Keynote  Lecture:
Generating and Controlling Arm Movements
Using Functional Electrical Stimulation
FRIDAY- MARCH 21, 2014

kirschRobert F. Kirsch, Ph.D.

Allen H. and Constance T. Ford Professor &
Chair Department of Biomedical Engineering
Case Western Reserve University
Executive Director
Functional Electrical Stimulation Center of Excellence
of the Department of Veterans Affairs


Presented by:
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Wallace H. Coulter Biomedical Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series
Engineering Center 2300 , Florida International University
10555 W Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33134

Keynote Lecture:

“Generating and Controlling Arm Movements
Using Functional Electrical Stimulation”

researchAbout 20% of all spinal cord injuries result in high tetraplegia – complete paralysis below the neck due to high cervical (C1-C4 level) spinal cord injury. These individuals are highly disabled and are typically entirely dependent on outside assistance for every activity essential for daily life. The currently available options for improving the functional independence of these individuals are extremely limited. Our group has been working for more than 15 years to develop an implanted neuroprosthesis that uses functional electrical stimulation (FES) to activate the paralyzed muscles of the shoulder, arm, and hand in a coordinated manner that restores the ability of the recipient to use their upper extremity in functional activities. This presentation will summarize the activities of my group to develop this approach, including: (1) the use of modeling and simulation to establish initial feasibility of the FES system, to develop feedback control systems, and to provide a virtual arm interface for initial evaluations of user interfaces, (2) the evaluation of several novel user command interfaces (including implanted brain recordings) to allow the user to direct the actions of their arm and hand , and (3) the final integration of all these components into a functional system that has been surgically deployed in two individuals with high tetraplegia.

Robert F. Kirsch, Ph.D.

Robert F. Kirsch is the Allen H. and Constance T. Ford Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and the Executive Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Functional Electrical Stimulation Center of Excellence. His research focuses on the restoration of arm movements to individuals with complete paralysis of arm muscles due to spinal cord injury or other neurological disorders using functional electrical stimulation (FES), as well as high performance user command interfaces (such as brain computer interfaces) . He received a BS in electrical engineering (University of Cincinnati) and the MS and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering (Northwestern University), and completed post-doctoral research at (McGill University).


11:00 am      Speaker Lunch with FIU BME Students (EC 2300):
11:45 am      Poster Setup (Panther Pit)
12:00 pm      Poster Session (Panther Pit)
3:00 pm      Keynote Lecture (EC 2300)
4:30 pm      Poster Award Ceremony (EC 2300)
5:00 pm      Reception (Panther Pit)

Contact:; 305-348-6717
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