Dina Katabi is principal investigator for AI and health at the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (Jameel Clinic), the epicentre of AI in healthcare at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is also the Thuan and Nicole Pham Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and director of the MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing.
Dina works at the interface of computer science and electrical engineering to improve the speed, reliability, and security of data exchange, particularly in wireless networks. A leader in wireless data transmission research, Dina has developed wireless devices that use radio signals and AI to sense, analyse and learn human movements, breathing, heart rate and sleep patterns without the need for wearable sensors or physical contact. Her technologies improve not only improve patient monitoring, and make continuous medical data and predictive analyses available to doctors as well as insurance and pharmaceutical companies, but also help detect health emergencies.
The devices have made major contributions to better understanding of chronic diseases. In 2022, with a team from MIT Jameel Clinic, Dina developed an AI system capable of detecting Parkinson’s—the fastest-growing neurological disease in the world—by monitoring a person’s breathing patterns during sleep. Tested in one of the largest sleep studies ever conducted on the disease, the results have helped accelerate the development of new Parkinson’s therapies.
Dina took a bachelor’s of science from the University of Damascus, followed by a master’s of science and a PhD in computer science from MIT. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of the 2013 MacArthur "genius grant" Fellowship. In 2016, Dina co-launched Emerald, a start-up for non-invasive health monitoring which was invited to exhibit at Barack Obama’s White House Demo Day event in 2015. In 2018 she received the Association for Computing Machinery Prize in Computing. In 2023 Dina Katabi was elected a member to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for her research on AI and wireless systems. Established in 1863, NAS membership is one of the most prestigious honours a scientist can receive.