Philip Troyk, associate dean of Armour College of Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and professor at Stuart School of Business, can also rightly be called the “Seeing-Eye Doc.” Since the 1990s Troyk has been working to restore vision to sight-impaired individuals. In 2017 the National Institutes of Health awarded Illinois Tech and six partner institutions, including the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University, an $11.8 million grant for an early feasibility clinical trial of a visual device that bypasses the retina and optic nerves, instead connecting directly to the visual cortex of the brain. Troyk is principal investigator of the project, which will feature five human volunteers into whom the system will be surgically implanted. The outcome of the trial will be the evaluation of the first intra-cortical visual prosthesis system using novel implantable wireless stimulators.
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