A Stimulated Brain

Philanthropy is propelling the brain research of Professor George McConnell.

Within his first year at Stevens, biomedical engineering Professor George McConnell secured a prestigious grant, launched a new lab, and continued his research that could one day improve the lives of people with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

McConnell left Duke University to come to Stevens, where he is continuing his research in deep brain stimulation, a therapy whereby electrodes implanted inside the brain send electrical impulses that disrupt the firing of neurons. McConnell believes the process, similar to a pacemaker for the brain, could alleviate problems stemming from obsessive-compulsive disorder and other conditions.

He also receives funding from the National Institutes of Health to study brain stimulation for treating Parkinson’s disease. McConnell received a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, given to promising early-career scientists conducting research on psychiatric diseases. He will use the grant to support the new Laboratory for NeuroInnovation within the Center for Healthcare Innovation, where he works alongside a handful of student researchers.

“The brain fascinates me, and the potential for my lab’s research to improve so many lives is a strong motivating force,” McConnell said. “I’m grateful to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for their funding support early in my career here at Stevens.”