I was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and have (so far) lived in Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Germany. I speak fluently Spanish, Portuguese, English and I'm learning German. I have always had a strong interest in science (I got my first microscope at the age of 6) so it was of no surprise that I eventually pursued a scientific degree, graduating with a Ph.D. in October 2011.
I am a neuroscientist and my main interest is neuroprosthetics, technologies that replace neural function. During my Ph.D. work at the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (Hannover Medical University) in Germany I worked on the development of novel auditory implants, as well as investigation of the neuronal pathways of the auditory system. I have defended my Ph.D. in Systems Neuroscience in 2011 with Prof. Thomas Lenarz as my supervisor. Since then I have been working with Advanced Bionics as a research engineer. With them I'm focusing on new auditory technologies and how to bring them to market.
For my Masters of Science I worked with Dr. Vivian Mushahwar at the Centre for Neuroscience of the University of Alberta. Dr. Mushahwar is developing a novel technique called intraspinal microstimulation to restore walking and standing in people with spinal cord injury. My work there was on the electrophysiology of single unit (nerve cell) responses to spinal cord stimulation.
Although I have a special interest in neuroprosthetics, my current area of research, I have worked with VLSI, high and low level programming, robotics, circuit design and high performance mechanics. While an undergraduate intern I had the opportunity to participate in the Mini-Baja project in which we developed a one person off road buggy for the SAE competition. After that I was invited to participate in the schools’ F4 R&D team. The F4 cars (which look similar to an Indy car) have 2000cc engines and ours could do 240km/hr. As a computer engineering student I was in charge of the telemetric system and helped with team organization. It was great, on our race at the Interlagos race track in São Paulo where the Formula 1 test is held, I was given the responsibility of pit boss and organized the pit crew.
For my honours thesis I chose to apply Biomedical Engineering to the diagnostic process of chiropractic and was awarded the first 10.0 of 10.0 (max grade) of the Computer Engineering Undergraduate program. My honours thesis was entitled "Thermography of the spinal column", and was developed as a digital Gonstead system for Chiropractors. Also during my undergraduate degree I had the pleasure of participating in papers on both genetic algorithms and wavelets with neural networks. In my last year of computer engineering I worked on a project to detect e-commerce fraud using artificial intelligence and a specialist system. We compared 4 different neural networks and chose the most efficient for our purpose.