Humanities Program invites alumnus to read from his new book,
The Man with the Bionic Brain

on this article

Fall-Winter 2012 issue (pdf)

On a recent book tour, author and alumnus Jon Mukand, MD ’85, PhD, visited the Medical College of Wisconsin as a guest of the MCW Medical Humanities Program to speak to students, faculty and staff about his latest work.

In his book, The Man with the Bionic Brain and Other Victories over Paralysis, Dr. Mukand tells the story of Matthew Nagle, a young man with quadriplegia who made medical history with the implantation of a device that allowed him to use his brain to manipulate a computer cursor. Dr. Mukand is a rehabilitation specialist who served as principal investigator for the study of the BrainGate neural interface system. With BrainGate, Nagle was able to use an environmental control unit to adjust his television or do other tasks linked to computer controls.

Dr. Mukand’s book is also composed of interwoven accounts of stroke, spinal injury and brain trauma survivors. His career has long been dedicated to enhancing quality of life for patients with paralysis and other physical medicine and rehabilitative needs. He is Medical Director of the Southern New England Rehabilitation Center and Clinical Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Brown University and Tufts University.

Left: Jon Mukand, MD ’85, PhD, speaks to Medical College students, faculty and staff about his work with paralysis patients. Right: Dr. Mukand signs copies of his new book: "The Man with the Bionic Brain and Other Victories over Paralysis".

His presentation on Aug. 22 at the Medical College drew a diverse crowd, and he was impressed by the College’s commitment to humanities.

“Some of the best years of my life were right here at MCW, and I am very grateful for the training I have received,” he said. “Many things have changed, and one is the addition of a great bioethics and humanities program, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Arthur Derse.”

The Medical Humanities Program, part of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities in the Institute for Health and Society, is dedicated to professionalism, communication, empathy and reflection, through education in the medical humanities, including literature, medical history, the visual and performing arts and the social sciences.


The Medical Humanities program is directed by Arthur Derse, MD, GME ’83, JD, Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, and Emergency Medicine. Contact the program at or (414) 955-8323.


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