Engineering Postdoctoral Researcher Calvert named DARPA 2022 Riser

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Jonathan Calvert, a postdoctoral researcher working with Associate Professor David Borton in the Brown University School of Engineering has been named a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) 2022 Riser. DARPA Risers are up-and-coming standouts in their fields, whose research is related to national security and demonstrates the potential to lead to technological surprise — the heart of DARPA’s mission. 

The Risers program provides individuals in the early stages of their research career a unique opportunity to be recognized for their notable work and present their ideas directly to DARPA. As a member of the 2022 cohort, Calvert presented his research on the development of intelligent spinal interfaces for phantom limb pain at the Oct. 4-5 DARPA Forward: Advancing the Horizons of National Security conference. Calvert’s current project involves the development of a bi-directional tool for spinal cord stimulation that titrates neuromodulation therapy based on spinal electrophysiology. This work has emerged from a DARPA funded study to create Intelligent Spine Interfaces that interpret neural information from above a spinal cord lesion and transfers that information, via state-of-the-art artificial neural network-based interpreters, to sites below the lesion restoring volitional control of the lower limb. 

Calvert joined the Borton Lab in 2020, after completing his Ph.D studies in the Biomedical Engineering and Physiology track in the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He worked in the Neural Engineering Laboratory of Dr. Kendall Lee M.D., Ph.D. investigating the use of spinal cord stimulation to enable motor activity in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury, performing experiments in rodent, porcine, and human populations in order to understand the mechanisms and physiology underlying spinal cord injuries and how to to advance neuromodulation technology for individuals with paralysis.