The National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies is the culmination of a unique research and development program that has grown and flourished for over 33 years. Driven by the pressing needs of people with severe neuromuscular disorders, and by the energy of scientists, engineers, and clinicians seeking to understand and overcome these disorders, its principal objective is to accelerate the development, clinical translation, and wide dissemination of the adaptive neurotechnologies that NCAN scientists and engineers are continuing to develop and are now translating into scientific and clinical applications in collaboration with scientists and clinicians at other institutions.
NCAN scientists and engineers are engaged in biomedical research funded by grants from NIH, NSF, and elsewhere. These grants are administered by Albany Research Inc. (ARI), a nonprofit entity. Many NCAN researchers have faculty appointments at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany and other universities; and many students from these institutions and elsewhere complete their dissertation research under the mentorship of NCAN researchers.
The scientists and engineers of the NCAN are members of the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany (Albany SVAMC). NCAN has been headed since its inception by Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, a neurologist who has spent his career engaged in basic and clinical neurophysiological research. It has a staff of 30, including staff scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, visiting scientists and students, and support personnel. It hosts a continual stream of visiting researchers who come to work with NCAN scientists to master the new adaptive neurotechnologies developed here and to participate in their further development. NCAN researchers have been consistently successful for many years in obtaining federal and foundation research support, and currently hold faculty appointments at SUNY at Albany and other institutions, including Washington University in St. Louis, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Albany Medical College, University of Texas at El Paso, Ohio State University, and Columbia University.
The Albany SVAMC is located at 113 Holland Avenue in Albany. At the Albany SVAMC, NCAN has 2500 sq. ft. of laboratory space for animal studies as well as >4000 sq. ft. of human-based research spaces and >2300 sq. ft. of office space. It is fully equipped for all aspects of the technology research and development described here, and includes ample space and facilities for at least 15 students and visiting scientists. It also has full access to the extensive Albany SVAMC support facilities (i.e., electronics and machine shops, computer support, animal care and research core, biomedical imaging core, library services, graphics and photography unit).