Bionics Center Researchers

The K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics is led by Hugh Herr, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT’s Media Lab, and Ed Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor of Neurotechnology at MIT and an investigator at MIT’s McGovern Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A double amputee himself, Herr is a pioneer in the development of bionic limbs to improve mobility for those with physical disabilities.

Boyden, who is a renowned creator of tools to analyze and control the brain, plays a key role in merging bionics technologies with the nervous system.

Together, Herr and Boyden conduct research at the bionics center with three other MIT faculty: Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Canan Dagdeviren, Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Nancy Kanwisher, and David H. Koch (1962) Institute Professor Robert Langer. They work closely with three clinical collaborators at Harvard Medical School: orthopedic surgeon Marco Ferrone, plastic surgeon Matthew Carty, and Nancy Oriol, Faculty Associate Dean for Community Engagement in Medical Education.

To support ongoing efforts to move toward a future without disability, the center also provides four endowed fellowships for MIT graduate students working in bionics or other research areas focused on improving the lives of individuals who experience disability.

Center Co-Leaders

Ed Boyden is the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT and a renowned creator of tools to analyze and control the brain.

Hugh Herr is an MIT Media Lab professor and a pioneer in the development of bionic limbs to improve mobility for those with physical disabilities.

Center Faculty

Canan Dagdeviren is developing implants for mechanical and electrical sensing of tissue dynamics and artificial proprioceptive interfaces to measure muscle movement.

Nancy Kanwisher is using brain imaging to evaluate the impact of bi-directional neural interfacing on central-brain remodeling and prosthetic embodiment.

Robert Langer is pioneering the creation of nanowire scaffold interfaces that promote spinal cord regeneration.

Other Sponsored Researchers

Aastha Shah

2021-22 Graduate Fellow, Dagdeviren Lab

Aastha Shah creates flexible on-body sensors that extract patterns from dynamic human physiology to enhance self-awareness of body and mind.

Hyun-Geun Song

2021-22 Graduate Fellow, Herr Lab

Hyun-Geun Song is developing new amputation paradigms and bi-directional neuroprosthetic control design for limb amputees.