Max Novelli, Head of Informatics and Data at the Rehabilitation Neural Engineering Laboratory (RNEL) of the University of Pittsburgh, was a special guest in Z43's Brown Bag Lunch Seminar series with a presentation on "Life in a Neurophysiology lab,...and more", Tuesday 12 June 2019.
Max shared aspects of his work with the RNEL on restoration of sensory and motor functions after nervous system injury and limb loss. RNEL researchers investigate the brain-computer interface (BCI) by means of intracortical microelectrode arrays implanted in the motor cortex to record movement-related activity. The recorded activity is then computationally manipulated to establish alternative neural pathways to circumvent the lesion, e.g., for operating prosthetic devices. The use of somatosensory feedback via intracortical microstimulation has the potential to enable patients to achieve exquisite control of robotic limbs.
Max described his lab's multi-purpose data framework (MDF) approach for management of complex datasets, designed to provide facile access to data and metadata and to clarify the relationships between various data elements. The management of "big data" at RNEL is based on a "4V, 2C" concept that prioritizes volume, variety, velocity, and validation along with continuous curation. The group is also investigating novel approaches to visualization of curated scientific data sets.
Max manages all aspects of RNEL information technology infrastructure including all computers used in experiments and the structure, storage, and curation of all experimental and derivative data. In his work assisting researchers with programming, he is an early expert user of the o2S2PARC platform.
Many thanks to Max for his visit and fascinating presentation!