Jacob T. Robinson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and of bioengineering, has received the Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, given annually by the Rice academic deans on the recommendation of senior faculty.
The award honors tenured/tenure-track faculty members with fewer than 10 years of experience. Robinson joined the Rice faculty in 2012. He received his B.S. in physics from UCLA in 2003 and his Ph.D. in applied physics from Cornell in 2008.
Robinson served as a postdoctoral researcher in chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard, where he developed silicon nanowire devices to probe the electrical and chemical activity of living cells.
In 2014 he was the recipient of a DARPA Young Faculty Award and a John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award. Robinson’s research focuses on developing nanofabricated devices to study the structural and functional dynamics of living neural circuits. To measure and manipulate neural activity he draws on data science, neuroengineering, photonics and optics.
He leads a team at Robinson Lab developing nanotechnologies to monitor and control targeted cells in the nervous system. They explore optical brain-computer interfaces and biosensors, battery-free bioelectronics and remote control of cell activity, and synthetic neural circuits and animal behavior.