Mayo Clinic names recipients of 2015 Team Science Award and 2016 CCaTS-CBD Pilot Awards for Team Science

2015 Mayo Clinic Team Science Award

Photo of Kendall H. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., and Kevin E. Bennet

Kendall H. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., and Kevin E. Bennet

The Mayo Clinic Research Committee has named the 2015 recipients of the inaugural Mayo Clinic Team Science Award.

Kendall H. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., is a consultant in the Department of Neurologic Surgery with joint appointments in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lee holds the academic rank of professor of neurosurgery and physiology. He serves as enterprise chair of the research committee for the Department of Neurologic Surgery. He leads the Neural Engineering Laboratory, which includes a team of more than 30 neurosurgeons, neurobiologists, engineers, imaging scientists and support staff.

Kevin E. Bennet is the chair of the Division of Engineering, where he directs more than 60 engineers and programmers focused on developing novel biomedical engineering systems and implantable devices. He is an assistant professor of neurosurgery, and he serves as a co-director of the Neural Engineering Laboratory.

For more than eight years, they have collaborated on the development of a closed-loop feedback system for delivering, controlling and recording deep brain stimulation (DBS). While DBS therapy has been used in patients, together they have tackled the problem of conducting and recording DBS in real-time.

Moreover, their goal has been to enhance the efficacy of treatments and expand the use of DBS from movement disorders to other neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Their collaboration has resulted in three generations of wireless neuromodulation systems that record and use electrochemical feedback in real-time to adjust levels of stimulation provided by DBS. This teamwork not only has yielded more efficient, critical, patient therapies, but also has advanced research into the underlying mechanisms of DBS that provide therapeutic effects.

The successes of the collaboration are also evident in the more than 30 peer-reviewed publications that they have co-authored, as well as over $20 million that they have received for their research. Notably, they are recipients of a $2.5 million award from the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, to develop and test a diamond-coated electrode for DBS. This novel sensor is expected to be more sensitive and durable than the existing research sensor, and the team will be seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the device.

Dr. Lee and Bennet accepted the award on behalf of the 50-person, multidepartmental team currently working on the Neural Engineering Laboratory's projects, as well as those colleagues and collaborators whose past work enabled their current success. Without the multidisciplinary expertise and collaboration of their team, they say, the Neural Engineering Laboratory would never have reached these new heights in developing neuromodulation technology.

About the Team Science Award

This is the inaugural year of the Mayo Clinic Team Science Award. The award recognizes team science: the unique and valuable contributions of different insights, skill sets and complementary expertise without which the effort could not succeed.

The 2015 awardees were recommended by an enterprise-wide committee with representation from all sites, approved by the Mayo Clinic Research Committee, and subsequently endorsed by the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors.

2016 CCaTS-CBD Pilot Awards for Team Science

The Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) and the Center for Biomedical Discovery (CBD) have announced the 2016 CCaTS-CBD Pilot Awards for Team Science.

The goal of these pilot awards is to enhance team science at Mayo and help develop clinical-basic partnerships in translational projects that have the potential to impact the clinical practice.

2016 awardees:

  1. James R. Thompson, Ph.D., and H. Robert Bergen III, Ph.D.
    • Nanobodies for Treatment of C. Difficile Infection
  2. Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Ph.D., and Y. S. Prakash, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Calcium-Sensing Receptor as a Novel Therapeutic Target for Lung Diseases
  3. John R. Hawse IV, Ph.D., and Tina J. Hieken, M.D.
    • ER Beta
  4. Kun Ling, Ph.D., and Mark J. Truty, M.D., M.S.
    • Evaluation of the Therapeutic Potential of Type I Phosphatidylinositol Phosphate Kinase Inhibitors in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
  5. Doo-Sup Choi, Ph.D., and Paul E. Croarkin, D.O., M.S.
    • Preclinical Optimization of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Adolescent Depression
  6. Huan Wang, M.D., Ph.D., and Robert J. Spinner, M.D.
    • Development of Schwann Cell Culture Protocol From Human Nerves