Sheila Nirenberg


What if robots could process visual information the way humans do?


Sheila Nirenberg is a professor of neuroscience at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the founder of two start-up companies – Bionic Sight LLC, which develops new visual prostheses, and Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC, which develops new kinds of smart robots. Her lab at the university focuses on the basic science of visual processing, and her companies take what’s learned in the lab and use it to develop solutions to real world problems. She’s won numerous awards for innovative research, including a MacArthur Genius Award. Her work on cracking the neural code of the retina has been featured in a TED talk, a BBC documentary, a PBS documentary, the Discovery Channel, Scientific American, and many others. 


Nirenberg, S, Pandarinath, C & Ohioheneuan, I, Retinal Prosthesis, US Patent 9220634, filed 2011 and issued 2/29/15; also issued in Europe, China, Japan, Israel, 2015; other countries pending.

Nirenberg, S and Bomash, I, Retinal Encoder for Machine Vision, US Patent 9547804, filed, 2011 and issued 1/17/17; other countries pending.

Nirenberg, S. Neurological prosthesis, US Patent 9302103, filed, 2011 and issued 04/05/16.

Nirenberg, S. Machine Vision with Data Dimension Reduction, PCT/US2016/028406, filed 2016, patent pending.


"Meet the Four Startups Helping Ford Develop a Robo-Taxi by 2021"
Forbes Magazine, August 18, 2016

"Ford targets fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021"
Ford Motor Company Press Release, August 16, 2016

"This neuroscientist says knowing how to talk to the brain could help the blind see"
The Washington Post Transformers Event, May 20, 2016

"This Bionic Eye Could Cure Blindness" 
Bloomberg Documentary, April 5, 2016

"The Genius Behind Series: The code that may treat blindness"
BBC Documentary, November 11, 2016

"Interview with the Dean: A Vision to Cure Blindness"
Weill Cornell Professor wins MacArthur Award, July 17, 2014

"Can we speak the language of the brain?"
Sheila's TEDMED Talk on, October, 2011