Dr Jessamyn Fairfield
What is your research about?
My research is about building neuromorphic nanoelectronic devices, whose function mimics the adaptability and timing dependence of synaptic connections in the brain. The eventual clinical target is creating implantable neurormorphic sensors that can interact with real neurons.
How does your research get translated?
My research takes basic device physics and combines it with chemistry, material science, electrical engineering, and now neuroscience to create novel technologies that have a potentially very high impact across all these fields. It's important to combine different approaches to the same basic problems, to develop the most innovative solutions.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients / society?
I think it's amazing that the best computer we have isn't in our pockets, it's in our heads, and we barely understand how it works. By building a device analogue to the brain which can eventually be part of a neural interface, I hope to gain understanding into how computing can be improved, and how our own neural circuitry really works.
How did you become interested in this type of research?
When I started working with nanomaterials, I noticed that they often have a 'memory' effect where the measurement history of the device can affect its current properties. Although for traditional computing this is a disadvantage, it turns out that for emulating the brain, this intrinsic feature of nanomaterials is a major strength! I have been exploring which materials and device geometries can yield the most interesting device behaviour.
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