Sangeeta N. Bhatia

Sangeeta N. Bhatia (photo: Robert E. Klein/AP, © HHMI)

John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

Director, Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

M.D. 1999, Harvard Medical School

Ph.D. 1997, MIT


KI Research Areas of Focus:
Nano-based Drugs,
Detection + Monitoring

"Our laboratory conducts research at the intersection of engineering, medicine, and biology to develop novel platforms for understanding, diagnosing and treating human disease. Our long-term goals are to improve cellular therapies for liver disease, develop microtechnology tools to systematically study living cells, and design multifunctional nanomaterial systems which assemble and communicate to interrogate and coordinately treat cancer. We have developed technologies for interfacing living cells with synthetic systems, enabling new applications in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics and drug delivery. One such platform applies microfabrication technologies used in semiconductor manufacturing to organize cells of different types to produce a tissue with emergent properties. These efforts have produced human microlivers which model human drug metabolism, drug-induced liver disease, and interaction with human pathogens, thereby establishing high-throughput models that are being used for drug testing, discovery, and tissue engineering applications. We are also involved in a multidisciplinary effort to develop nanomaterials as tools for biological studies and as multifunctional agents for cancer therapies. By bridging the unique electromagnetic properties of nanomaterials with advances in bioconjugate chemistry, photonics, and phage display we aim to develop ‘intelligent' systems for tumor therapy and biomolecular detection. Our interest centers around nanoparticles and nanoporous materials that can be designed to perform complex tasks such as home to a tumor, sense changes in cells and tissues, enhance imaging, recruit complementary nanoparticles and signal pathways, and trigger the release of a targeted, therapeutic payload.”

Learn more about the work the Bhatia Lab is doing to use micro and nanotechnologies to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy by watching this video: "Inside the Lab: Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D."

The Bhatia Lab's work is profiled as part of the current interactive exhibits in the Koch Institute Public Galleries.  Watch a web version of the story here.

Dr. Bhatia trained at Brown, MIT, Harvard, and MGH. She was a faculty member of the Bioengineering Department at University of California at San Diego for 6 years. She and her 150+ trainees (29 graduate, 25 postgraduate, 100+ undergraduate) have published more than 130 manuscripts that have collectively accumulated over 11,000 citations. She is the co-founder of two biotechnology startup companies, holds over 40 issued or pending patents in tissue engineering, biomedical microsystems, and nanobiotechnology and has worked in industry at Pfizer, Genetics Institute, ICI Pharmaceuticals, and Organogenesis. She co-authored the first undergraduate text on tissue engineering, as well a white paper about ‘convergence’ in life, physical and engineering sciences, highlighting the need for cooperation amongst research, economic and policy experts to advance biomedicine and healthcare. She is a frequent advisor to governmental organizations on nanobiotechnology, biomedical microsystems, and tissue engineering.

Dr. Bhatia has been recognized as one of the "the nation's most promising young professors in science and engineering” by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, one of the “100 most innovative young scientists worldwide” by MIT Technology Review, and has made top “Watch” lists at San Diego Magazine, The Scientist, and Mass High Tech. Recently, she was named one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Biotech” by the Boston Globe. She received the NSF CAREER Award, the Global Indus Technovators Award, and Young Investigator Awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. She is an elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, Biomedical Engineering Society, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and American Society for Clinical Investigation. ­­Her work has been profiled broadly, such as in Scientific American and Popular Science, the Boston Globe, Forbes, PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW, Planet Green, and MSNBC.

Further Information

Selected Publications