Bhatia is recognized for her contributions to “advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health”, becoming one of 25 people to join all three National Academies
(BOSTON) — Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., is among 100 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019, and just the 25th person to be elected to all three national academies, which also include the National Academies of Science and Engineering. Along with her colleague Paula Hammond, Ph.D., head of the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT)’s Department of Chemical Engineering, she is also one of only two women of color to have thus far joined all three academies.
The National Academy of Medicine was established in 1970 (then Institute of Medicine) as an independent organization of eminent professionals from fields including health and medicine, as well as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences that works out of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health.
“I’m incredibly honored to be part of this group of thinkers and doers that I have long admired,” said Bhatia, who also is the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, where she has spent most of her career. She is also a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, as well as an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Bhatia became an Associate Faculty member of the Wyss Institute in 2018. 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. Her multidisciplinary group has developed a broad and impactful range of inventions, including human “micro-livers” which model human drug metabolism, liver disease, and interaction with pathogens. She also develops nanoparticles and nanoporous materials that can be designed to assemble and communicate inside the human body to study, diagnose, and treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. At the Wyss Institute, she is currently also applying her research to the Institute’s 3D Organ Engineering Initiative.
To further advance these technologies, Bhatia and her group members have founded several biotechnology companies, including Hepregen (now BioIVT), which is based on her micro-liver technology, and Glympse Bio, which develops non-invasive approaches for the detection and monitoring of diseases using nanotechnology.
Other members of the Wyss Institute that were appointed to the National Academy of Medicine are David Mooney, Ph.D., Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D., David Walt, Ph.D., Elliot Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D., James Collins, Ph.D., and Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D.