Nanthia Suthana, assistant professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Jane and Terry Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior, was awarded a McKnight Technological Innovations Award in Neuroscience.

The national award will provide her with $200,000 in funds for the development of a platform that allows for communication with devices implanted in human brains as part of medical treatment and to capture deep brain activity from people immersed in virtual reality and augmented reality environments.

Suthana was one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of virtual reality to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot.