Canan Dagdeviren joined the faculty in January 2017 to direct the new Conformable Decoders research group at the MIT Media Lab. The group creates mechanically adaptive electromechanical systems that can intimately integrate with the target object for sensing, actuation, and energy harvesting, among other applications. Dagdeviren believes that vital information from nature and the human body is ‘coded’ in various forms of physical patterns. Her research focuses on the creation of conformable decoders that can ‘decode’ these patterns into beneficial signals and/or energy.
Dagdeviren created a wide range of piezoelectric systems that can be twisted, folded, stretched/flexed, wrapped, and implanted onto curvilinear surfaces of human body, without damage or significant alteration in device performance. She received her PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus on exploring patterning techniques and creating piezoelectric biomedical systems. Her collective PhD research involved flexible mechanical energy harvesters, multi-functional cardiac vessel stents, wearable blood pressure sensors, and stretchable skin modulus sensing bio-patches. As a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows of Harvard University, she conducted her postdoctoral research at MIT David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research to design and fabricate multi-functional, minimally invasive brain injectrodes that can simultaneously deliver drugs on demand and electrically modulate neural activity precisely and selectively for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
Dagdeviren’s work has been recognized by various prestigious media outlets, such as the Smithsonian, MIT Technology Review, Popular Mechanics, CBS News, LA Times, BBC News, New Scientist, Medical Daily, IEEE Spectrum, Physics World, Nature Materials, C&ENews, Forbes, and Qmed/Medical Product Manufacturing News. In 2015, Dagdeviren was named to the "Top 35 Innovators Under 35" (inventor category) by MIT Technology Review, and to the "Top 30 Under 30 in Science" by Forbes.