cures where despair existed only a few years ago.  
Dr. Cantu, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon, has worked with industry, the NFL, NHL and countless other sports organizations, to bring concussion to public awareness, and to prevent the ravages of this plague on our student and professional athletes. 
Dr. Gordon developed the early imaging technology which enabled CT scans, and portable scanners to rapidly identify brain injury. 
Dr. Iverson, working with veterans, has developed methods to restore function by training the brain to interact with mechanical additions to the body. 
Dr. Pracyk, a neurosurgeon who recently joined J & J, will explain the mechanisms of spinal cord injury and means for stabilization.
Dr. Hochberg, a neurologist working at both the Mass General Hospital and Brown University School of Engineering, will discuss his research on Brain Computer interfaces which are completely implanted in the brain to circumvent spinal cord injuries.
Dr. Vacanti will discuss the field of tissue engineering, which has shown promise in restoration of function in severed spinal cords. 
These developments, unimaginable only a few years ago have replaced the despair associated with these injuries with new hope for the future, and have opened countless opportunities for innovation, rehabilitation and restoration of function through interdisciplinary cooperation in these complex medical problems.  

Wednesday Sept 13, 3:30 - 8:30 PM
Regis College Fine Arts Center
Weston, MA

Member  - $30
Non-Member - $40
Student - $15


Concussion/CTE - Recent Articles


A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players - and 110 were found to have C.T.E., the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.


Dr. Ann McKee has spent decades examining brain tissue of former football, hockey, and soccer players, as well as war victims of bombings. She's trying to solve the mysteries of CTE, for which there is no cure or treatment.

Who Should 
  • Scientists, Engineers, Managers committed to modern safer and lighter protective equipment
  • Professionals seeking the outlook for treatment, repair, and rehabilitation follow brain and nerve injury
  • Educators and parents looking for deeper understanding of risks and injuries associated with student sports
  • Entrepreneurs seeking opportunities for preserving athletics while reducing risk
Our Distinguished Panel
Session 1 - Concussion




Bernie Gordon, PhD
Chairman, Bernard M Gordon Charitable Trust.

Robert Cantu, MD
Clinical Prof in the Dept of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Leader AD and CTE Center, at the BU School of Medicine, and Medical Dir and Dir of Clinical Research, Cantu Concussion Center, Emerson Hospital. 

Grant Iverson, PhD
Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Mass General Hospital for Children Sport Concussion Program, Associate Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program for Home Base, a RedSox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program.

Kyle Lamson, Director of New Product Innovation for Xenith, LLC

Session 2 - Spinal Cord

Moderator & Panelist


John Pracyk, MD, PhD, MBA
Franchise Medical Director, Spine Strategic Medical Affairs Center of Excellence Research & Development | Global Orthopedics DePuy Synthes, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies 

Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD
Senior Lecturer on Neurology, Harvard Medical School Neurologist, Mass General Hospital, Prof of Engineering, Brown University Investigator, Rehabilitation R&D Service, Dept. VA 

Charles Vacanti, MD
Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School. Internationally recognized as a founder of the field of tissue engineering.  

Program Description
The importance of concussion and deteriorating brain function resulting from mild repeated head injuries has increased with new technology. We will explore attempts to prevent and treat these injuries.
Spinal cord injury, which is still largely not reversible, has stimulated ingenious technology to restore function and to enable regrowth and repair of these injuries.
Our internationally recognized speakers will present breakthrough technologies which offer hope in the prevention and treatment of these tragic injuries.
Session 1 - Concussion
Afternoon session will focus on Concussions - the acute and chronic consequences, treatment expectations and protection of the adult and adolescent brain.
This session will be moderated by Bernie Gordon with presentations by Dr. Robert Cantu, the Internationally recognized, highly published neurosurgeon and Dr. Grant Iverson, who has dedicated his illustrious career to working with veterans and children with brain injury.
Session 2 - Spinal Cord
The After Dinner session will focus on Spinal Cord Injuries - Restoring Spinal Cord Function and Regeneration.
Dr. John Pracyk, an outstanding neurosurgeon, will act as both moderator and presenter. He has recently re-directed his career into industrial biomedical technology and will present an overview of spinal cord injury and the resulting paralysis and disability, including insights which drive value in treatment and prevention of spinal cord injury.
Dr. Leigh Hochberg will present the leading research concepts on restoring function following spinal cord injury and paralysis, and their application to practice.
Dr. Charles Vacanti will present the most promising work on nerve and spinal cord regeneration resulting from cellular and tissue engineering.
Q&A to folllow each session

Panel Bios
Session 1 - Concussion
Bernie Gordon, PhDChairman, Bernard M Gordon Charitable Trust
As one of the world's, preeminent engineers and inventors, he holds over 100 U.S.patents, many more worldwide, for breakthroughs including instant imaging CT scanning, the fetal heart monitor, digital Doppler radar and Founder of Neurologica which developed Portable Brain CT scans important for better understanding of brain injuryHe was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Reagan and established the National Academy of Engineering's Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Engineering Leadership Education. He created Engineering Leadership programs at Tufts, M.I.T.,Northeastern, The Technion, The Citadel, and the University of California, San Diego.

Robert Cantu, MD, Clinical Prof in the Dept of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Leader AD and CTE Center at the BU School of Medicine, and Medical Dir and Dir of Clinical Research, Cantu Concussion Center, Emerson Hospital.
A nationally and internationally recognized expert in concussion. Published extensively on both serious acute brain injury and the disastrous longterm consequences which result in loss of brain function. A consultant to the NFL, the NHL as well as college and high school sports authorities.

Grant Iverson, PhD, Professor in the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, Director of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Sport Concussion Program, Associate Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program for Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program

Kyle Lamson, Director of New Product Innovation for Xenith, LLC, a Detroit, MI manufacturer of football helmets and equipment. Kyle received his BS in Industrial Design from Wentworth Institute of Technology. He has worked designing and developing sporting goods and protective equipment for over 15 years. He is an active member of the ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities, serving on multiple sports personal protective equipment subcommittees. He spent 4 years working at an industrial design firm focusing on helmet design and engineering. Projects included sports helmets as well as multiple integrated military helmet systems and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) systems. Since joining Xenith in 2012 he has helped to further develop Xenith's patented helmet technologies through design, prototyping, testing, 3D CAD engineering, and production tooling. He has multiple helmet related patents granted with others pending.
Session 2 - Spinal Cord
Moderator & Speaker
John Pracyk, MD, PhD, MBAFranchise Medical Director, Spine Strategic Medical Affairs Center of Excellence Research & Development | Global Orthopedics DePuy Synthes, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies
As the Franchise Medical Director of Spine, Dr. Pracyk provides deep clinical insights to accelerate meaningful innovation and drive value and safety for spine patients worldwide. He serves as a strategic medical partner with colleagues across Research and Development, Franchise Marketing, Clinical, Regulatory Affairs, Medical Safety and Business Development at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices. Additionally, Dr. Pracyk provides expert medical and scientific input to product ideation and development, including conceptual and hands-on evaluation, as well as clinical research perspectives throughout the innovation cycle. He also collaborates with colleagues in Professional Education, Legal/HCC, QA/Risk Management and regional marketing/sales.

Dr. Pracyk is a board-certified Neurological Surgeon who obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University Medical Scientist Training Program, including a pre-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge University, a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and his neurosurgical residency training at The George Washington University, as well as a spine fellowship at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining DePuy Synthes, he maintained an active practice and was a neuroscience consultant with Vega Healthcare. Dr. Pracyk is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and recently completed a Healthcare M.B.A. at The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee. 

Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhDSenior Lecturer on Neurology, Harvard Medical School Neurologist, Mass General Hospital, Prof of Engineering, Brown University Investigator, Rehabilitation R&D Service, Dept.VA
Dr. Hochberg's research focuses on the development and testing of novel neurotechnologies to help people with paralysis, and understanding cortical neuronal ensemble activities in neurologic disease.

Charles Vacanti, MD
Professor Emeritus Harvard Medical School
In 1988, Dr. Vacanti helped pioneer a new field of science, termed "Tissue Engineering". He is known for the Vacanti mouse, a mouse with cartilage shaped like a human ear on its back. He has published more than 116 original articles, 130 abstracts, 31 book chapters / reviews and edited one textbook. He is the inventor of more than approximately 20 pending/issued patents. His research has focused on Regenerative Medicine and stem cells.

3:30  Arrival
4:00  Introductions (MDG President, Regis University President)

Session 1
4:20  Topic Introduction
4:30  Concussion, Acute and Chronic Consequences
4:50  Hope for Concussions
5:10  Protecting the Adult and Adolescent Brain in Sports
5:30  Panel Q&A

5:50  Dinner

Session 2
6:30  Overview of Spinal Injury
6:50  Restoring Spinal Cord Function
7:10  Spinal Cord Regeneration - Myth or Reality?
7:30  Panel Q&A

7:50  Displays and Networking
8:30  End
Program Co-Chairs

Peter Madras, MD
President, MDG Boston, and Chair of MDG Advisory Board
Bertha Madras, PhD
MDG Advisory Board member and Professor of Psychobiology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Recentlynamed to the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.  

(Light dinner included)
Registration Fee: Early Reg.
(By Sept 6)
Week Prior
(Sept 6 - Sept 13)

At the Door
(Sept 13
Members: $30 $35 $40
NonMembers: $40 $47  $55
Students with a Valid ID $15  $15  $15 

Location (Free Parking)

Regis College, Fine Arts Center
235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493
About MDG
The Medical Development Group (MDG) is a community of individuals professionally committed to the Medical Device and other Medical Technology Industry segments united by the belief that innovation and advances in technology lead to substantial improvements in health care. MDG pursues this mission through the organization of educational programs and forums: the facilitation of cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration; the creation of venues for networking and information sharing for current and aspiring professionals, clinicians, and entrepreneurs; and the development of alliances with complementary organizations.

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