Brain Mapping Lab receives 2015 UF Research Opportunity Seed Fund

Congratulations to Dr. Aysegul Gunduz, along with her collaborators Dr. Chris Hass (Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, PHHP) and Dr. Michael Okun (Neurology, COM), for receiving a UF Research Opportunity Seed Fund on their proposal entitled “Uncovering an Electrical Biomarker for Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease”.

The Research Opportunity Seed Fund is an annual seed grant program that targets interdisciplinary, faculty-initiated research initiatives with potential for extramural support. The program focuses on new projects and/or new collaborative partnerships. The 2015 Research Opportunity Fund received 44 proposals submitted by the colleges after internal review. Those proposals were then reviewed by faculty panels using the primary/secondary/tertiary reviewer system. Panel funding recommendations were reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Research, and fourteen awards were made.


Freezing of gait (FoG) in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) causes a paroxysmal cessation of normal footsteps while walking, which can lead to injurious or deathly falls and is commonly drug- and deep brain stimulation (DBS)-resistant. This support of Dr. Gunduz’s proposal will allow the group to collect electrophysiological data from PD patients during ambulation using wireless EEG caps and neuroamplifiers (Gunduz lab) in Dr. Hass’ gait lab equipped with 8-camera Vicon motion capture systems (as shown in the figure). The uncovered biomarker will be further used to find optimal DBS parameters to resolve FoG episodes. Long term, the group aims to develop closed-loop DBS systems for FoG in PD.