Simon Overduin, BSc, MD, PhD

“I am keen on understanding the relationship between age-related disorders of movement, language, learning, and sleep. I aim to tackle these problems with evidence-based, community-oriented and financially-practical solutions. To this end I have pursued multidisciplinary training and collaborations in medicine, science, technology and entrepreneurship.”

Simon has received his M.D. from McMaster University, with further residency training at McMaster University in Internal Medicine. He also received a Ph.D. from MIT, with a major in Systems Neuroscience and a minor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has also been a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Affiliate at Boston University and the University of California Berkeley.

His research has focused on the learning and performance of complex behaviours including reach-to-grasp, speech and mental rehearsal. In his work he has applied mathematical tools to predict and adapt to changes in brain activity and muscle recruitment over learning, including in the context of real-time brain-computer interfaces. Experimental models have included patients with diseases of the central nervous system, as well as healthy adults and nonhuman subjects. He is the recipient of grants from numerous US and Canadian research agencies including NSF, AHA, DMRF, NRC, CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC and others.

Beyond primary research, he has also consulted for a number of other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the US, Canada, and the UK, operating in the areas of neurotechnology, scientific consulting, and academia-industry partnerships. He is the Founder and Chief Science Advisor at Syngli Inc., a start-up at the intersection of machine learning, neuroscience and education. Simon’s 20+ years’ experience in software development allowed him to build the early versions of the Syngli intelligent tutoring system, and to direct further research and technical development. Syngli aims to help promote lifelong learning at all stages – including older adults who may benefit from a cognitive assistant that can recognize when they begin to display alterations in language and memory, and provide focused coaching and later cueing in these domains.