Dr. Divya Chander
Talk title: Exponential Humans – Rewired, Augmented, Healed
Medicine is being transformed by exponential technologies that often are developed in the non-healthcare space. But more important than healthcare is re-imagining the extension of our lifespans as vibrant health spans. We explore health tech and medicine through the lens of longevity – how accelerating curves and exponential technologies like 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, stem cells, augmented and virtual reality, microfluidics, nanotechnology, and brain machine interfaces move us closer to our goal of longevity – the elimination of chronic disease. New diagnostics, therapies, and even augmentation are considered, as well as their ethical implications. How do these advances impact economics? Growth? Politics? Human evolution? Be prepared to be excited, stimulated, and even conflicted about the future of medicine and humanity as we enter the new era of exponential biology.
Dr. Chander is a physician, neuroscientist, and futurist who trained at Harvard, UCSF, UCSD, and the Salk Institute. She is currently the Chair of Neuroscience and Faculty in Medicine at Singularity University. She is also a Visiting Scholar in the Stanford Department of Medicine, and was a Stanford Faculty member for 8 years. Her postdoctoral training at Stanford allowed her to use light-activated ion channels inserted in DNA to study sleep and consciousness switches in brains. In the operating room, she applies EEG technology to understand what human brains look like when they lose and regain consciousness, and has a precision medicine initiative at Stanford aimed at understanding genetic variability in responses to anesthetic drugs. Her goal is to understand neural mechanisms of consciousness, as well as the evolution of human consciousness secondary to human augmentation.
She is working on devices that read and write the brain (brain mapping, neuromodulation) and link to brain machine interfaces. Her work also crosses into studies of human longevity. There is no extended human lifespan without the preservation of the brain and mind. How do technologies like brain machine interfaces, human augmentation and cryonics affect the future of human consciousness?
She also works in the field of space life sciences. A finalist for astronaut selection and an alumnus of the International Space University, Dr. Chander has performed remote simulations of trauma rescues, anesthesia and surgery in Mars analogue settings with physicians in the US, France, and the Concordia base in Antarctica. She has also been involved with a consortium that elaborated a road-map for studying the effect of microgravity and radiation on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, cognition and sleep.