Prof. Frank Rattay is specialized in computational neuroscience, biophysics and biomedical engineering. He is a leading expert in the theory of functional electrical nerve and muscle stimulation (e.g. IEEE TBME 1986, 1988, 1989, 1998, 2004, 2007, 2008 and Neuroscience 1984, 1986, 1999, 2010, 2012, 2014). In 1986 he introduced the concept of the activating function, which is the most cited method to explain extracellular electrical excitation. Concerning electrical stimulation of the retina, he wrote a book chapter with the CEO of Second Sight (Rattay, Greenberg, Resatz, 2003), is coauthor with the pioneers Zrenner and Fried (Werginz, Fried, Rattay, 2014; Werginz, Benav, Zrenner, Rattay, 2015), supervised two PhD theses (Resatz, 2005; Werginz, 2016), several diploma theses (e.g. Werginz, 2012) and was external examiner of two PhD theses (Benav, 2012; Eiber, 2015). During his academic career, Frank Rattay supervised 64 PhD theses and 136 master theses, most of them in the field of computational neurosciences. He also established the worldwide first model of electric stimulation of the auditory nerve and thereby supported the development of cochlear implants at Vienna University of Technology in the 1980s. Today, these implants allow thousands of hearing impaired or even deaf people all over the world to experience a higher quality of hearing up to speech comprehension.
Simon M. Danner is trained in computational neuroscience and mainly interested in the interaction of neural tissue and networks with externally applied electrical stimulation. Starting as an undergraduate student, he investigated the underlying mechanisms that make human transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation possible (Danner et al. 2011). As a graduate student he studied the spinal cord’s ability to respond to electrical stimulation with rhythmic motor outputs neurophysiologically (Danner et al. 2015; Hofstoetter et al. 2015; Minassian et al. 2015) and using computer simulations (Danner et al. 2013a,b). His further work focused on using computer models for uncovering the mechanisms involved in generation of peak I of the auditory brainstem response (Rattay and Danner, 2014) and on the investigation of optimal pulse shapes for electrical stimulation of nervous tissue (Krouchev et al. 2014). He is currently modeling of pattern generating networks and investigating the role of commissural interneurons in speed dependent gait changes in Ilya Rybak’s lab in Philadelphia.
Paul Werginz has a strong background in neuroscience, mathematics and computational modeling and is therefore well trained for thorough investigations of neural activation (e.g. Werginz, Benav, Zrenner, Rattay, 2015). Both, his diploma thesis (Werginz, Fried, Rattay, 2014) and dissertation (e.g. Werginz, Rattay, 2016) act as a knowledge base for further investigations in the field of retinal implants using computer simulations. By linking computational modeling and electrophysiology his major goal is to understand the mechanisms involved in the electrically stimulated retina and how stimulation procedures and experimental protocols can be improved. Paul currently works as an Erwin Schrödinger Fellow in Shelley Fried's lab at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
Hassan Bassereh Moosaabadi is a second year PhD student in the lab. Before coming to Vienna he studied physics at the Isfahan University of Technology (Iran) and is now a project assistant within the European Union Marie Curie Project switchBoard - In the eye of the observer: Visual processing at the heart of the retina.
Andreas Fellner is a PhD student in the lab. He is mainly working on computer simulations investigating the upper threshold phenomenon and its influence on neural prostheses.
Markus M. Hilscher