Fattah Applauds Launch of DARPA's Restoring Active Memory Program

Funding announced today from the Defense agency will go to research teams at the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA to support the development of the Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program

Jul 09, 2014, 00:01 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) applauded today's announcement by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that they have launched their Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. The program will be led by teams at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) that will receive a combined $37.5 million to develop and test implantable devices to facilitate memory recovery after brain injury.

The RAM program is part of several programs within DARPA supporting President Obama's BRAIN Initiative that was launched last year with the support and leadership of Congressman Fattah. The end goal of the RAM program is to create implantable neuroprosthetics that will ultimately help restore memory function in humans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other brain disorders or diseases that cause memory loss.

"The RAM program is emblematic of the cutting-edge work our government can undertake in the neuroscience and neurotechnology fields," Congressman Fattah said. "The research produced by this new program is poised to uncover new knowledge of human memory and provide an even greater understanding of the human brain. Most importantly, the end result will be a game-changer in restoring memory to individuals who suffer from brain diseases and disorders, with the potential to change millions of lives."

Since launching the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative in 2011, Fattah has been pushing for the federal government to prioritize innovations in neuroscience through increased funding, expanded public-private partnerships, and international collaboration. Today's announcement is a major milestone in the utilization of public-private partnership to spur advancements in brain technology.

"I congratulate both the Penn and UCLA teams for their extraordinary proposals and commitment to advancing neurotechnology," Congressman Fattah said. "I look forward to watching this research progress, while continuing to champion funding that accelerates the development of treatments and technology for patients—including our nation's servicemembers and veterans—suffering from brain disease and disorders."

Both multidisciplinary teams are composed of universities, government research institutions, and private companies. The University of Pennsylvania research team, located in Fattah's Pennsylvania district, will receive up to $22.5 million over four years for their research. UCLA will receive up to $15 million; funding for both is contingent on the researchers meeting a series of technical milestones. Dr. Michael Kahana, who serves as Director of Penn's Computational Memory Lab, will serve as the performer lead for the Penn team.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah