SBMT Elects A Scientist-Inventor to Promote Entrepreneurship in Brain Science

Twenty three years ago, working in the very space at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital used by Hounsfield to assemble the world’s first CT scanner – on a hill top in the south London suburb of Wimbledon – I was one of the scientists who conceived of mathematical and engineering steps that led to the Diffusion Anisotropy Imaging patent (US 5,560,360) and so contributed to the birth of Diffusion Tensor Imaging – DTI – the most advanced method for mapping the human brain. Working as a neurosurgery resident, applying my background from my PhD work at Harvard, building a team of physicists, neuroscientists and clinicians we produced the very first tractogram that followed a curving bending tract through the brain. Across the Atlantic, in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland, Drs. Peter Basser and Dennis LeBihan quite separately raced along the same path. The scientific and technological result of this common effort has spawned 10,000 peer reviewed publications and drawn billions of research funding while unlocking a view into the human brain that is as beautiful and seemingly magical as it is fundamentally transformational in science of the brain.

Over the 14 years since its founding, the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) has sought to foster more such dramatic advances by bringing about a pioneering transformation of the way in which leaders and innovators interact in advancing the science and technology of brain science. The SBMT draws it own structure from what is most effective about the human brain itself. It has a dynamic focus – the advancement of our understanding the brain and nervous system – but it supports that focus by drawing on the widest possible array of inputs and sources.

At our remarkable annual meetings, SBMT has drawn together:

  • space scientists from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL),
  • technology champions from DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the military branches
  • the collective academic genius of neuroscientists from hundreds of research universities from around the world,
  • major governmental centers of science such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • political leaders from the US Congress and even the President who help keep our nation focused on serving the people through advancement of science,
  • leading clinical scientists from the fields of neurosurgery, neurology, physical medicine and orthopedics,
  • frontline of engineering technology under the umbrella of the IEEE – the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • scientists from the world’s leading technology corporations such as Medtronic, Stryker and Leica

The sources and structures of the wells of innovation on our planet are diverse and widespread. Through our participation in the G20 initiatives around the globe, SBMT has taken great care to

In taking over in mid-year as SBMT’s 13th President, I thank Drs. John Ouma and Pantalleo Romanelli for their transitional support. I appreciate the work of NASA’s Dr. Shouleh Nikzad (our 12th president) and stand in constant awe of the vigorous ongoing efforts and vision of our founder, Dr. Babek Kateb.

As you may have read in the news, SBMT has already taken the steps to establish the American Board of Brain Mapping. I believe it is time for the field to be educationally structured and standardized. As the 13th President of SBMT I will be focusing on building more bridges with scientific associations, working with the SBMT neurotechnology standardization committee, working with the SBMT CME committee to structure the newly proposed American Board of Brain Mapping, which could provide basis for certification in this rapidly advancing the field of Brain Mapping from imaging to genomics and nanoneuroscience. I will apply my legal understanding and expertise in order to further advance SBMT’s global G20 Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Initiative as well as closing gap of education between scientists, physicians, engineers, surgeons, legislators, attorneys and the judiciary branch of our government.

As an inventor, I support the vision of SBMT to engage venture and philanthropy in our annual meeting so together we can rapidly advance science but also quickly translate such science into life saving diagnostics and therapeutics. I am also aware of SBMT and Brain Mapping foundation’s interest in helping wounded warriors and providing them with the best care available anywhere in the world. As a former Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the 1466th Med Team, a US Army Reserve neurosurgery unit, I look forward to taking our already significant relationship with the US military and their families to a higher level. We will be offering free admission to the wounded warriors and their families in our convention in Miami so they can see and hear what are the latest advances in the brain, spinal cord trauma and psychological disorders.

Miami is an exciting venue from everyone’s perspective; it is a multicultural city with a world class medical school and institutions, remarkable residents and spectacular weather. Thus, I look forward to expanding global partnerships, translating advance technologies into the field by introducing game changing diagnostics and therapeutics, impacting medical and legal education, introducing pioneering legislation and creating jobs by combining American ingenuity and finance. I sincerely hope to see you in Miami on April 8th of 2016!

Aaron G. Filler, MD, PhD, FRCS, JD
13th President of SBMT (2015-2016)
(Ret.) Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Reserve)
Medical Director, Institute for Nerve Medicine &
Neurography Institute, Santa Monica, California,
United States of America (U.S.A.)

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