An MIT Alumni Association Publication
Kay Tye '03

MIT Technology Review unveiled its annual list of the top 35 innovations younger than 35—the TR35. The list honors researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs who, according to  TR, are doing exciting work that could shape their fields for decades and solving problems in remarkably different ways.

Nearly one third of the 16th annual list are connected to MIT, including 10 alumni. At least one MIT alumnus was named in four of the list’s five categories: inventors, entrepreneurs, visionaries, and pioneers.

Julie Shah
Julie Shah '04, SM '06, PhD '11
  • MIT Assistant Professor Julie Shah ’04, SM ’06, PhD ’11 (visionary) is building and creating robots that can anticipate and adapt to the needs of their human teammates.
  • Fadel Adib SM ’13 (inventor) uses Wi-Fi to see through walls and other practical purposes, including heart rate monitoring, consumer research, and police safety.
  • Miles Barr SM ’08, PhD ’12 (entrepreneur) developed a see-through photovoltaic coating to charge e-readers, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Rumi Chunara SM ’06, PhD ’10 (visionary) is mining social media for information on outbreaks of disease, which could help direct medical workers earlier than traditional methods.
  • David He SM ’08, PhD ’13 (inventor) built a wristband-like device that can help control blood pressure by detecting changes in blood vessels that occur with heartbeats.
  • Jina Lee SM ’11 (inventor) manipulates and interacts with digital data, including a 3-D desktop that allows a user to "reach inside" a screen and flip through digital documents.
  • MIT Portugal Program alumna Maria Nunes Pereira (inventor) created a biocompatible glue that a surgeon could use to patch the holes in the hearts of infants born with congenital heart defects.
  • Manu Prakash SM ’05, PhD ’08 (visionary) is producing instruments that enable people to undertake inexpensive scientific explorations, like a research-grade microscope that costs only 55 cents.
  • Maryam Shanechi SM ’06, PhD ’11 (pioneer) uses control theory to build better interfaces to the brain that could potentially allow disabled patients to move just by thinking about it.
  • Kay Tye ’03 (pioneer) is identifying the connections between regions of the brain and anxiety, which may show that a cell’s connections are at least as important as its location.
Miles Barr SM '08, PhD '12

View the full list of Tech Review’s 35 innovators, which also includes former MIT post-doctoral researcher Kathryn A. Whitehead .

According to Tech Review, the list was pared down from roughly 500 nominees to 80 finalists, who were then rated by outside judges on originality, impact, or potential impact of their work.

The 19-member judging panel included at least 10 MIT alumni: David Berry SB ’00, PhD ’05 a partner at Flagship Ventures; MIT Associate Professor Edward Boyden ’99, MEng ’99; MIT Professor Yet-Ming Chiang, ’80, ScD ’85; Johns Hopkins Professor Jennifer Elisseeff PhD ’99; Caltech Professor Julia Greer ’97; Harvard Dean Cherry Murray ’73, PhD ’78; MIT Associate Professor Kristala Jones Prather ’94; Carmichael Roberts MBA ’00, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners; University of Illinois Professor John Rogers SM ’92, SM ’92, PhD ’95; and Rachel Sheinbein SM ’04, MBA ’04, managing director, Balfour Asset Management.

Did we leave any MIT community members off our list? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.