Skip to main content

Annabelle Singer, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and a researcher in the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, is one of sixty outstanding engineers selected to participate at the 2020 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium scheduled for October.

This year’s symposium will discuss cutting-edge developments in four areas: advances in deep learning for ICT problems, applications and uses of graphene, modernizing the electrical grid, and technologies for the detection and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The event facilitates international and cross-disciplinary research collaboration, promotes the transfer of new techniques and approaches across disparate engineering fields, and encourages the creation of a transatlantic network of world-class engineers.

The symposium will be hosted in partnership with the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies, and Engineering. The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) is serving as the administrator and organizer for the European side of the event.

The symposium, organized by the National Academy of Engineering, gathers what the academy calls “exceptional” engineers from 30 to 45 years old to facilitate “cross-disciplinary exchange and promote the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields in order to sustain and build U.S. innovative capacity.”

“The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a particularly talented group of young engineers whose early-careers span different technical areas, perspectives and experiences,” said former NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr. “But when they come together in this program, their mutual excitement is palpable, and a process of creating long-term benefits to society is often initiated.”

It’s a highly competitive and prestigious invitation according to the National Academy of Engineering.

Singer’s research goal is to understand how neural activity both produces memories and protects brain health, and to use this knowledge to engineer neural activity to treat brain diseases. She helped discover that exposure to light pulsing at 40 hertz – 40 beats per second – causes brains to release a surge of signaling chemicals that may help fight Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2016, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that light flickering at 40 Hz mobilized microglia in mice afflicted with Alzheimer’s to clean up amyloid beta plaque--an Alzheimer’s hallmark. Singer was co-first author on the original 2016 MIT study, in which the therapeutic effects of 40 Hz were first discovered.  Since starting at Georgia Tech, Singer has initiated clinical trials to test this new therapy in human patients with Alzheimer’s.  Her lab is elucidating how this therapy works and new ways to apply this stimulation to different diseases.

“It’s an honor to be invited to the 2020 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium,” said Singer. “I look forward to sharing my latest research on neural stimulation as a potential new treatment approach to Alzheimer’s disease. Brainstorming with this leading group on how to solve current world problems with engineering is a very special opportunity.”


Media Contact:

Walter Rich

Communications Manager

Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology