Polina Anikeeva’s research focuses on the development of minimally invasive devices that allow probing and manipulation of the nervous system. She uses cutting edge optoelectronic and magnetic materials to create multifunctional and biocompatible neural interfaces with the ultimate aim of understanding, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the nervous system that include depression and Parkinson’s disease. Together with her Bioelectronics group Anikeeva develops multimaterial fiber-based probes capable of electrophysiological recording, optical neuromodulation, and drug and gene delivery into the brain and spinal cord. Her team also investigates wireless magnetic approaches to neuromodulation that leverage magnetic nanomaterials as transducers of thermal and chemical stimuli to specific neurons. She collaborates with Gloria Choi and Guoping Feng on applying her tools to study of brain circuits relevant to social interactions, and with Emilio Bizzi on studies of spinal circuits related to motor control.
Polina Anikeeva joined the McGovern Institute of Brain research at MIT as an associate investigator in 2018 and is also a Professor in the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering. She obtained her Ph.D. at MIT in 2009 and was awarded tenure in 2017. She is a recipient of NSF CAREER grant and DARPA Young Faculty Award among other fellowships and has won the 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, an award given to “encourage and support early to mid-career immigrant artists and scientists who have already demonstrated exceptional achievements.”