Dr. Kevin E. Bennet, 2023 Copper Black Award winner

Mayank Kejriwal

Traditionally, the long-term benefits of deep brain stimulation have been limited due to the use of pyrolytic carbon electrodes; however, the use of electrochemical electrodes composed of diamond has proven to significantly extend the lifespan of the electrodes, substantially reducing the risk to patients from repeated insertions into deep brain structures.

Dr. Kevin E. Bennet was instrumental in the development of these electrodes. As Chair of the Division of Engineering and Co-Director of the Neural Engineering Laboratories at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Dr. Bennet is responsible for the advancement and application of new technology for clinical practice and research.

Since joining the Mayo Clinic in 1990, Dr. Bennet’s research interests have focused on furthering the understanding of brain activity and intervention in abnormal processes using electrical deep brain stimulation and neurotransmitter measurement. Dr. Bennet collaboratively founded Mayo Clinic Neural Engineering Laboratories in 2006 and was awarded the inaugural Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator Team Science Award in 2015. He currently serves as a member of the Mayo Clinic Discovery Translation Program Scientific Advisory Group and is acting Co-CEO and CFO of NaviNetics Inc. and NaviNetics NeuroModulation Inc.

Internationally, Dr. Bennet serves on the scientific advisory board of the Centre for Research in Medical Devices of the Science Foundation of Ireland. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and four book chapters and holds 43 patents. In addition to his leadership and research activities, Dr. Bennet is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and has served as a visiting professor at 25 universities in nine countries, providing mentorship to visiting scientists, research trainees, and students. His ongoing research and development efforts have significantly advanced our understanding of deep brain stimulation and wireless physiological monitoring, benefiting the lives of countless patients.

The Copper Black Award for Creative Achievement is not given for the creativity of a person, but for a specific creative achievement that may include an invention that has been patented or otherwise demonstrated to be of practical value, or an innovation that has been implemented, at least in part, to the advantage of persons other than the nominee.