Alcron CEO Joseph Sgro -- Background in Neurology and Math Inspired Him to Start Alacron
Posted by: Site Administrator on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:00:00 am
While researching mathematical logic, Alacron CEO Joseph Sgro became interested in investigating the logic systems that the brain uses to process sensory information, and returned to school, intending to study neurophysiology, the branch of neurology and physiology that examines the functioning of the peripheral nervous system and cortical processing of sensory information. Neurophysiological research typically uses imaging tools for visualizing chemical activity in nerve pathways, and today also involves fMRI and other technologies to visualize brain activity. After receiving his M.D. degree from Miami in 1980, Sgro completed his internship at the University of North Carolina in 1981 and his residency in neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1984.
After serving as a post-doctoral fellow in neurophysiology (1983-1985), as an Associate in Neurology (1985-1986) and then as an Assistant Professor of Neurology (1986-1987) at The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City, Sgro relocated to Richmond, Virginia. There he served first as an Associate Professor of Neurology and as the Head of Neurophysiology (1987-1991) and finally, as Chief of the Division of Clinical Neurophysiology (1991-1994) at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.
While working as a neurology researcher, Sgro focused increasingly on the use of machine vision technologies (especially frame grabbers) during surgery, to acquire graphical imagery measuring the operation of neurological function in various states of consciousness.
During his post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Sgro achieved recognition in the medical community for his research and findings on the theory of evoked potentials, with a particular focus on somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs). He proved that SSEPs were “state dependent,” varying depending on whether the patient was awake or asleep (anesthetized). Following these findings, Sgro developed a more effective way to utilize the theory of evoked potentials by inventing technology and techniques to analyze ultra fast, pseudo-random evoked potentials. This work produced a more effective identification and treatment of sub-clinical diseases (diseases that otherwise went undetected and/or untreated until they become severe enough to qualify as clinical).
Achieving more effective detection and treatment of sub-clinical diseases involved increasingly intensive intra-operative patient monitoring. This research and the resulting findings stimulated Sgro’s interest in machine vision, specifically the use of frame grabbers to monitor neurological impulses during complex surgery.
To commercialize hardware developed initially for evoked potentials research, in 1985, Sgro co-founded Alacron, Inc. to do basic research and to build commercial medical imaging products such as frame grabbers.