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Founding Team

Dr. Michael Colicos
Ph.D., Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
Assistant Professor, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary

Newly established at the University of Calgary, my lab studies the mechanisms of learning and memory both on a synaptic and on a systems level. By studying living networks of cultured mammalian neurons, we can observe individual synapses as they transmit their information. My lab is currently developing a device call the NeuroSilicon interface, which is a way to communicate with living neuronal cultures grown on a silicon wafer. This technology was used to demonstrate that specific patterns of activity can cause new synapse formation, a process believed to be fundamental to learning in the brain. Currently we are using the NeuroSilicon interface to determine the role of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule neuroligin in the process of synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Mutations in the neuroligin protein have been linked to autism, and we are investigating how these mutations could cause a change in synaptic function that leads to the condition.


Dr. Colin Dalton
Ph.D. (Biotechnology), University of Wales
Facility Manager, Advanced Micro/nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF), University of Calgary

Prior to emigrating to Canada from the UK 5 years ago, I worked for the UK Lab-On-A-Chip Consortium and for a local start up company, primarily involved with mass production commercialization of micro/nano products developed from University research. Since coming to Canada I have been involved with setting up the Advanced Micro/Nanosystems Integration Facility (AMIF) at the University of Calgary. I also teach two graduate courses on Micro-Nano Systems Technologies (MNT). At Neurosilicon, I aid in the commercialization of our products and develop new technologies based on my MNT fabrication knowledge. My research interests include dielectrophoresis, microfluidics, hybrid MNT devices and Lab-On-A-Chip systems.


Dr. Lee Hartley
Ph.D., P.Eng.
Adjunct Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary
Director of Hardware Engineering, Advanced Bionics Corporation, Valencia, California

My interests lie in hybrid microsystem integration technologies targetting implantable devices and laboratory diagnostic tools. Some specific areas of concentration include analog and mixed signal integrated circuit design, optical microfluidic devices, speech signal processing, embedded systems, neurostimulation strategies and hermetic electromechanical packaging for implantable and wearable systems.

Dr. Graham Jullien
FIEEE, Ph.D., P.Eng.
iCORE Research Chair in Advanced Technology Information Processing Systems (ATIPS), University of Calgary

My long-term interests have been in the general area of VLSI Circuits and Systems for high performance digital signal processors at the System-on-Chip (SOC) integration level. I have a specific interest in DSP and crypto computations, particularly associated with the representation and manipulation of numbers to perform the arithmetic. My interests also include the implementation of Neural Networks (both artificial and cellular); low power and low noise circuits for mixed-signal applications; new DSP algorithms; machine vision systems; video and image processing; DSP systems for hearing instruments; and recently, Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMs) and Quantum Cellular Automata (QCA). The ATIPS Laboratory has recently developed links with several groups in bio-engineering and medicine, and I am involved with several interdisciplinary projects including bio-analysis using dielectrophoresis and a low-power SoC bio-platform. These projects deal with the microsystem integration of sophisticated integrated circuits, and MEMS/Microfluidic devices. The work on QCA involves the development of a CAD tool that uses advanced simulation techniques, at the quantum mechanical level, to provide a platform for experimenting with this future technology.


Dr. Steven Munevar
Ph.D. - Biomedical Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School
M.B.A. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Business Development and Operations Management - Neurosilicon
Managing Director - Munevar & Associates, Life Science Technology Development and Commercialization Company

As a Biomedical research scientist, my research interest was focused on applying my diverse background in bioengineering and biomedical science towards challenging life science related questions. Utilizing technology focused strategies and tools, I have worked to address fundamental questions in life science research areas such as cell and tissue mechanics, migration, signaling, and regulation.

Seeking to play a greater role in the translation of life science research, I set out to apply my engineering, life science, as well as business management background towards bridging the gap between research bench and patient bedside through the development and commercialization of life science related technologies and innovations.

Currently, I play a role in the business development and operations management at Neurosilicon. In this capacity, I apply my background and experience towards advancing the successful development and commercialization of Neurosilicon’s novel research technology and applications.

As part of the Neurosilicon team, it is my goal to continue to support and advance the present and future goals of the company toward realizing neuroscience related solutions that address the significant unmet need in this area.


Dr. Naweed Syed
Ph.D. (Neurophysiology), University of Leeds
Professor and the Head of Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary

My prime interest is in the cellular and molecular basis of rhythm generation and specific synapse formation. I specifically study the intrinsic and network properties of various neuronal ensembles which underlie rhythmic behaviors between the identified Lymnaea neurons such as locomotion and respiration. I am also interested in investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system development and plasticity. My research program is directed towards determining how neurons find their path en route towards their targets and form specific synaptic connections with other neurons, and how their morphology and physiology is modified by injury or environmental stress. Finding answers to these questions is fundamental if we are to fully understand nervous system functions.

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