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Featured video: Creating a sense of feeling

Biomedical engineer and dancer Shriya Srinivasan PhD ’20 explores connections between the human body and the outside world.
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“The human body is just engineered so beautifully,” says Shriya Srinivasan PhD ’20, a research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a junior fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, and former doctoral student in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology.

Both a biomedical engineer and a dancer, Srinivasan is dedicated to investigating the body’s movements and sensations. As a PhD student she worked in Media Lab Professor Hugh Herr’s Biomechatronics Group on a system that helps patients with amputation feel what their prostheses are feeling and send feedback from the device to the body. She has also studied the south Indian classical dance form Bharathanatyam for 22 years and co-directs the Anubhava Dance Company.

“The kind of relief and sense of fulfillment I get from the arts is very different from what I get from research and science,” she says. “I find that research often nourishes my intellectual curiosity, and the arts are helping to build that emotional and spiritual growth. But in both worlds, I’m thinking about how we create a sense of feeling, how we control emotion and your physiological response. That’s really beautiful to me.”

Video by: Jason Kimball/MIT News | 5 minutes 34 seconds.

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