We recently updated our website and from now on we will post blogs on a regular basis to give you more background information on our activities and why we think they are so important. Next to my blog, Dr. Bart van der Zwan will write about his experiences as a neurosurgeon, Ms. Marloes Groos will blog about her life being a former patient of Dr. Van der Zwan and Dr. Sander Diederen will write about his activities as a PhD student at BTI.
First, I’ll give you a brief introduction about our bloggers. Dr. Bart van der Zwan is neurosurgeon in UMC Utrecht and he is board member of BTI, next to the neurosurgeons Dr. Luca Regli (Zurich, CH), Dr. M. Tymianski (Toronto, CA) and Dr. David Langer (New York, USA) and the neurologist Dr. Gabriel Rinkel (UMC Utrecht, NL). Dr. van der Zwan is specialized is vascular neurosurgery and is the only neurosurgeon in the Netherlands that peforms cerebral bypass surgeries. Dr. van der Zwan has also been involved for many years in the research, development and application of the ELANA bypass technique. He did a bypass surgery on Ms. Marloes Groos a few years ago. We are very happy that Marloes has committed herself as an ambassador and blogger of BTI to share her own experiences, being a young vital woman who suddenly learns that she is living with a large aneurysm and needs a bypass surgery. She will write not just about this ordeal but also about her road to recovery and her daily concerns and activities.
Sander Diederen started early 2013 as a PhD student at BTI, focusing his research on the customization of the ELANA bypass technique. He will blog not only about this project but also about his life as a researcher and on the other research projects that take place at BTI.
I have been involved with Elana / BTI for more than eight years. I started in the USA (Maryland) by running the US subsidiary and managing the FDA approval process for the ELANA technique. Soon after my return to the Netherlands in 2012 we decided to convert the company into the non-profit organization BTI, in order to focus on developing devices within the neurosurgical space for orphan diseases and to expand our research and education activities. All in order to improve the quality of life of people with life-threatening neurosurgical diseases.
Now, two and a half years after the launch of BTI we have five very exciting (PhD) research projects ongoing, are working on expanding the availability of the ELANA technique to South-America and Japan, setting-up a BTI fellowship for a talented young neurosurgeon and hope to bring a new neurosurgical device to the patient soon.
We recently received a fantastic grant from the equity fund Fonds NutsOhra (http://www.fondsnutsohra.nl) to implement the ELANA bypass technique on midsize bloodvessels (the current ELANA technique can only be applied on large bloodvessels). Through this grant more patients with e.g. a large aneurysm in the brain can benefit from the non-occlusive bypass technique.
I hope you will enjoy reading our blogs. Although people in the neurosurgical space are familiar with our Institute, most people outside this community are not. Therefore, we hope to raise more awareness to the general public about our mission, activities and events. After all, many people can relate to someone in their social circle who has had an aneurysm, stroke or other illness related to the bloodvessels in the brain and hence appreciate the importance of research and innovation of new products to help these patients.
If you have any questions or would like to receive more information, please contact me at Claartje@bt-i.org.
All the best,
President Brain Technology Institute