Drs. Murphy (top) and WeberThe U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has named Carnegie Mellon University’s Max Murphy, PhD (pictured top), as part of the 2022 class of DARPA Risers. Each year the agency selects a cohort of outstanding early-career researchers to be recognized for their work and participate in a symposium.

Dr. Murphy, a postdoctoral associate and biomedical engineer, works with McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Douglas Weber, PhD (pictured bottom), the Akhtar and Bhutta Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Neuroscience Institute (NI), and Darcy Griffin, PhD, a NI special faculty researcher. The NeuroMechatronics Lab brings together neuroscientists and engineers to develop new strategies and devices to treat neurological disorders. Dr. Murphy will present on brain-computer interface work.

“I’m excited to showcase some of the technical successes we’ve had and some ideas for how a future initiative might make use of these results,” Dr. Murphy said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to make connections that could allow me to pursue these collaborative kinds of projects.”

Dr. Weber, who nominated Dr. Murphy, said the 2022 class of DARPA Risers has potential for exciting and unexpected collaborations.

“DARPA plays a vital role in driving innovation in many seemingly disparate areas of science and technology, including neuroscience,” he said. “Max’s work on high-precision noninvasive neurostimulation technology may enable new treatments for a multitude of brain disorders and is a great example of DARPA’s ability to inspire and challenge the research community to tackle important, but difficult problems.”

DARPA scientists have a history of working effectively across disciplines, yielding a long list of breakthrough technologies including the internet, autonomous vehicles, and mRNA vaccines.

DARPA Risers are up-and-coming standouts in their fields, whose research is related to national security and demonstrates the potential to lead to technological surprise — the heart of DARPA’s mission. The Risers program provides individuals in the early stages of their research career a unique opportunity to be recognized for their notable work and present their ideas directly to DARPA.

For DARPA Forward, DARPA program managers and faculty at universities near each event identified a small group of early career scientists and engineers to join the 2022 DARPA Risers cohort. An invitation-only DARPA Risers program will take place directly prior to each Forward event.

Illustration: Murphy (CMU)/Weber (McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine)

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Carnegie Mellon University News Release