Driving Innovation & Discovery

Johnson and Talkachova

Minnesota Partnership Awards Five Collaborative Research Grants for 2022

A collaboration among the U of M and Mayo Clinic, the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics recently announced its 2022 research awardees. This marks the partnership's 18th year of spearheading new scientific ideas to improve the health of, and health care for, Minnesotans.

One of this year’s award recipients is MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Researcher, Matthew Johnson, PhD, UMN and Kai Miller, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic. Their research grant is titled, "An Intraoperative Stylet-Based Electrode Array for Mapping Subcortical Brain Regions". This group will be teaming up to develop a new, more accurate technology for recording brain activity at the subcortical level. A more sensitive and practical system will be helpful in studying all types of brain conditions from essential tremor to epilepsy. This technology will be the first of its type and, initially, unique to Minnesota.

Another award recipient for this year is MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Researcher, Alena Talkachova, PhD, UMN and Christopher DeSimone, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic. Their research grant is titled, "Novel Implementation of Spatiotemporal Mapping and Electroporation for the Treatment of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation". Atrial fibrillation is a rapid heartbeat that can cause discomfort, fatigue and shortness of breath. When it persists it can be debilitating. Currently treated with drugs and heat-based ablation, the therapies don’t work well for everyone. This team is trying to join their technology and software developments to create a way to map and target the right areas of an individual’s heart to aim either reversable ablation (stunning tissue) or permanent ablation, to effectively treat this condition.