On June 7, the 2017 Marilyn R. Lindenauer Distinguished Speaker Series hosted Jason Carmel, MD, PhD, a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist, to discuss “Systems Neurosciences Insights Into Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy” at the prestigious Faculty Club in Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).
The Speaker Series was established by Drs. S. Martin and Ms. Marilyn R. Lindenauer in 2013 and provides an opportunity for the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center to host lectures by medical professionals from around the globe to discuss groundbreaking new ideas and emerging technologies related to cerebral palsy patients. Dr. Carmel’s talk focused on his work in restoring mobility in patients with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and presented diagrams and videos of successful attempts at retriggering connections in the brain’s damaged hemisphere to restore hand movement with targeted electrical stimulation.
The lecture opened with welcome remarks from Peter Weinberg on behalf of his wife Debby and the Weinberg Family. He thanked attendees for coming and discussed the mission of the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center. Dr. Carmel was introduced by Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center Executive Director Dr. David Roye, who knew Dr. Carmel when he was a student at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and his father, Dr. Peter Carmel, who later went on to be Chair of Neurosurgery at UMDMJ and President of the American Medical Association. The evening concluded with a Q&A session with Dr. Carmel and Dr. Roye.
About Dr. Carmel
Dr. Carmel is a graduate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed a neurology and pediatrics residency at CUMC. He is currently Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Carmel studies brain control of movement both in health and after injury. Using a combination of anatomy, physiology (brain mapping), and behavior, he has been able to identify the brain circuits that adapt to developmental brain injury.
As Director of the Motor Recovery Lab at the Burke Medical Research Institute, he uses activity-based therapies to promote recovery of function. These therapies include electrical stimulation and intensive behavioral training. He has demonstrated that stimulation of brain to spinal cord connections causes them to sprout, form functional connections, and restore motor skill.
In addition to directing the research laboratory, the Burke Blythedale Pediatric Neuroscience Research Collaboration, which applies neuroscience advances to children with cerebral palsy. His goal as a physician-scientist is to translate the science of brain repair into better treatments for people living with impaired movement.