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IFR Leadership

Dedicated to restoring function for those with neurological conditions like Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) through the widespread deployment of neurotechnology.

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Founder, Hunter Peckham

Case Western Reserve UniversityHunter Peckham, Ph.D., Founder of the Institute for Functional Restoration, is widely recognized as the leading expert in the field of neuroprosthetics, through his extensive experience in the development of implantable neuroprostheses beginning in 1972, investigating the fundamental aspects of muscle fatigue and muscle metabolic changes, developing stimulation and control techniques for clinical applications, and deploying implantable systems into clinical trials and early commercialization. Dr. Peckham is also the Principal Investigator on the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Biomedical Research Partnership award ,which has led to the development of the Networked Neuroprosthesis.

It is my research and life goal to see neuroprostheses made available for restoration of function in those with spinal cord injury (SCI). I believe that this is the best means we have today of influencing real change in the lives of those with SCI. By restoring just the use of someone’s hand, you make a profound and lasting change in their life. Instead of a routine of full dependency, now the person can accomplish feeding, self-care, typing, writing and even recreational activities. I have seen the impact of a father being able to play board games with his child and the ability of others to return to work and school. Beyond my work on hand and arm function for those with C5/C6 high level quadriplegia, my colleagues have applied this technology to solve many real problems faced by those devastated by spinal cord injury. From tackling the leading causes of death following SCI, like chronic urinary infections, pressure sore prevention, and respiratory infections, to addressing the emotion of standing again, neuroprostheses can restore functions lost. I believe that the Institute for Functional Restoration, founded at Case, is the best opportunity we have to bring these solutions to the people for whom they were intended in a sustainable way.

Executive Director, Megan Moynahan

Case Western Reserve UniversityMegan Moynahan, MS, comes to her role as Executive Director of the Institute for Functional Restoration following a 17-year career at the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, where she most recently served as its Associate Director for Technology and Innovation. Accustomed to directing large-scale projects, she functioned as a serial "intrapreneur", directing the White House sponsored Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program at FDA, and developing from the ground up the Innovation Pathway program designed to streamline the regulatory process for innovative medical devices. Her past regulatory experience includes serving as the chief of the pacemaker and defibrillator branch from 2001-2007, overseeing the multi-disciplinary staff of engineers and clinicians responsible for processing over 800 premarket applications each year, and launching national initiatives for external defibrillators, implantable pacemaker leads, and device safety measures.

This project marks a thrilling new chapter in my career, bringing me back in contact with the Cleveland research teams I worked with as a graduate student at CWRU. Feeling the dedication and commitment of the engineers and clinicians involved in developing this technology and working with patients reinforces my belief that these truly innovative medical devices deserve to get to patients rapidly and sustainably. I’m delighted and honored to serve as executive director for the Institute for Functional Restoration, an organization whose mission is rock solid and whose impact will be felt far into the future.

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IFR Executive Committee

The mission of the Executive Committee is to support the Case Western Reserve University Institute of Functional Restoration (IFR) through volunteer action, peer advocacy, and financial support. Objectives of the Executive Committee

1.) To fully endorse the vision, mission, and distinctiveness of The Institute for Functional Restoration through active participation in activities and coordinated communication to outside constituencies

2.) To serve in an advisory capacity by assisting the Institute Director, faculty and staff with the design and implementation of fundraising initiatives and programs

3.) To assist The Institute for Functional Restoration in establishing and strengthening relationships with potential funding entities and individual donors

4.) To identify corporations, foundations, and individuals who may be willing to support The Institute for Functional Restoration through sponsorship, partnership and philanthropic support.