Sangeeta N. Bhatia, MD, PhD is a role model for women in science and engineering. Bhatia is a mother of two young girls and hopes to share with her daughters a curiosity for the way the world works. It is not just her own children that Bhatia hopes to inspire, though; she is widely recognized as an advocate for youth in STEM fields. Bhatia is a charismatic inventor who is passionate about changing the world with technology and through the mentorship of future scientists.
“Bhatia stands out in her commitment to mentorship and promotion of diversity in science and engineering,” said Eric Lander, president and director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Bhatia is the winner of the 2014 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for her dedication to the next generation of scientists, and groundbreaking inventions to improve human health and patient care on a global scale.
Bhatia is often described as a bold risk taker; she seeks out big issues without regard for disciplinary boundaries. Bhatia brings together a collaborative and multidisciplinary team which has led to a broad and impactful range of inventions. She combines her clinical and engineering perspectives to develop miniaturized technologies that impact human health. She has pioneered technologies for interfacing living cells with synthetic systems, enabling new applications in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics and drug delivery. Combining biology and microfabrication, Bhatia’s findings have produced human microlivers and developed nanoparticles as a noninvasive disease-monitoring method.
Bhatia has been recognized as one of the “the nation's most promising young professors in science and engineering” by the Packard Foundation and one of the “100 most innovative young scientists worldwide” by MIT Technology Review. Forbes named her one of 18 Indian scientists - across all nations - who are “changing the world” and “one of the 100 most creative people in business” by Fast Company, among many other recognitions.
She founded the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Diversity Committee, chairs the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) Diversity committee, and advises the MIT Society of Women Engineers, which also oversees KEYs, an outreach organization that she helped establish in 1993 that aims to instill young girls with curiosity about science and engineering. She is an award-winning teacher, and her students have pursued diverse careers in academia and industry. Many have also received recognition for their work, including the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, National Collegiate Inventors (NCIIA) Grand Prize, Rhodes Scholarships and numerous fellowships.
Bhatia is the John. J and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She is also the Director of Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies and a core faculty member for MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, a senior associate at the Broad Institute and holds an appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Bhatia received her B.S. from Brown University, SM and PhD from MIT, MD from Harvard Medical School and graduate and postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to MIT, she held a tenured faculty position at the University of California, San Diego and worked in industry at Pfizer, Genetics Institute, and ICI Pharmaceuticals.