Dr. JR Rizzo is a physician scientist at Rusk Rehabilitation. He leads the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory where his team focuses on eye-hand coordination as it relates to acquired brain injury. Dr. Rizzo has been recognized as a Top 40 under 40 by Crain’s for his industry-leading innovation and dedication to transforming the lives of those with vision deficiencies worldwide. This is a two-part Grand Rounds presentation.
In Part One, Dr. Rizzo focuses on how hand-eye coordination is pervasive in rehabilitation. How do we actually build this hand-eye coordination? Every day, an individual experiences a quarter of a million eye movements. He asked how eye-hand coordination intersects with stroke. Patients who have had a stroke have to do a lot more work in conducting eye movements. It is exhausting to do a simple reach. A great deal of work is necessary to complete basic tasks. Hand-eye coordination is being impeded through interference. So good questions are what comes next and how do you actually deal with it? Currently, they are trying to understand the cognitive implications of what is happening. For example, what happens if we look at the way work is done by considering it as sequential steps, e.g., first look and then reach, first look and then reach. Improvement occurred. Instead of considering biofeedback of the limb, they began doing biofeedback of the eye.
Dr. Ryan Branski is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Pathology in the School of Medicine at NYU. He also has an affiliate appointment in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is a licensed speech pathologist and serves as the Associate Director of the Voice Center at NYU Langone Health. In addition to maintaining a clinical practice, Dr. Branski runs a productive research enterprise encompassing both clinical and laboratory initiatives. His NIH-funded laboratory primarily focuses on wound healing and regenerative approaches to optimized healing in the upper aerodigestive track. Dr. Branski is one of only a few investigators to be named a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and the American Laryngological Association.
This is the second of a two-part interview with Dr Ryan Branski.
In Part Two, Dr. Branski indicates that there are a lot of in-office procedures completed. Unlike cholesterol studies, looking at vocal fold function in humans is not the same as looking at it in other animals, such as rabbits. An area of great interest is a regenerative medicine approach to vocal fold injury. He indicates that in research, they are starting with new pre-clinical trials.