Prof. Park’s Research Selected for OVPR’s Futures Award

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June 18, 2018

Assistant Professor Hyun Soo Park and his research team were one of two recipients of this year’s Futures Award from the University of Minnesota Office for the Vice President of Research (OVPR). Park’s team was selected for their extraordinary, interdisciplinary research in brain activity.

Working with co-P.I. Professor Ben Hayden from the Department of Neuroscience, Park and his team plan to use the added grant funding to find a new, more accurate method of measuring neural activity in Rhesus macaques.

Rhesus macaques have often been studied to better understand brain activity, but up until now research has been limited by the use of large recording devices that require the oft-mobile Rhesus subjects to sit still as researchers record data.  This limitation potentially skews neural measurements since, while being immobile and observed, it prevents the monkeys from interacting with one another and their environment in a natural way.

This is where Park and Hayden’s work is trying to make a breakthrough.  By developing a system that uses wireless brain sensors and cameras, the team hopes that their data-capturing process will be far less invasive, allowing the monkeys to be observed more naturally which ultimately will result in better, more accurate results.

Park’s team joins one other University of Minnesota research team led by Professor Jonathan Oliver from Environmental Health Sciences in receiving this annual OVPR award.  To learn more about Professor Oliver’s public health research or the Minnesota Futures Grant Award program, visit OVPR’s research publication, Inquiry. OVPR is a central resource for faculty, staff, students, and external partners to conduct, manage, and sponsor research at the University of Minnesota.

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