GradImpact: Developing Advanced, Affordable Prostheses and Improving Quality of Life

    Aadeel Akhtar, a recent doctoral recipient in neuroscience from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, learned at a young age living in Pakistan that the availability and affordability of resources could greatly impact the course of someone’s life. He’s spent his adult life building an academic background that would help him make a difference. Akhtar recently co-founded Psyonic, a biointegrated technology company, and intends to develop highly functionable and affordable prosthetic devices for amputees around the world.


    Psyonic’s first product is an advanced bionic hand that, “has more functionality than $30,000 prosthetic hands…is easy to control, provides touch feedback, and is robust to impacts.” Retired Sergeant Garrett Anderson, who lost his right arm in Iraq in 2005, helped Akhtar test and refine prototypes. The Psyonic product is unique because it incorporates sensory feedback and is priced at about a tenth the cost of commercially available devices.


    Dr. Akhtar’s master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from UIUC provided him a strong technical background to build the protheses. He’s currently a medical student and an NIH National Research Service Award MD/PhD Fellow at Illlinois. To learn more about Aadeel’s past research, visit the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.



    Photo Credit: L. Brian Stauffer



    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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