IHMC launches 2023 Evening Lecture Series in January

IHMC’s 2023 Evening Lecture series is kicking off this month with speakers highlighting healthy longevity and progress in exoskeleton research.

Both IHMC campuses — Pensacola and Ocala — are opening the free public lecture series with January lectures by Dr. Alexander Fleming and Dr. Gwen Bryan.

Dr. Alexander Fleming

How can you increase healthy longevity beyond common senses measures such as good nutrition and physical activity? That’s the subject that Fleming will explore on Jan. 25 in Pensacola.

Fleming’s talk, “Targeting Healthy Longevity—Why, How, and When Will We Have the Means of Living Longer and Healthier,” is the first of the 2023 season of Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition’s public lecture series.

Fleming, a former head of clinical review at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for products for diabetes and other metabolic and endocrine disorders, is scheduled to speak at IHMC’s downtown Pensacola campus. The doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the talk begins at 6 p.m.

Guests can hear Fleming share more about what the latest science says about slowing the aging process and what you can do now to increase healthspan. His talk also covers drugs that are under development to slow the aging process and increase healthspan — and the challenges of doing so.

Register for the free event here.

Fleming founded Kinexum, a company with professional expertise in developing drugs, biotech products, including gene and cell therapies, medical devices, and digital health technologies. In 2020, he founded the not-for-profit Kitalys Institute to facilitate testing, regulation, and commercialization of healthspan products. Kitalys produces the annual Metabesity conference, which began in 2017 and brings together global experts, policymakers, and advocates for equaling healthspan to lifespan.

Fleming earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida, his M.D. and internal medicine training from Emory University and training in endocrinology at Vanderbilt University. After four years at the National Institutes of Health, he went on to the FDA. His notable, but then controversial drug approvalsincluded the first statin and metformin. He represented the FDA at the World Health Organization and other international initiatives.

For the latest updates to the Evening Lecture schedule, click here.

In Ocala, Dr. Gwen Bryan kicks off the lecture series with a look at the future of exoskeletons on Jan. 19 with her talk, “Improving Human Performance Through Wearable Robotics.” The doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the talk begins at 6 p.m. For details, and to register for the free lecture, click here.

Bryan is a Research Scientist at IHMC who focuses on powered exoskeletons. She investigates lower-limb wearable robotic devices aimed at augmenting human performance in clinical, occupational, and military applications and intends to maximize exoskeleton benefits through a human-centered research approach.

Dr. Gwen Bryan

This talk will highlight IHMC’s work developing an augmentative exoskeleton for U.S. Department of Energy workers and a rehabilitative exoskeleton for those with spinal cord injuries. It concludes by discussing future directions of exoskeleton technology at IHMC.

Lower-limb exoskeletons have the potential to help a variety of user populations. These devices can augment user performance to increase human capabilities or rehabilitate individuals with limited mobility or chronic injuries. Performance augmentation devices could reduce the strain felt by those in high-intensity professions, such as laborers, military personnel, or athletes. Meanwhile, rehabilitative exoskeletons are well-suited to assist patient populations, such as those with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis.

Bryan earned her Ph.D. in the Stanford Biomechatronics Lab, where she developed a hip-knee-ankle exoskeleton emulator, a flexible research testbed for rapid iteration of exoskeleton strategies. She then optimized exoskeleton assistance in response to real-time physiological measurements through human-in-the-loop optimization (HILO). With this strategy, she evaluated the impact of exoskeleton assistance on walking economy when assisting the hips, knees, or ankles individually or simultaneously.

Save the date for these upcoming Ocala lectures: March 9, Tom Jones; April 20, Morgan Cable.