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2022 Fellow

Hannah Rana

PhD Institution
University of Oxford
Postdoctoral institution and lab

Ophthalmology AI Group, Harvard University

Hannah’s PhD research at Oxford focused on developing cryogenic and detector instrumentation for the next generation of astrophysics discoveries, where ongoing include imaging black holes from space and GRMHD simulations at the Center for Astrophysics and the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard. She has also previously held research roles at NASA JPL, ESA, and has worked on 5 spaceflight missions to date.

As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Hannah pivots knowledge of astrophysics simulation and instrumentation to artificial retina development, with the aim of restoring vision to the blind. Her interdisciplinary aims address ‘seeing in space to seeing in the human eye’. She undertakes these efforts in the Ophthalmology AI Lab at Harvard University and in the Neural Prosthetic Research Group in the Department of Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital. Hannah’s work develops computational models that artificially reconstruct the retinal neural code using experimental data from retinal spikes measured over large detector arrays (MEAs) whilst subjected to varying light and electrical stimuli. This will result in key insights in fundamental vision science and detection in the neuro-visual circuitry, as well as shed light on the requirements for an artificial retinal detector device. 

Hannah predicts her work will further the possibilities of vision restoration for the blind and the capabilities of artificial detectors that interface with bio-neural circuitry, as well as advancing ray tracing and detection simulation methods in both computational neuroscience and astrophysics.