Surjo R. Soekadar, MD, is Einstein Professor of Clinical Neurotechnology and head of the Center for Translational Neuromodulation at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. He and his team demonstrated for the first time that a noninvasive brain-hand-exoskeleton can enable quadriplegic people with complete finger paralysis to eat and drink independently in an outside restaurant. For his work, Dr. Soekadar received various international prizes, such as the international BCI research award and NARSAD as well as BioMag Young Investigator Awards.
Brain disorders, such as depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorder affect hundreds of million people worldwide. Due to the lack of effective treatments, these disorders often impede quality of life for many years or even decades. In his ERC-funded project, Surjo Soekadar and his team aim at developing the next-generation brain/neural-machine interfaces (NGBMI) that capitalize on the brain’s capability to reorganize and recover. After showing how brain-computer interfaces can impact quality of life in severe paralysis, Soekadar explains how the latest advances in neurotechnology may soon revolutionize how we tackle brain disorders, but also require implementation of neuroethical guidelines and neurorights to safeguard their beneficial societal impact.