Dr. Milos Popovic: Rock Star Scientist

Dr. Milos R. Popovic understands that one person discovering a major advance is something from Thomas Edison’s time. What has not changed, he believes, is the need for “the courage to try different things and take risks.” Donors enable our scientists to harness that courage and take those risks.

Dr. Popovic, Toronto Rehab Chair in Spinal Cord Injury Research and Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, is both an electrical and mechanical engineer by training. At Toronto Rehab, master problem solvers like engineers help create solutions for health care. Our extended team approach brings together a great variety of disciplines including not only engineers but also medical doctors, scientists, therapists and nurses, all working in a collaborative environment.

Dr. Popovic was honoured as the 2014 UHN Inventor of the Year for his creation of MyndMove: a commercialized product that non-invasively delivers electrical stimulation to paralyzed muscles, reproducing movement in arms and hands. This technology, by means of neuroplasticity, helps stroke, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury patients regain voluntary movement in upper extremities. Simply put, MyndMove is a game changer, just like its inventor.

The best way to imagine MyndMove’s impact is trying the following. Put one hand in your pocket and then open a water bottle and drink out of it, take a bank card out of your wallet and withdraw $20 from an ATM machine, put sun screen on your face, ears and neck, and brush your teeth. Then imagine your hand in a pocket for the rest of your life. This is how many stroke patients feel today. Now imagine that you can move your hand. This is what MyndMove therapy accomplishes.

With philanthropic support, inventions like Dr. Popovic’s can continue to provide patients here and around the world with opportunities to regain their lives.

Read more in A Mile In Their Shoes: Report to Our Community 2015
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