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Mikhail A. Lebedev, PhD

Senior Research Scientist
Center for Neuroengineering
Duke University

Box 3209
101 Research Drive
Durham, NC 27710

Mikhail Lebedev was born in Moscow in 1963. He studied at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT or Phystech) (1980-1986), where he became interested in physics of living systems. Driven by this interest, he joined the laboratory of Victor Gurfinkel at the Institute for the Problems of Information Transmission as a trainee. Lebedev investigated the role of vision (e.g., peripheral versus central visual field) in human postural control.

After the graduation from MIPT with a M.Sci. in Physics, Lebedev joined Gurfinkel's laboratory as staff researcher (1986-1991). During this period, he conducted a number of studies on the control of posture and movements in humans. In particular, he studied tonic muscular contractions evoked by vibratory stimulation of muscle receptors, post-contraction postural effects (Kohnstamm's phenomenon), neck reflexes and electromyographic patterns. He also conducted a study of motor unit suppression by limb ischemia.

In 1991, after the Soviet "iron curtain" was lifted and opportunities for international scientific collaboration emerged, Lebedev moved to the United States, to the laboratory of Randall Nelson at the Department of Anatomy and Neurobilogy of the University of Tennessee (UT), Memphis. Here he learned neurophysiological methods for recordings from brain neurons in awake, behaving monkeys. By the end of 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, and so did the Soviet science. In the meanwhile, Lebedev underwent his Ph.D. training at UT (1991-1995). His Ph.D. thesis was an investigation of rhythmically firing (spontaneously or driven by vibrotactile stimulation) neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex. Additionally, Lebedev conducted research on the basal ganglia involvement in motor control, attention and motivation.

In 1995-1997, Lebedev conducted postdoctoral research at the laboratory of Mathew Diamond at SISSA, Trieste, Italy. Lebedev employed multielectrode recordings to study experience-dependent cortical plasticity in the rat barrel cortex.

In 1997-2002, Lebedev was a researcher at the laboratory of Steven Wise at National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Bethesda, Maryland. He conducted a series neurophysiological studies in awake, behaving monkeys, where he elucidated cortical mechanisms of motor control, spatial attention, working memory and perceptions.

In 2003, Lebedev moved to Duke University to work with Miguel Nicolelis. Here Lebedev supervises the primate laboratory. The major focus of this research is on brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) that enable direct cortical control of assistive devices that reproduce limb movements. These are BMIs for reaching and grasping, BMIs that reproduce bipedal locomotion patterns, as well as sensorized BMIs that both extract motor command from the brain and deliver feedback information using intracortical microstimulation of somatosensory cortex.

Lebedev is an editor at Frontiers in Neuroscience and PLOS ONE. He is also a consultant for Norconnect, Inc founded by Michael Linderman.

Currently, Lebedev is co-editing the research topic "Augmentation of Brain Function: Facts, Fiction and Controversy" at Frontiers in Neuroscience.

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