STEM-Talk: Dr. Vyvyane Loh on atherosclerotic heart disease

Atherosclerotic heart disease (ASCVD) affects some 26 million people in the U.S., and annually leads 2 million hospitalizations and more than 400,000 deaths.

Dr. Vyvyane Loh STEM-Talk

In this episode of STEM-Talk, Dr. Vyvyane Loh returns for her second appearance for a conversation about this disease. The episode is available now wherever you listen to podcasts.

Loh is a board-certified physician in obesity and internal medicine who spoke with us last night about her Boston-based preventative-care practice that specializes in weight management and the treatment of chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia.

In Episode 166, Vyvyane and host Dr. Ken Ford talk about ASCVD and the gap between clinical treatment and the advances in biological science research about risk factors, including updates to the anatomical aspects of the disease model itself.

“We’re focused on cholesterol because that’s what statins target,” Loh says. “The idea has been… this is the main way to prevent atherosclerotic disease. We’ve seen that hasn’t really been that effective.”

The substantial variability in individual response to statin therapy is just one component of this discussion. Loh notes that more attention should be paid to glycocalyces, a border that line every cell, including those of blood vessels.

“Like moss covering the rocks in a stream. It can act as a protective layer in your cells.,” she says. “It acts as a communication bridge between inside and outside of a cell.”

Loh says the focus should be on talking to patients about reducing the substances that can damage glycocalyces.

“We should be looking at atherosclerotic heart disease as an inflammatory process rather than just focusing on cholesterol,” she says.

The full conversation is fascinating and includes:

  • Loh’s pet peeve that the current knowledge base informing clinical practice is far behind the advances in biological science.
  • Where Loh believes the conversation about preventing ASCVD should be focused. “I think the behavioral and environmental components of risks of heart disease have been under emphasized.”
  • What you should think of when you hear the word “metabolism”: “You should immediately be thinking about your immune system because they are intricately linked. We use metabolic pathways to turn on immune pathways.”
  • What she has learned about herself through her passion for competitive dance.

 

STEM-Talk: Dr. John Edwards on ketamine treatment for depression and suicide prevention

Dr. Johnathan Edwards, an anesthesiologist, joins STEM-Talk for a frank conversation about the problem that suicide presents in American life, and the role ketamine could have in countering that.

Dr. John Edwards appears on Episode 165 to discuss ketamine as a therapeutic treatment for depression and suicide prevention.

Episode 165, featuring Edwards, is available now on IHMC’s website and other podcast platforms.

Ketamine was developed in 1960s in the search for an anesthetic that did not cause post-operative delirium. It became the most used anesthetic in the world. In the 1990s, researchers found that in low doses it had a huge effect on eating-disorder patients. It was tried in treatment-resistant depression patients, then in the prevention of suicidal ideation.

While ketamine has been found to be safe in therapeutic settings, a dark side of it is the way it has become adopted as a drug of abuse.

Our conversation with Edwards also covers the benefits that psychedelics — including ketamine and MDMA — show in treatment of depression, suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress disorder and more.

“MDMA could be the drug of choice for treatment of PTSD,” given its effectiveness in relieving the symptoms of PTSD, Edwards said.  Ketamine is similarly effective in relieving the depression.

The conversation also includes:

  • The potential adverse effects of ketamine, especially in light of the October 2023 death of “Friends” actor Matthew Perry, who had used ketamine as apart of treatment for depression and addiction.
  • How ketamine and traditional psychotherapy should be paired together.
  • The role of isolation in the prevalence of drug overdoses and overdose deaths.
  • Groups for whom ketamine should not be used.
  • The role that MDMA could have in the treatment of PTSD, particularly in veterans. “At least we’ve gotten over the fact that there is PTSD,” Edwards said. “Even after as much study has been done, I still feel like we haven’t arrived at a place where we are going to see legislation to support veterans in the way they need to be supported.”

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

Register now for IHMC Summer Robotics Camp 2024 sessions

It’s time to register for IHMC Summer Robotics Camp.

For the student who loves robots and programming — and the student who is curious about it but has never gotten the chance to develop STEM skills in these fields — Robotics Camp is one of IHMC’s signature community outreach efforts.

Registration opens March 1 for Pensacola sessions in June 2024. Camp is in two sessions: June 17-20 for rising eighth graders; and June 24-27 for rising ninth and 10th graders. Visit https://www.ihmc.us/life/robotics-camp/ to register.

Summer Robotics Camp teamwork

Teamwork is an important skill at IHMC Summer Robotics Camp.

“Students don’t need prior experience in programming or prior knowledge about robots to enjoy this camp,” said Dr. Ursula Schwuttke, director of educational outreach for IHMC’s Pensacola and Ocala campuses. “Students who are interested in STEM fields in general will enjoy themselves. There’s no better way to introduce these concepts to your child — while also providing them with a fun summer experience that will increase their self-confidence in STEM.”

In 2023, 66 middle- and high-schoolers participated in these hands-on experiences, designing their own LEGO robots, learning the basics of coding, and increasing their problem-solving skills.

“Camp allows us to reach the next generation of scientists, helping them to discover what their future might look like,” Schwuttke said.

Ocala camp dates are July 8-11 for rising eighth graders, and July 15-18 for rising ninth and 10th graders. Registration for those sessions opens March 11. There is financial assistance, based on need, available for those who qualify.

While assembling and programming the robots is of course fun, Schwuttke says another highlight of camp is the chance to meet and mingle with researchers on the IHMC team and to see the IHMC robotics lab.

“Opportunity is vitally important for kids,” says Schwuttke. “Without the opportunity to discover an interest coding or robotics, they can’t know that it’s something they might want to pursue.”

Robotics Camp is sponsored in Pensacola by Cox and in Ocala by Lockheed Martin, Cox, Career Source Citrus  /Levy / Marion, and the Ocala Mac User’s Group.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

 

 

Peek behind the curtain at IHMC’s April 2024 Open House

For Dr. Robert Griffin, the question isn’t why he came to Pensacola to work in the robotics lab at Florida IHMC.

It’s why he stays.

“I stayed because we have a phenomenal team, and we try and remove the formality from work to allow us to focus on the things to be done, and how to enjoy that process,” he said. “We also place a high value on intellectual freedom that we enjoy here. Basically, if we can convince someone to fund it, we can pursue it. That’s a tremendous opportunity.”

Dr. Robert Griffin, IHMC Research Scientist

On April 11, 2024, Griffin will be among dozens of researchers, roboticists, engineers, cognitive scientists, and human performance experts who will share what they love about IHMC during Open House for National Robotics Week.

From 3 to 7 p.m., Institute for Human and Machine Cognition staff will welcome families, students, and the public for tours, walk-throughs, and inspiration on the Pensacola campus on South Alcaniz Street. The final tour begins at 6:30 p.m.

The family-friendly event encourages scientific discovery through hands-on activities, challenges, and demonstrations while providing the opportunity to learn. Visitors will meet IHMC researchers and see first-hand their work in drones, robotics, virtual reality experiences, human performance research projects, data visualization, and more.

In 2017, when Griffin was graduating with a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, he had two choices for pursuing his work researching mobility control for humanoid robots and exoskeletons: Pensacola or Boston.

There is no question he has made the most of his choice.

“We have one of the best facilities for legged robots in the world and have been very fortunate to be able to pursue that,” he said. “We are a major part of the community here, and we can tell that Pensacola loves us and has been good to us.”

Open House is a way for the IHMC team to return that love.

National Robotics Week was established by Congress in 2010 and aims to bring together students, educators, and influencers who share a passion for robots and technology.

While the robotics lab at the Levin Center for IHMC Research is an open-house highlight, the event also features the Healthspan, Resilience, and Performance (HRP) team.

Dr. Marcas Bamman, the senior research scientist who leads the HRP team, was director of a world-leading research center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 2020, he joined IHMC to help build an exciting and innovative research program spanning numerous disciplines including physiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, rehabilitation, psychology, environmental stress, and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Marcas Bamman, Senior Research Scientist.

“I was drawn here by IHMC’s vision to establish a capstone research program focused on advancing knowledge in human healthspan, resilience and performance in a truly interdisciplinary manner,” said Bamman. “We are bringing together everything from clinical and applied research to rehabilitation to molecular and biological analysis. Our research leverages knowledge gained from the level of a molecule to the performance of a whole human.”

Later this year, the HRP team will move into a nearly completed $40 million research complex that will exponentially expand research capacity and have a tremendous impact on Northwest Florida’s regional economy.

“IHMC fosters a unique environment in which scientists can walk across the hall and tap into the expertise of leaders in AI, computer science, robotics and the many subdisciplines of HRP. Our best days in science are those in which we learn from one another, and our goal at IHMC is to learn without limits,” Bamman says.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

STEM-Talk: Dr. Michael Leon on the power of olfaction enrichment to ameliorate dementia symptoms

What if the path to delaying the onset of dementia symptoms begins at the nose?

It is a doorway that the research of Dr. Michael Leon opened with a 2023 study on the power of olfaction enrichment to influence memory function and brain health. The findings attracted wide interest by finding that stimulation of our sense of smell with essential oils had a profound impact on memory, cognition, and language recall.

Our conversation with Leon on STEM-Talk Episode 164 is available now on the STEM-Talk webpage as well as popular podcast platforms.

Olfaction can be considered a kind of “canary in the coal mine” for serious consequences.

“Olfactory loss accompanies virtually all neurological and psychiatric disorders,” Leon says. “I’ve counted about 70 of them. It also is associated with all of the things that will eventually kill you. Heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, lung disease, liver disease – all the things that will eventually kill you — all are associated with olfactory loss. It may be that loss of olfaction puts your brain and body at elevated risk for expressing these.”

Leon’s long research career has focused on the influence of environmental enrichment on neurological function, disease, and disorders. He has studied the benefits of sensory-motor stimulation for children with autism spectrum disorder, for the treatment of anorexia and for those with dementia and neurological conditions.

He is a professor emeritus in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California Irvine, where his Leon Lab has focused on studying the benefits of increased sensory-motor activity in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Our conversation includes:

  • The beginnings of Leon’s interest in science, when he traded in his summer job as a lifeguard at Rockaway Beach for a summer job indoors at Brooklyn College cleaning out rat cages.
  • His early work in endocrinology, and his path into studying the way environmental stimulation influenced outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder.
  • The 2023 paper showing a powerful link between the olfactory stimulation older people received from essential oils overnight and their brain function.
  • The applications this olfaction stimulation study could have across other disciplines.
  • The influence these findings could have on a larger study population, mild traumatic brain injury patients, as well as children with a high level of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and other groups.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

 

IHMC hosts Dynamic Walking Conference in May 2024 drawing robotics experts from across the world

In late May, IHMC will host the 20th annual Dynamic Walking Conference, a premier gathering of engineers and roboticists working in the realm of robotics.

The conference, set for May 27-30 at Pensacola Beach, includes experts and researchers in biomechanics, human and animal locomotion, prosthetics and orthotics, robot design and control, wearable robotics, and exoskeletons. It is one of several gatherings of subject-matter experts IHMC is part of each year.

It has been six years since IHMC previously hosted the conference, which rotates between the United States and Europe. The 2023 conference was hosted in Munich by DLR, the German Space Agency.

Dr. Robert Griffin, the IHMC research scientist who leads the robotics team, looks forward to the opportunity to showcase his team and their work. The conference typically attracts some 200 researchers from around the world, Griffin said.

Testing Nadia's new arms

Advances the IHMC robotics team is making in Nadia’s new arms are likely to be discussed at upcoming Dynamic Walking conference 2024. Credit: IHMC staff.

Work that Griffin’s team has completed recently on the humanoid robot Nadia is likely to be a topic of discussion, as well as IHMC’s work on exoskeletons with Eva. Throughout late 2023 and early 2024, the team has been testing new designs for Nadia’s arms, as well as changes in the mixed-reality teleoperation assistance environment that controllers use to direct the robot.

In December, the team presented at the 2023 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Robotics and Automation Society’s 22nd International Conference on Humanoid Robots in Austin, Texas.

“The opportunity to present and exchange ideas at conferences like Dynamic Walking is a highlight of every year for our team and a unique opportunity for collaboration,” Griffin said. “We are excited to hear about the many other research areas that are essential to the performance of legged systems.”

During the conference, IHMC’s team will present highlights from its work on locomotion in humanoid robots, a burgeoning research area on reinforcement learning on quadrupeds, as well as work with both assistive and augmentative exoskeletons.

The conference will include plenaries, keynotes, small-group discussions, and social and after-hours networking opportunities. Its audience will include startup founders and workers, academic and research institute principal investigators, graduate and undergraduate researchers, and industry research and development teams.

Conference and program assistance is coming from the Georgia Tech PoWeR lab under Dr. Greg Sawicki, who is also an IHMC Senior Research Scientist, and the Florida State Optimal Robotics Lab, RTHM Lab, and CISCOR Lab, under Christian Hubicki, Taylor Higgins, and Jonathan Clark.

While the intellectual exchanges are clearly a highlight of the conference, there are other benefits. Griffin notes past conferences were enlivened by hiking and rock climbing in Madison, Wisc., and country tours in Munich that included visits to castles.

In 2018, the last time IHMC hosted, extracurriculars included sailing, playing kickball in Pensacola Blue Wahoos stadium, and Evening Lecture at the historic Saenger Theatre. This time around, the IHMC team once again looks forward to having the chance to share what Pensacola has to offer visitors.

“We are thrilled to host our colleagues, collaborators, contributors, and like-minded experts in their fields and look forward to showing them all that our community has to offer,” Griffin said. “We think a good time will be had by all.”

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

Dr. Tom Jones Evening Lecture on March 14 includes book signing by Bodacious Bookstore

It’s been some 12 years since the Space Shuttles retired, but the lessons America learned from its signature space program still reverberate.

What we know how to do well today in space, we learned on the shuttle. Those lessons are the foundation of work on the International Space Station and plans to return to the Moon.

Nobody knows that better than Dr. Tom Jones. Jones spent 53 days living and working in space. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he is an author, pilot, and speaker whose career includes 11 years at NASA.

Dr. Tom Jones will give an Evening Lecture and book signing on March 15.

Dr. Tom Jones will give an Evening Lecture and book signing on March 15, 2024.

He flew on four Space Shuttle missions and led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station. On March 14, 2024, he will share “Space Shuttle Stories,” an IHMC Evening Lecture inspired by his book of the same title.

The lecture begins at 6 p.m., but locally owned Bodacious Bookstore will host an onsite book signing with Jones from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at IHMC. 40 S. Alcaniz St. Jones will be available to sign his new book “Space Shuttle Stories” from 4-5:30pm at IHMC, 40 South Alcaniz Street.

“We are so pleased to partner with Bodacious Bookstore to host a book signing for this Evening Lecture,” said Michelle Bowers, Senior Event Specialist at IHMC. “The subtitle of Tom’s book is ‘Capturing the Human Element of America’s Iconic Spaceship.’ Tom is an IHMC colleague and we can’t wait for the opportunity to share his ’Space Shuttle Stories’ with the community.”

Mentioning this story will earn you 10 percent off the purchase of Jones’ book the night of the event, according to store manager Melissa Smith.

In collecting the stories of more than 135 astronauts who flew the shuttle, Jones heard how the orbiter crews and the launch and Mission Control teams coped with and overcame the inevitable, unexpected, and sometimes frightening challenges that threatened their missions.

“Brain surgery” on Hubble by space-suited astronauts. The most improbable satellite rescues in space history. How the shuttles helped us win the Cold War.

Those are just some of the stories you’ll hear. Reserve your spot today.

Jones piloted B-52D strategic bombers, earned a doctorate in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona, studied asteroids and robotic exploration missions for NASA, and engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA.

He is the author of seven books.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

STEM-Talk: Mark Mattson on the brain’s most important neurotransmitter

The Godfather of Intermittent Fasting is back on STEM-Talk.

Dr. Mark Mattson STEM-Talk

Dr. Mark Mattson is back for a third appearance on STEM-Talk. His first two interviews focused on the many ways that fasting optimizes healthspan and lifespan.

This time we shift gears to talk about Mattson’s work on glutamate following the publication of his new book, “Sculptor and Destroyer: Tales of Glutamate – The Brain’s Most Important Neurotransmitter.” The episode is available now on our website and wherever you listen to podcasts.

More than 90 percent of the neurons in the brain deploy the little-known molecule glutamate as their neurotransmitter. Glutamate also controls the structure and function of the brain’s neuronal networks and mediates many of our human capabilities, such as learning and memory, creativity and imagination.

But there’s also a dark side to glutamate.

Mattson shares how subtle aberrancies in the activity of neurons can deploy glutamate in such a way that it can cause disorders such as autism and schizophrenia and epilepsy as well as diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and ALS.

You won’t want to miss this conversation with includes:

  • Why Mattson feels his research on glutamate is his most important, given his substantial contributions in other areas such as intermittent fasting.
  • His motivation to understand how the pieces of the ‘brain puzzle’ fit together and how that desire has fueled his broad scope of research.
  • Why historically, researchers largely ignored the possibility that glutamate was a neurotransmitter and how a Japanese professor during World War II demonstrated that glutamate could excite neurons.
  • And much, much more.

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Iowa, Mark did his postdoc research at Colorado State University and then took position at the University of Kentucky to establish his own lab and independent research program. In 2000, the National Institute of Aging recruited Mark to head its neuroscience laboratory. He spent almost 20 years there and today and is on the neuroscience faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Review Mark’s previous STEM-Talks here in Episode 7, and here in Episode 133.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

 

 

IHMC Newsletter highlights human-machine teaming research and more

The latest edition of IHMC’s newsletter is now available, highlighting the work of our incredibly talented team.

Dr. Matt Johnson and his team at work.

Dr. Matt Johnson’s research has included training drones to assist first responders and others in dangerous scenarios. Credit: IHMC staff.

Among the features in this issue is the work of Senior Research Scientist Dr. Matt Johnson, one of IHMC’s leaders in the human-machine teaming, working on technologies that can be applied in domains including disaster response, space applications, aviation, and military operations.

Johnson’s research into making human-machine teams more flexible, resilient, and effective also falls under this umbrella. Projects such as those Johnson is currently leading include using virtually reality, simulations and other tools to build training platforms to improve collaboration between humans and their machine partners.

“AI comes in a lot of flavors,” Johnson says. “It’s very broad, and IHMC’s been involved from the beginning with the different approaches.”

The newsletter, available here, also features:

  • Research on how the Internet of Things could be applied to benefit military operators, disaster response and the like.
  • An IHMC-designed haptic sensor in flight gloves that could make it easier for flight crew to operate safely in extreme environments.
  • Our partnership with the American Magic yacht racing team.
  • An update on construction of the $40 million Healthspan, Resilience, and Performance research complex, due to be completed later this year.
  • Recaps of Science Saturdays, Robots Camp and other community outreach efforts.
  • And much more.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

STEM-Talk: Marc Hamilton on the metabolic power behind the soleus push-up

Dr. Marc Hamilton has published pioneering work on the soleus push-up, a potent physiological method with the ability to elevate metabolism for hours, even while sitting.

Marc Hamilton on STEM-Talk

Hamilton is well-known for a string of papers beginning in early 2000’s that found excessive sitting should be viewed as a serious health hazard.

In Episode 161 of STEM-Talk, available now on all podcast platforms, Hamilton shares his scientific evolution during a conversation with IHMC’s founder Dr. Ken Ford and Dr. Marcas Bamman, IHMC’s Director of Healthspan, Resilience, and Performance Research. Hamilton is a a professor of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston.

Today’s interview is wide-ranging and covers:

  • The inspiration his childhood history of hunting and studying animal biology had for his affinity for the real-world scientific problems he works on today.
  • His work beginning in the early 2000s about how long periods of inactivity impact lipoprotein lipase regulation.
  • How he came to the conclusion that excessive sitting should be considered a serious health hazard.
  • How the study of the soleus muscle and its function evolved.
  • What proper activation of the soleus muscle looks like and what it’s impacts can be.
  • What’s next for Hamilton and his team.

Learn more about the soleus push-up, the science behind it, Hamilton and his lab.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

Science Saturdays welcome students with new sessions in 2024

Science Saturdays are back and ready to turn on new scientific minds in 2024.

These 90-minute educational enrichment sessions are a cornerstone piece of community outreach at Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). Topics in 2024 will include balloon cars, secret codes, genetics, the science of design, and more. The sessions are free to the families who attend, thanks to the support of community partners.

Science Saturdays is entering its 16th year, and in the 2022-2023 school, more than 300 students attended the series, said Dr. Ursula Schwuttke, director of educational outreach for IHMC.

“Science Saturdays is one of the original community outreach efforts IHMC undertook,” Schwuttke said. “Our commitment to helping build future scientists, engineers and critical thinkers is integral to who we are as an organization. We have a great lineup of sessions coming to round out the 2023-2024 school year and we can’t wait to get to work.”

Sponsors for the 2023-2024 series in Pensacola include NextEra Energy Foundation/Florida Power & Light, Florida Blue Foundation, the Escambia County Sherriff’s Office (with Law Enforcement Trust Fund monies), and Cox.

Ocala supporters also include Lockheed Martin, Florida Blue Foundation, Cox, Ron and Phyllis Ewers, Eleanor and Gary Simons, and Ocala Electric Utility.

SCIENCE SATURDAY SPRING SCHEDULE

Use this link to stay up to date on dates and topics for these sessions. And share the link with friends with children in grades 3-6 https://www.ihmc.us/life/science_saturdays/

Pensacola Sessions

Jan. 20: Dr. Gwen Bryan, Balloon Cars.

Feb. 24: Dr. Jeff Phillips, Secret Codes.

March 23: Dr. Marcas Bamman, What Genes Are You Wearing?

April 27: Teresa Dos Santos and Blu Salmon, Science of Design.

Ocala Sessions

Jan. 6: Scott Weeks, Florida Engineering Society, Bridges.

Feb. 10: Dr. Archna Bhatia, More Computer Game Design.

March 9: Dr. Peter Polack, Ocala Eye, Vision and Optical Illusions.

April 6: TBA.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry, and academia to conduct ground-breaking science and develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

Evening Lecture series kicks off 2024 highlighting power of Internet of Things

You used the Internet of Things (IoT) today even if you didn’t realize it.

The GPS mapping tools that guided your commute, the traffic cameras that alerted you to a traffic delay or nabbed a red-light-runner, the smart-home devices that locked your front door, turned off the lights, and told you the weather — all are part of the IoT.

Dr. Niranjan Suri

It’s likely that any errand you ran this week used these networked sensors to communicate and share data as part of a wide array of everyday things that exchange information, sense the environment, and act upon the environment.

The data gathered and analyzed by IoT has a range of applications for both military and civilian life, and IHMC’s Associate Director Dr. Niranjan Suri is among the leaders researching how this data trove could be leveraged. He kicks off the 2024 IHMC Evening Lecture Series with a talk highlighting this research area on Jan. 18. Reserve your seat here.

Throughout his career, Suri’s research has focused on networking, communications, distributed systems, information management, interoperability, Internet of Things (IoT), and the application of machine learning to all of those domains.

“They can essentially create a smarter thing, a smarter home, a smarter military — even a smarter city,” Suri said.

For several years, Suri and his team have investigated the ways the military community could utilize this publicly available, free data from the civilian IoT. Suri and his team also have considered how the military version of the IoT— the Internet of Military Things (IoMT) — could be maximized to improve logistics and protect the safety of our nation’s warfighters.

Public data treasure chest

Civilian IoT is a rich source of data with wide applications, some currently in use, some still in the idea phase:

— Cities increasingly are offering services that can tell you things like where you can park your car, when the next public bus, train, or subway is coming, or if there are delays and suggest alternate routes.

— Cities are using IoT sensors to create a real-time picture of the environment by tracking air quality, temperature, noise pollution, and ultraviolet radiation.

— Electrical grids can use IoT to monitor power consumption, balance uploads, and anticipate where there might be problems upcoming.

— Connected cars could use IoT so that the car in front of you talks to the car behind you about roadway conditions, so maybe your car can avoid the bump or the road hazard that the car in front of you went over.

“Sometimes it is behind the scenes. Sometimes you actually interact with it,” Suri said.

Networked sensors are part of a wide array of everyday things that exchange information, sense the environment, and act upon the environment. The data gathered and analyzed by the IOT has a range of applications for both military and civilian life.

“They can essentially create a smarter thing, a smarter home, a smarter military, even a smarter city,” Suri said.

For several years, Suri and his team have investigated the ways that the military community could tap into this trove of civilian data, much of which is free, and publicly available. Suri and his team also have considered how the military version of the IOT — the Internet of Military Things (IOMT) — could be maximized to improve logistics and protect the safety of our nation’s warfighters.

Military applications of IOT

Suri also has worked for several years on projects with IOT for military applications.

Beginning in 2014, Suri co-chaired a North Atltantic Treaty Organization (NATO) coalition of subject matter experts and thought leaders looking at all the military domains — logistics, automatic monitoring of equipment, health and wellness of soldiers, information gathering and sensing of the environment of cities — with an eye toward how to make civilian IoT data available to warfighters conducting humanitarian or military missions.

One exercise leveraged a real-world smart city’s IoT infrastructure to model a scenario in which the military has been called in to aid in disaster recovery.

Another exercise tackled finding the quickest route from an embassy to a train station with an injured person using IoT infused with edge computing to process video feeds to distinguish between military and civilian vehicles, people, and other hazards along the route.

“All of this information can come very quickly and helps you improve your situation awareness,” Suri said. “One of the major thrusts of our goal is to improve the situation awareness of these operators.”

The Internet of Battlefield Things

IHMC also supports a program with the U.S. Army that for the last six years has funded basic research into understanding how the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) can be maximized to manage resources and keep servicemembers out of harm’s way.

One COVID-19-era innovation from this program — the Distributed Virtual Proving Ground — is having impact well beyond its origins as a workaround to travel restrictions in the pandemic era.

What was once limited to an annual in-person gathering of experts to test new ideas is now, with IHMC as a hub, a virtual testing network that supports distributed experimentation year-round, Suri said.

“Now we experiment year-round, just continuously doing this kind of testing and evaluation,” he said. “It has improved outcomes in every way imaginable.”

Daniel Duran is a Senior Research Associate who began his IHMC career as an intern in 2011. His past work has included developing computer vision algorithms to autonomously detect from high altitudes downed human pilots in the Australian Outback. He also designed and built a GPS-guided system used to deliver an emergency response payload to the pilots autonomously.

About a year and a half ago, he and the IHMC team began work on a threat detection system that could provide a lower-cost initial line of defense for critical infrastructure as well as for military personnel.

These networked sensors have five to 10 different sensing modalities, including tracking light, temperature, motion, even the ability to track chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) exposures.

“You can imagine how you might these around critical infrastructure like a military base or power plants or an airport, so that you can very quickly assess a situation,” Duran said.

This entirely autonomous system feeds data to the command center and to a warfighter in the field.

“So you can have a first-responder like a police officer, firefighter, or a warfighter simply attaching this to (their person) and they’re good to go,” Duran said. “And you can monitor their health and the threats around them very carefully from different distances.”

The wearable version of the device has additional applications in the field that are still being explored, Duran said. It is an innovation that could save time, money, and potentially lives.

Existing sensor technology in use is complicated and expensive — anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per sensor. These devices can sense anywhere from five to 10 different modalities in a single sensor for less than $100 each.

“The whole point of this technology is to complement already existing technologies,” Duran said. “We want not just to develop the framework itself, but also to miniaturize and develop the sensor technology to make it cheaper and more effective for usage on the field.”

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry, and academia to conduct ground-breaking science and develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

STEM-Talk: Sten Stray-Gundersen on blood-flow restriction training and cardiovascular exercise physiology

This episode of STEM-Talk has a generational twist.

Dr. Sten Stray-Gundersen is our guest on Episode 161 which is now available on all podcast platforms and on our website. The conversation covers Sten’s research on blood-flow restriction training and cardiovascular exercise physiology. It’s a subject that Sten’s father, the late Jim Stray-Gundersen, pioneered in the United States. Jim was our guest on Episode 34 of STEM-Talk.

Sten Stray-Gundersen on STEM-Talk

Sten is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of South Carolina and is an adjunct instructor at the university’s Arnold School of Public Health. Prior to his position at South Carolina, Sten was a teaching assistant at the University of Texas, where he earned his Ph.D.

The conversation with Dr. Ken Ford, IHMC’s founder and CEO, and Dr. Marcas Bamman, Senior Research Scientist at IHMC, includes the documented benefits of blood-flow restriction and how it not only increases muscle strength, but also improves endurance and reduces the risk of injury. Sten also talks about his research into hypoxia and endothelial function.

We also discuss:

  • The influence of family on Sten’s athletic and career path.
  • Sten’s experience trying blood-flow restriction (BFR) for the first time with his father.
  • How blood flow restriction (BFR) training impacts training, muscle response, fitness, and endurance.
  • How BFR’s different protocols of BFR can be implemented to yield different effects in the contexts of resistance training and aerobic training.
  • A detailed discussion of the different approaches to BFR, each with tradeoffs. We also explore the differences in BFR for an elite athlete looking to gain a fractional advantage, versus a middle-aged or older person aiming to incorporate BFR to improve their health and functionality.
  • Kaatsu, the original version of BFR, has been practiced in Japan for more than 30 years with a very low rate of serious complications. Ken mentions that for those listeners interested in Kaatsu, they should listen to Sten’s father’s interview on STEM-Talk episode 34.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

STEM-Talk: Euan Ashley on precision medicine’s potential to predict, prevent and diagnose diseases

STEM-Talk episode 160 featuring a conversation with a pioneer in the use of genomic sequencing is now available on IHMC’s website, podcast apps and YouTube.

Dr. Euan Ashley is a professor of cardiology and genetics at Stanford University in California who
is developing new technologies to solve some of the most puzzling medical mysteries that people face today. He is helping pioneer medical genomics, as well as the precision medicine that it will enable, that has the potential to predict, prevent, and diagnose many common (and uncommon) diseases.

In today’s interview, Dr. Ken Ford and his co-host Dr. Dawn Kernagis talk to Euan about:

— His work with a colleague who was just the fifth person in the world to have his genome sequenced.
— Precision medicine and how Euan has helped establish medical genomics.
— How Euan and his colleagues set the Guinness World Record for the fastest genomic diagnosis.
— Technological advances that made sequencing cost-effective for individuals.
— How pathogenic labels will transform healthcare.
— The Undiagnosed Disease Network, which includes physicians from across the country who work with patients and families to solve medical mysteries.
— Research coming out of Euan’s lab that shows how all forms of exercise, particularly endurance exercise, confer benefits across all domains of health and function.

Euan, who was born and raised in Scotland, led the team that conducted the first clinical interpretation of the human genome. He is associate dean of Stanford’s School of Medicine and the author of The Genome Odyssey: Medical Mysteries and the Incredible Quest to Solve Them.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

 

IHMC earns HIRE Vets award for commitment to hiring veterans

U.S. Acting Secretary of Labor Julie A. Su recognized the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition as a recipient of the 2023 HIRE Vets Medallion Award during a virtual award ceremony on Nov. 8, 2023.

The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act (HIRE Vets Act) Medallion Program is the only federal award program that recognizes employers who successfully recruit, hire, and retain veterans. IHMC also won the award in 2021.

2023 HIRE Vets Medallion

2023 HIRE Vets Medallion award

IHMC joins a select group of companies and organizations across the country recognized for hiring veterans and providing them with career opportunities that take advantage of the diverse skills they acquired during military service.

“We know very well the commitment to excellence and dedication that members of our military community bring to everything they do,” said IHMC founder and CEO Ken Ford.

Between its Pensacola and Ocala branches, nearly 14.8% of IHMC’s new hires last year were veterans, according to Associate General Counsel Stephanie Tillery Rothfeder, who coordinated IHMC’s submission for the award.

“We are honored to win this prestigious award for the second time in three years,” Rothfeder said.

To be considered for the award, an entity must meet a 7% hiring requirement, and we greatly exceeded that high standard,” she said. IHMC’s hiring and retention percentages demonstrate that the institute values veterans and provides them ample support and resources.

Recipients of the 2023 HIRE Vets Medallion Award meet rigorous employment and veteran integration assistance criteria, including veteran hiring and retention percentages; availability of veteran-specific resources; leadership programming for veterans; dedicated human resource efforts; pay compensation and tuition assistance programs for veterans.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry, and academia to conduct ground-breaking science and develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

STEM-Talk: An “Ask Me Anything” episode that covers AI, therapeutic ketosis, and more

STEM-Talk covers a wide array of topics, but there is a theme that our podcast returns to often — the role that mentorship plays in the lives of our guests. And our hosts.

Episode 159 of STEM-Talk — an “Ask Me Anything” episode where listeners ask Ken and Dawn to weigh in on a number of topics — brought up the question from a listener for Dr. Ken Ford, host and IHMC’s founder and CEO, about the mentors who have most profoundly influenced him. The episode is available now on podcast apps, YouTube and on IHMC’s website.

Dozens of STEM-Talk guests have spoken about a teacher, a coach, parent, or professor whose advice and support were critical to their development and career. Ken shared that his parents and his wife, Nancy, are his most profound influences. He also shares a little about another figure whose advice still rings true for him: Arthur Kershaw, legendary wrestling coach at East Greenwich High School, in East Greenwich, R.I.

Wrestling coach Arthur Kershaw

Wrestling coach Arthur Kershaw

“He was in a class by himself as builder of character in young men,” Ken says. “In many ways he was the best teacher of all. His lessons were important and they have lasted a lifetime. Coach Kershaw’s counsel often boomed across the gym in simple language. ‘Don’t be a knucklehead.’ ‘Don’t be a dumbbell.’ Or the classic, ‘Get off your back.'”

“Life gives us each many opportunities to be a knucklehead. Or not. And many opportunities to get off our backs. Or not. Though I had great mentors as a scientist and throughout my life, some of these early experiences shape a person in a way the latter ones really can’t. Some lessons last longer than others. Coach Kershaw’s lessons lasted the longest.”

It’s nice note upon which to close the episode, which covers a lot of ground on topics from AI, chat bots, therapeutic ketosis, kratom, and much more.

Ken, who is Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, answered several questions about the future of AI, Chat GPT, and whether AI might one day be able to do a better job of writing fact-based news stories than humans.

Other questions included:

  • The competing recommendations for the daily intake of protein for healthy aging.
  • The future of therapeutic ketosis.
  • What it means for Chat GPT to “hallucinate.”
  • Whether we’ll discover the existence of other life in the universe in the next 20 to 50 years.
  • The potential of kratom to help relieve joint and arthritic pain.
  • And much, much more.

New research complex making impact on downtown Pensacola skyline

The summer has seen marked progress on a new research complex that will expand the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) Pensacola campus.

In June, the project marked a milestone, “topping out” the planned $40 million Healthspan, Resilience, and Performance Research Complex (HRP). “Topping out” is a builders’ rite traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed atop a structure during its construction.

Work on the HRP has progressed steadily since the ceremonial groundbreaking in February 2023. The building is expected to be complete in spring 2024, said Phillip Turner, IHMC’s director of architectural and engineering services.

“It has been particularly exciting to see the complex take shape in the downtown skyline,” Turner said.

Aerial image of HRP construction

This aerial image shows the way that the $40 million IHMC research complex will fit into the downtown Pensacola skyline. Credit: IHMC.

The building, once completed, will substantially increase IHMC’s footprint in downtown Pensacola, which we have called home since 1999.

The 40,000 square-foot research complex is an investment in the intellectual capital of the region, creating a research nucleus that will help attract leading scientific minds to the region.

DAG Architects, partnered with Atlanta-based Cooper Carry, designed the building. Brasfield & Gorrie leads the construction of the facility located at the corner of Garden and Alcaniz streets in Pensacola.

When complete, it will expand IHMC’s downtown Pensacola campus to three primary buildings and will complement the Levin Center for IHMC Research, which primarily houses research in robotics and exoskeletons, human-machine teaming, and intelligent networked systems.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.

STEM-Talk: Judith Curry on the uncertainties of climate change

Dr. Judith Curry wants more people to appreciate the large uncertainties associated with climate science.

It’s why Curry has worked to fight “groupthink” in science, advocate for transparency and engage critics. It is her way of keeping the conversation focused on the nuance that is a critical component of science and scientific discussion. Her appearance on Episode 158 of STEM-Talk, available now on podcast apps, YouTube and on IHMC’s website, reflects this.

Judith Curry

Curry is president of the Climate Forecast Application Network and the host of the blog, Climate Etc. She also is Professor Emerita of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

In scientific circles, she is known as a contrarian for pointing out the uncertainties and limitations of climate modeling. Her blog is a forum for climate researchers, academics, and technical experts from other fields as well as citizen scientists to discuss climate science and policy.

“In my opinion the worst possible scenario is that we are left to face extreme weather and climate impacts with a crippled energy system that drastically reduces our resilience,” Curry says. “Focusing on climate change leads us to ignore the broader ecological problems associated with our impact on the planet” including land use, overfishing, pollution, and degradation of the planet’s surface from mining and waste.

Our conversation covers:

  • Her research interests in hurricanes, remote sensing, atmospheric modeling, polar climates, air-sea interactions, climate models, and the use of drones for atmospheric research.
  • Her experience with the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) expedition to examine how sea ice, the ocean, and the atmosphere were interacting. The end of the Cold War also saw an end to a funding stream that had supported research in the Arctic Ocean, back when submarine warfare there was a key military strategy. “The climate modeling was a bit of a ploy to get this funded,” Curry says.
  • Her takeaways from the 2010 unauthorized release of emails from the Climactic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, otherwise known as “climategate.
  • Her 2017 resignation from a tenured position at Georgia Tech partly because of the toxic nature of the scientific discussion around human-caused global warming.
  • The release of her book “Climate Change and Uncertainty: Rethinking our Response.” The book offers a new way to think about climate change, the risks we face, and the way we respond.

STEM-Talk: Don Layman on the role of dietary protein in muscle, health, and disease

Few people know more about muscle development than Dr. Donald Layman.

As the world’s foremost authority on dietary protein and amino acids, he is known for his extensive research on muscle development and his studies of metabolic regulation for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Layman’s interview with STEM-Talk co-hosts Drs. Ken Ford and Marcas Bamman is now available on IHMC’s website and YouTube as well as in popular podcast apps.

Dr. Donald Layman is an expert on muscle, health, and disease.

Dr. Donald Layman is an expert on muscle, health, and disease.

“I think everyone knows that our body has a lot of protein in it,” Layman says. “What people don’t realize is we have a constant process of turnover. Every protein in the body has a half-life. Some last an hour or two, some last 30 or 40 days. We have this constant rate of repair and replacement going on. That’s why we need to pay attention to protein turnover. How well we do this process of protein turnover has a lot to do with long term health and aging.”

Layman spent 31 years on the faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he is now a professor emeritus. His lab focused on understanding how metabolism works.

Today, he works as Director of Research for the American Egg Board and is a nutrition consultant for the National Dairy Council and The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He also is the Chief Science Officer for Qivana, a natural products marketing company that promotes the weight-loss program that Don developed at Illinois.

Our conversation includes:

  • How Layman’s small-town childhood fueled his curiosity. “Growing up on a farm makes you curious, makes you wonder how to make things work,” he says. “I was always interested in why things worked, the math and science of it.”
  • How life on the farm influenced him. “As a small-town boy whose horizons weren’t that broad, I was willing to go with the flow and figure things out.”
  • Discoveries in the late 90s that the showed how important protein is to countering the effects of aging.
  • The right amount of protein an individual should consume and mentions that there is much confusion on this issue, largely due to the food pyramid’s recommended daily allowance for protein of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
  • The protein deficit that women experience. Don says 40 percent of women who are 60 and older consume less than the RDA for protein, which is likely the bare minimum. And among women between 16-22, only 20 percent consume the minimum RDA.
  • The challenge that vegans face in getting the right amount of protein compared to carnivores and omnivores, largely because the amino acid leucine, which is vital for muscle repair and replacement, and is very low in plant-based foods.
  • His 2005 paper titled “Dietary Protein and Exercise Have Additive Effects on Body Composition,” which demonstrated the synergy of protein and exercise.
  • What sort of exercise should people do to build muscle after correcting their protein intake.
  • The optimal amount of protein people should consume at breakfast and throughout the rest of the day.

And much more.

 

 

Fall Evening Lecture Series kicks off with expert in autonomous ocean robotics

Nic Radford wants us to love ocean exploration the way we romanticize space exploration.

He knows whereof he speaks. Radford is an engineer, roboticist, inventor, and entrepreneur who spent 14 years at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center’s Dexterous Robotics Laboratory at NASA in Houston. He now is founder, president, and CEO of Nauticus Robotics Inc., a company that creates and deploys autonomous marine robotic systems.

He launched the Fall 2023 Evening Lecture season at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) with the talk, “From Outer Space to Inner Space: Developing Robots for Final Frontiers,” on Sept. 20. You can watch the lecture here if you missed it in person.

Nauticus Robotics

One of Nauticus Robotics’ autonomous marine robotic devices. Nauticus founder and CEO Nic Radford opens the Fall 2023 IHMC Evening Lecture season.

“Space flight dominates our romantic thinking,” Radford said. “I’d like to see us explore Mars, but there are lot of pressing challenges here on Earth and those pressing challenges could use investment.”

Radford calls Nauticus his life’s work and says it directly ties to his 14 years at NASA. Applying technological principles his team learned from spaceflight robotics, Nauticus challenges the aging and inefficient existing service infrastructure of the offshore industries, Radford says.

“The ocean is fundamental to almost every aspect of human life but is rarely top of mind for people and research for it is vastly underfunded,” he says.

He was the principal investigator leading the development of Valkyrie for participation in the 2013 DARPA Robotics Challenge and NASA’s future Mars robotics missions. At NASA, he received NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal.

He hopes that the Lecture audience comes away with a deeper understanding of how the investment we have made in space and space flight can translate into the realm that dominates the planet we call home.

“Nauticus is making strides for ocean exploration and methods for cleaner energy production while challenging status quo methods,” he said.

Space investment outpaces ocean investment by 100 times, but as Radford notes, “ocean space is 20 times more valuable” as an immediate economic and social resource to our species.

The ocean, Radford notes, is a huge economic engine for humanity. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, even the day-to-day transfer of information and energy all are tied to the ocean. Radford believes it’s time to give this vital space its due.

“The resources we all use every day are connected to the ocean,” he said.

The remainder of the Fall season of the Lecture series will feature experts in pavement design, robotics, planetary science, and more. Visit https://www.ihmc.us/life/evening_lectures/pensacola-lecture-series/ to stay up to date.

UPCOMING:

Dr. Stephen Anton

Anton has spent his career looking at the influence of lifestyle on healthy aging and chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. His October lecture focuses on the importance of stress and recovery in healthy aging. Anton has previously been a featured guest on IHMC’s podcast, STEM-Talk, highlighting how eating and exercise behaviors can influence obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. A UF alumnus, he is currently a professor in the department of physiology and aging at the University of Florida. Watch his talk here.

Dr. Jeff Phillips

Phillips is a Senior Research Scientist at IHMC who develops mitigation strategies for common environmental, physiological, and cognitive stressors that break down optimal performance in military operators. Prior to joining IHMC, he spent six years as a research psychologist at the Naval Medical Research Unit in Dayton, Ohio. He worked almost exclusively on hypoxia in tactical aviation and served on a team that was instrumental in getting the F-22 Raptors back in operation. The Navy recognized his contributions to the F-22 project with the 2012 Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers in the Navy award.

Dallas Little

Little’s research interests include asphalt technology, pavement design, soil stabilization, fracture mechanics, soil mechanics and foundation engineering. He has served as principal investigator on more than $35 million in research in his academic career. He is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Little has published more than 230 refereed journal publications, over 80 refereed proceedings, has contributed five books and has given more than 420 invited lectures.

Ocala lectures will include:

Sept. 28: Dr. Alexander Fleming: In his Pensacola lecture earlier this year, Fleming spoke about aging. People are living longer, but also are suffering with multiple chronic diseases — and the exploding cost of managing those conditions — in the final and least productive years of life. In the first lecture of 2023, Dr. Alexander Fleming talked about efforts to understand how we can extend our productive, healthy years. He also touched on geroscience, a discipline focused on the biological roots causes of aging and disease, that ultimately could reduce the financial and societal burden of unhealthy aging. Watch his talk here.

Oct. 19: Dr. Lori Marino: Marino is a neuroscientist and adjunct professor of Animal Studies at New York University. She is the founder and president of The Whale Sanctuary Project and executive director of The Kimmela Center for Scholarship-Based Animal Advocacy. Her work focuses on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales and on the effects of captivity on wildlife. Watch her talk here.

Nov. 16: Dr. Niranjan Suri: Suri is a Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director at IHMC, the Division Associate for Research in the Military information Sciences Division at the US Army Research Laboratory, and a Director of Research Professor in the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Program at the University of West Florida. His research focuses on networking, communications, distributed systems, information management, interoperability, Internet of Things (IoT), and the application of Machine Learning these domains.

Dec. 5: Dr. Morley Stone: Stone is IHMC’s Chief Strategic Partnership Officer. He served as the Senior Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University. Prior to OSU, he served as the Chief Technology Officer for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), where he was responsible for assisting with the planning and execution of the Air Force’s science and technology program. From 2003 to 2006, he was Program Manager in the Defense Sciences Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).