The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITThe David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Cancer Center

Science + Engineering... Conquering Cancer Together

Sangeeta N. Bhatia, MD, PhD

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

Director, Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine

Member, Ludwig Center at MIT

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Institute Member, Broad Institute

Associated Faculty, Wyss Institute

Biomedical Engineer, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Medicine


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

Photo credit: Scott Eisen/AP Images for HHMI

"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 and to develop nanotechnology for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

Sangeeta is a biomedical researcher, MIT professor, and biotech entrepreneur who works to adapt technologies developed in the computer industry for medical innovation. Trained as both a physician and engineer at Harvard, MIT, and Brown University, Bhatia leverages ‘tiny technologies’ of miniaturization to yield inventions such as human microlivers that model human drug metabolism and liver disease, as well as responsive nanoparticles and nanoporous materials that can be engineered to diagnose, study, and treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. She and her trainees have launched multiple biotechnology companies to improve human health. As a prolific inventor and passionate advocate for diversity in science and engineering, Bhatia has received many honors including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, known as the ‘Oscar for inventors,’ and the Heinz Medal for groundbreaking inventions and advocacy for women in STEM fields. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Academy of Inventors, and Brown University's Board of Fellows.

Dr. Bhatia is a Board member of Brown University, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the International Cancer Early Detection Alliance -- Cancer Research UK, and the Association for Women in Science. She has an advisory role with Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, Allen Institute for Cell Science, Global Oncology Inc., Glympse BIO, Maverick Therapeutics, Synlogic, and Cristal Therapeutics.

Research Summary

Research in the Bhatia laboratory is dedicated to leveraging miniaturization tools from the world of engineering to improve human health. Using micro and nanotechnologies, also called "tiny technologies," the lab aims to interface living and synthetic systems to improve medical diagnostics, as well as drug delivery, tissue regeneration, and disease modeling. In particular, Professor Bhatia is working to develop nanotechnology for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and to improve therapies for liver disease. Her multidisciplinary team has developed a broad range of impactful inventions, including various nanomaterials that can be used to detect, monitor, or treat cancer and other diseases. For example, nanosensors designed by Professor Bhatia and her team can detect and profile tumors — even at very early stages — and can be analyzed via a simple urine test. This technology may also yield insights into a tumor's response to certain therapies. Additionally, the lab has created human microlivers, which model human drug metabolism, liver disease, and interaction with pathogens.

For more information about Professor Bhatia’s research, please visit the Bhatia lab webpage.

Selected Publications

Gural N, Mancio-Silva L, Miller AB, Galstian A, Butty VL, Levine SS, Patrapuvich R, Desai SP, Mikolajczak SA, Kappe SHI, Fleming HE, March S, Sattabongkot J, Bhatia SN. In Vitro Culture, Drug Sensitivity, and Transcriptome of Plasmodium Vivax Hypnozoites. Cell Host Microbe. 2018 Mar 14;23(3):395-406.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.01.002.

Stevens KR, Scull MA, Ramanan V, Fortin CL, Chaturvedi RR, Knouse KA, Xiao JW, Fung C, Mirabella T, Chen AX, McCue MG, Yang MT, Fleming HE, Chung K, de Jong YP, Chen CS, Rice CM, Bhatia SN. In situ expansion of engineered human liver tissue in a mouse model of chronic liver disease. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Jul 19;9(399). pii: eaah5505. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah5505.

Kwong GA, von Maltzahn G, Murugappan G, Abudayyeh O, Mo S, Papayannopoulos IA, Sverdlov DY, Liu SB, Warren AD, Popov Y, Schuppan D, Bhatia SN. Mass-encoded synthetic biomarkers for multiplexed urinary monitoring of disease. Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Jan;31(1):63-70. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2464.

Ren Y, Cheung HW, von Maltzhan G, Agrawal A, Cowley GS, Weir BA, Boehm JS, Tamayo P, Karst AM, Liu JF, Hirsch MS, Mesirov JP, Drapkin R, Root DE, Lo J, Fogal V, Ruoslahti E, Hahn WC, Bhatia SN. Targeted tumor-penetrating siRNA nanocomplexes for credentialing the ovarian cancer oncogene ID4. Sci Transl Med. 2012 Aug 15;4(147):147ra112. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003778.

von Maltzahn G, Park JH, Lin KY, Singh N, Schwöppe C, Mesters R, Berdel WE, Ruoslahti E, Sailor MJ, Bhatia SN. Nanoparticles that communicate in vivo to amplify tumour targeting. Nat Mater. 2011 Jun 19;10(7):545-52. doi: 10.1038/nmat3049.

Khetani SR, Bhatia SN. Microscale culture of human liver cells for drug development. Nat Biotechnol. 2008 Jan;26(1):120-6.

Derfus AM, Chen AA, Min DH, Ruoslahti E, Bhatia SN. Targeted quantum dot conjugates for siRNA delivery. Bioconjug Chem. 2007 Sep-Oct;18(5):1391-6.

Hui EE, Bhatia SN. Micromechanical control of cell-cell interactions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Apr 3;104(14):5722-6.

Albrecht DR, Underhill GH, Wassermann TB, Sah RL, Bhatia SN. Probing the role of multicellular organization in three-dimensional microenvironments. Nat Methods. 2006 May;3(5):369-75.

Flaim CJ, Chien S, Bhatia SN. An extracellular matrix microarray for probing cellular differentiation. Nat Methods. 2005 Feb;2(2):119-25.


Complete list of Publications

Contact Information

Sangeeta N. Bhatia

room 76-453
phone (617) 253-0893

Bhatia Lab

phone (617) 324-0610
fax (617) 324-0740

Administrative Assistant:

Sue Kangiser
phone (617) 253-0893