The National Academy of Sciences will honor 18 individuals with awards recognizing their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, social, and medical sciences. These include 2 members of the National Academy of Medicine: Edward Chang, and John A. Rogers

Edward Chang, University of California, San Francisco, will receive the Pradel Research Award for scientific advances that have deepened our mechanistic understanding of speech perception and production. The award is presented with a $50,000 award to support neuroscience research.

Chang’s research on the brain mechanisms of speech has revolutionized our understanding of the defining human behavior of language.

Through advances in neurotechnology, Chang has discovered key elements of the neural code of speech. His work has revealed in detail how patterns of human cortical activity give rise to consonants and vowels, and the features that compose them.

Chang has identified novel functional organization of cortical areas that process how sounds are transformed into phonetic and prosodic information in speech perception. His lab has also revealed critical details on how the motor cortex controls vocal tract movements during speech production.

His team applied these discoveries to develop novel neuro-prosthetic technology that enabled the demonstration of full word decoding from the speech cortex in a person with severe paralysis for restoring communication.

Chang is a leading neurosurgeon and scientist who has innovated the use of brain mapping in neurosurgical patients to not only improve the safety and effectiveness of neurosurgery but also advance fundamental knowledge on the neurobiology of speech.

John A. RogersNorthwestern University, will receive the James Prize in Science and Technology Integration for pioneering bio-integrated technologies to advance biomedical research and clinical health care. This award is presented with a $50,000 prize.

Rogers’ innovative research in science, engineering, and medicine has established diverse classes of bio-integrated technologies with capabilities for improving health and increasing our understanding of living systems.

Rogers has developed unique, biocompatible forms of electronic, optoelectronic, and microfluidic systems that can bend, twist, and stretch to enable minimally invasive integration with soft tissues of the human body. Biodegradable versions of these devices have transformed our appreciation for how technology can be used to treat diseases and disorders. In these and other programs, Rogers’ interdisciplinary work integrates fundamental and applied science as the foundations for materials and devices that address key challenges in patient care and biomedical research.

The winners will be honored in a ceremony during the National Academy of Sciences’ 159th annual meeting.

Read the full press release here >>

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