Sangeeta N. Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D. (b. 1968) is an American biological engineer and the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Bhatia’s research investigates applications of micro- and nano-technology for tissue repair and regeneration. She applies ideas from computer technology and engineering to the design of miniaturized biomedical tools for the study and treatment of diseases, in particular liver disease, hepatitis, malaria and cancer.
In 2003, she was named by the MIT Technology Review as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. She was also named a “Scientist to Watch” by The Scientist in 2006. She has received multiple awards and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors.
Bhatia’s dissertation became the basis for Microfabrication in tissue engineering and bioartificial organs (1999). Bhatia co-authored the first undergraduate textbook on tissue engineering, Tissue engineering (2004), written for senior-level and first-year graduate courses with Bernhard Palsson. She was a co-editor of Microdevices in Biology and Medicine (2009) and Biosensing: International Research and Development (2005).
Early life and education
Bhatia’s parents emigrated from India to Boston, Massachusetts; her father was an engineer and her mother was one of the first women to receive an MBA in India. Bhatia was motivated to become an engineer after her 10th grade biology class and a trip with her father into an MIT lab to see a demonstration of an ultrasound machine for cancer treatment.
Bhatia studied bioengineering at Brown University where she joined a research group studying artificial organs which convinced her to pursue graduate study the field. After graduating with honors in 1990, Bhatia was initially rejected from the M.D.-Ph.D. program run by the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) but was accepted into the Mechanical Engineering masters program. She was later accepted to the HST M.D.-Ph.D. program where she was advised by Mehmet Toner and Martin Yarmush. She received a Ph.D. in 1997 and an M.D. in 1999, and completed postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital.
- Bhatia, Sangeeta (1999). Microfabrication in tissue engineering and bioartificial organs. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Palsson, Bernhard Ø.; Bhatia, Sangeeta N. (2004). Tissue engineering. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.
- Nahmias, Yaakov; Bhatia, Sangeeta N., eds. (2009). Microdevices in biology and medicine. Boston: Artech House.
- Schultz, Jerome; Mrksich, Milan; Bhatia, Sangeeta N.; Brady, David J.; Ricco, Antionio J.; Walt, David R.; Wilkins, Charles L., eds. (July 15, 2006). Biosensing: International Research and Development. Springer Science & Business Media
Bhatia is the recipient of a number of awards and honors including the following:
- 2019, Othmer Gold Medal, Science History Instituteand others
- 2018, Honorary Doctorate, Utrecht University
- 2017, Catalyst Award, Science Club for Girls
- 2015, Heinz Award, Heinz Family Foundation, in the Technology, the Economy and Employment category “for her seminal work in tissue engineering and disease detection, including the cultivation of functional liver cells outside of the human body, and for her passion in promoting the advancement of women in the STEM fields.”
- 2014, Lemelson-MIT Prize, Massachusetts Institute of Technology“for her dedication to the next generation of scientists, and groundbreaking inventions to improve human health and patient care on a global scale.”
- 2011, BEAM (Brown Engineering Alumni Medal) Award, Brown University School of Engineering
- 2008, Howard Hughes Medical Instituteinvestigator
- 1999, Packard Fellowship, David and Lucile Packard Foundation