Is it neuroscience? Chemistry? Art? Wulff Lecture shows versatility, diversity in materials science

A pivotal moment in Polina Anikeeva’s career was when she looked at an MRI scan of Parkinson’s disease patient, about a decade ago.

Now professor of materials science and engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, Anikeeva had recently worked on optoelectronics, devices that can detect and control light, and her work was used to illuminate the quantum-dot displays on Samsung TVs. But Anikeeva’s research interests started to stray into biology and neuroscience, disciplines outside her immediate orbit.

“I wanted to apply my knowledge as a materials scientist and engineer to problems that were unsolved, to devices that didn’t exist,” said Anikeeva on April 22, while delivering the Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s twice-yearly Wulff Lecture.

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Polina Anikeeva
Polina Anikeeva
Professor in Materials Science and Engineering
Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics

My goal is to combine the current knowledge of biology and nanoelectronics to develop materials and devices for minimally invasive treatments for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.