Tiny Technologies and Medicine: From Hepatic Tissue Engineering to Cancer Nanotechnology
Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D.
John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
Sangeeta Bhatia earned her BS at Brown University, followed by an MS in mechanical engineering at MIT, a PhD in biomedical engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and an MD at Harvard Medical School. Prior to her appointment at MIT, Bhatia held a tenured position at UCSD. 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, 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.
Our laboratory studies how micro- and nanoscale systems can be deployed to understand, diagnose, and treat human disease. In this talk, I will describe our progress in two application areas: liver disease and cancer. In the area of the liver, we are developing microtechnology tools to understand how ensembles of cells coordinate to produce tissues with emergent properties in the body. We have used this understanding to fabricate human microliver tissues in both ‘2D’ and ‘3D’ formats that enable us to study the pathogenesis of relapsing malaria and liver regeneration. In the area of cancer, we are developing nanotechnology tools to meet the challenge of delivering cargo into the tumor microenvironment where transport is dominated by diffusion. Our strategy is to design nanotechnologies which emulate nature’s mechanisms of homing, activation, and amplification to deliver cytotoxic drugs, diagnostic tools, imaging agents, and nucleic acids to tumors. Thus, using nature as a guide, we are establishing a framework for building systems from micro- and nanoscale components that function collectively to treat human disease.
This page was last updated on Thursday, May 19, 2022