Learning to Speak the Language of Nerves

May 21, 2019 by kristaclark in  NTS News

With: Christopher J. Czura, PhD

This October in Napa, Neuromodulation: The Science and NYC Neuromodulation (NTS/NYN) will bring together the new and exciting pre-clinical and clinical sciences of invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation.  NTS/NYN has gathered an impressive faculty that includes well-known scientists and engineers from around the world.

We recently interviewed Chris Czura on the importance of gathering top neuroscientists, clinicians, and neuro-engineers to Napa Valley. Dr. Czura is Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Convergent Medical Technologies. The company’s mission is to create thoughtful solutions through innovation.  He is a molecular biologist who has been studying vagus nerve stimulation for the past 20 years. He has made seminal discoveries in neural control of bleeding and inflammation. Results of his research have supported the development of two bioelectronic medicine startup companies, the first of which recently closed Series D with total funding in excess of $80m to commercialize a proprietary implantable vagus nerve stimulator to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The second company is currently enrolling subjects for a clinical trial of a proprietary non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator to treat postpartum hemorrhage.

Dr. Czura served as Vice President of Scientific Affairs at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY), overseeing all aspects of laboratory operations, the annual budget, and construction and renovation projects. He coordinated strategic plan development with the President and the Board of Directors, and represented the research portfolio to senior leadership of Northwell Health.

He has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and meeting abstracts, and presented to audiences in science, military, industry, venture capital and philanthropy. He was awarded one international patent and has a second patent pending, and has raised over $50 million in sponsored research agreements and laboratory construction grants.

Dr. Czura believes that Neuromodulation: The Science (NTS) builds a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuromodulation, both in nerves and in target organs, is essential to develop more specific and more effective technologies for a broader range of indications. He appreciates that NTS has maintained this approach, with a faculty that brings increasingly more sophisticated insights year over year.

“The current state of the art in bioelectronic medicine – neuromodulation to affect end-organ function – is limited by the fact that current devices do not “speak the language” of nerves. We apply stimulation, and tune parameters and waveforms by looking at effects on biomarkers. The work of decoding neural signals with the help of artificial intelligence technologies will help us design and apply more intelligent and rational stimulation patterns,” said Dr. Czura.

Dr. Czura’s session on bioelectronic medicine will focus on uses of neuromodulation in which precise cellular targets in the end-organ are known, and the mechanisms of neurotransmitter influence on the activity of those cells has been, or is being, characterized. For example, vagus nerve stimulation can modulate the activity of neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, and platelets.

Speakers will focus on how regulation of these cell types with vagus nerve stimulation can be used therapeutically. Additionally, an approach utilizing external neurostimulation to modulate the autonomic and dopaminergic systems to alleviate symptoms of substance withdrawal and restore brain reward allostasis.

Finally, this session will also cover an emerging field in bioelectronic medicine: decoding afferent vagus nerve signals to understand physiology at exquisite detail: for example, determine the status of the immune system, or determine blood glucose levels. This information will allow the development of closed-loop technologies that can respond to physiological changes in real time.

NTSNYC addresses cutting-edge science and technology for patient care including treatment of pain, disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders. The conference takes place during the harvest season in Napa Valley, commonly known as “the Crush”.

Don’t miss the Joint Meeting of Neuromodulation: The Science & NYC Neuromodulation, Oct 3-6, 2019. Register today.

View the agenda: Here.

Neuromodulation: the Science
an Origin Story

May 02, 2019

By: Dr. Elliot Krames
Founding Editor-in-Chief, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface; Past President, International Neuromodulation Society (INS)

Elliot S. Krames, MD
Conference Director

Facing the Future of Neuromodulation

May 17, 2019

With: Roy Hamilton, MD

We spoke with Dr. Roy Hamilton, Associate Professor in the departments of Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also directs the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation (LCNS).

Groundbreaking Partnership Gathers Top Neuroscientists, Clinicians, and Neuroengineers to Napa Valley

May 23, 2019

Joint conference addresses cutting-edge science and technology for patient care including treatment of pain, disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders


May 30, 2019  Napa, Ca – The emerging science of neuromodulation is poised to transform the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including chronic pain. This Fall, Neuromodulation: The Science and NYC Neuromodulation partners to host leaders in neuroscience focusing on the scientific discoveries that are transforming neuromodulation technologies.

This event brings together two of the largest conferences established to advance research and disseminate knowledge and implementation of new findings, including optimized approaches for diseases such as chronic headache, spasticity, chronic pain, epilepsy, and paralysis.

The conference takes place during the harvest season in Napa Valley, commonly known as “the Crush”. Attendees will have the opportunity for wine tastings and access to local wineries. Grigsby, a Napa Valley physician, and a vineyard owner, founded Neurovations over 26 years ago and is at the forefront of pain care nationwide.

“This event brings together the top minds in science and technology. At the end of the day, we always want what is best for patients in pain, those suffering neurologic psychiatric diseases, and in neurorehabilitation” said Dr. Grigsby. “Dr. Bikson, one of the nation’s top biomedical engineers, will highlight the absolute cutting edge of brain interface technology including closed-loop neuromodulation for patient-specific interventions,” continued Grigsby.

Neuromodulation, as noted by leading expert Dr. Elliot Krames, is defined as the field of science, medicine, and bioengineering that encompasses implantable and non-implantable technologies, electrical or chemical, for the purpose of improving quality of life and functioning of humans. “This partnership allows us to dive deeply into pure science that could allow us to treat pain, psychiatric disorders, movement disorders, and other diseases in less invasive and non-destructive ways. This is truly the future of medicine,” said Krames.

Prof. Bikson, founding chairman of Neuromodec, studies the effects of electricity on the human body and applies this knowledge toward the development of medical devices.

“Something very special will happen this October. For the first time Neuromodulation: The Science, the conference at the forefront of the science of therapeutic brain interfaces, and NYC Neuromodulation, the conference where new brain stimulation technologies are presented, will coordinate a joint meeting. There is a shared principle that new science drives the creation of better therapies. And there is something poetic about this happening literally in the midst of the grape harvest in Napa,” said Bikson.

Don’t miss the Joint Meeting of Neuromodulation: The Science & NYC Neuromodulation, Oct 3-6, 2019. Register today.

View the agenda: Here.