Professor Developing Intracortical Visual Prosthesis System to Chair NIH Study Section



By Mary Ceron-Reyes
Photo of Philip Troyk in his lab

Philip Troyk, associate dean of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Armour College of Engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and professor in the Stuart School of Business, has accepted an invitation to serve as chair of the Bioengineering of Neuroscience, Vision, and Low Vision Technologies (BNVT) Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this leadership role, Troyk will help guide balanced discussions and application decisions as part of an extensive peer-review process, contributing to the NIH mission of promoting discoveries that improve health and save lives.

Members in the study section are selected based on demonstrated competence and achievements within their scientific discipline through research, publications in scientific journals, and other significant activities and honors. Troyk’s outstanding achievements and research primarily focus on the areas of neural interfaces, neural prostheses, and implantable electronic devices, including a novel intracortical visual prosthesis system with the goal of restoring vision for people who have lost their sight

The BNVT Study Section provides members a unique opportunity to review applications that seek to develop and utilize bioengineering, materials engineering, and computation approaches for studying the development, structure, function, or pathology of the nervous system. 

In collaboration with peer reviewers, the chair will assess applications to determine the most promising research for NIH to fund in the field of biomedical research. Each application is designated a score based on presentations, discussions, preliminary critiques, and the overall impact scores from each assigned reviewer. 

Troyk notes the importance of facilitating discussions for applications with divergent scores. He says, “My priority as chair will be making sure that reviews are fair and that points are substantive, and at times probe a little deeper to make sure that everyone’s view gets out there.”

Membership in the study section represents a significant commitment of professional time and energy toward the national biomedical research effort and to maintain the quality of the review.

Troyk shares, “The whole system depends on people with expertise and competence to perform the function. It’s an extremely valuable experience and worth the extra time and commitment to assure the highest quality and standards of the NIH peer-review process.” 

The NIH Bioengineering of Neuroscience, Vision, and Low Vision Technologies Study Section covers a wide range of technologies as applied to neural systems and to all tissues of the eye. Other topics include brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics, corneal remodeling, visual prosthetics, and other approaches and devices. 

Troyk will serve as chair for the term beginning immediately and ending June 30, 2021.