Professors Nam (left) and Park (right) have received an NSF award in the amount of $400,000 for their project, “Personalized in vitro nerve model”.  There are more than 600 neurological diseases without effective treatments available, a problem exacerbated by the fact that current animal-based in vivo models for developing new therapeutics are inefficient in translation to humans due to dissimilarity in physiology and genetics. The research team aims to develop a strategy to engineer humanized nerve tissue using the unique combination of patient-derived stem cells and electroactive scaffolds, a patent-pending technology, and validate its functionality via non-destructive optical coherence tomography.