Featured Alumni – Deblina Sarkar, 2008 EE
Deblina Sarkar is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at MIT. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science at UCSB in 2010 and 2015 respectively. She completed her B.Tech. in electronics engineering at IIT (ISM), Dhanbad in 2008. Her research aims to bridge the gap between nanotechnology and synthetic biology to create a new paradigm for computational electronics and invent disruptive technologies for neuroscience.
She invented the world’s thinnest channel sub-thermal transistor which overcomes the fundamental power limitations of present technology and leads to record power-reduction. Her research also showed for the first time that quantum mechanical transistors can lead to electrical biosensors with ultra-high sensitivity and single-molecular detectability. Recently, she has developed a technology for unprecedented expansion of brain tissue to map the biomolecular building blocks of the brain.
She is the lead author of publications in several eminent journals such as Nature, Nano Lett., ACS Nano, TED etc as well as prestigious conferences such as IEDM, DRC, IITC and has authored/coauthored about 40 papers till date. Several of her works have appeared in popular press worldwide and research highlights of Nature and Nature Nanotechnology.
Her doctoral research was accorded the Lancaster Award for the best PhD Dissertation in the field of Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering at UCSB. As UCSB’s nominee for the nationwide contest, her dissertation went on to be honored as one of the top 3 dissertations throughout USA and Canada in the field of Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering by the Council of Graduate Schools. She is the recipient of numerous other awards and recognitions, including the U.S. Presidential Fellowship (2008), Outstanding Doctoral Candidate Fellowship (2008), being one of three researchers worldwide to win the prestigious IEEE EDS PhD Fellowship Award (2011), a “Bright Mind” invited speaker at the KAUST-NSF conference (2015), one of three winners of the Falling Walls Lab Young Innovator’s competition at San Diego (2015), recipient of “Materials Research Society’s Graduate Student Award” (2015) and has been named a “Rising Star” in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (2015). She has also been invited to speak at TEDx and her TEDx talk “Could We Soon Augment Our Brains?” is available online.