Hannah’s PhD research in astronautical engineering focused on developing cryocoolers for space science instrumentation and detectors for the next generation of space missions.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Hannah will pivot from space instrumentation to biomedical engineering to advance the development of artificial retina with the aim of restoring vision to the blind working in the Ophthalmology AI Lab at Harvard University and in the Neural Prosthetic Research Group in the Department of Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital. Hannah hopes her work will develop models that artificially reconstruct the retinal neural code using experimental data from retinal spikes measured over large detector arrays whilst subjected to varying light stimuli. This will result in key insights in fundamental vision science, as well as shed light on the requirements for a retinal prosthetic device. The overall aim of this work is to develop a physical artificial retina device that can serve as an implant and restore sight to a blind patient with retinal disease.
Hannah predicts her work will further the possibilities of vision restoration for the blind and capabilities of medical implants that interface with neural circuitry for a wide range of applications.