Sangeeta's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Women In STEM

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Cambridge, MA

SANGEETA BHATIA

Director, Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“I used to feel like I needed to compartmentalize the technical piece of myself from the rest. And in fact, it’s really that uniqueness that makes you different, that makes you valuable.”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Doubt Societal Pressures Individualism Goals Experience Chance Passion

FOUNDATION:

Problem-Solving

TAGS:

advancement, cancer, college, confidence, differences, diseases, engineering, experience, impostor syndrome, internship, lab, learning, medicine, MIT, preparation, science, self discovery, strength, student, success

BIOGRAPHY:

  • She wanted to try biomedical engineering, but it was still a new field, so she reached out to people working in the field to try to figure out which path she wanted to take.
  • Her first job was in a water testing lab; she found it boring, but it gave her the laboratory experience she needed to explore more of her options.
  • Then she moved onto a biotech company, but she was frustrated by being in a lab all day; she wanted to have more contact with patients.
  • Her third job was in artificial organs and nerve regeneration, and it felt like her “Goldilocks” job: her third job was the one that fit just right.
  • She now runs a lab of 25 people; they’ve invented nanosensors that can roam the human body and search for diseased cells, pushing forward the science of cancer detection.
  • Other things her lab is working on: regenerating human livers using organic 3D printers, and engineering a bacteria that can enter tumors and treat them from the inside.
  • In 2003, the MIT Technology Review named her one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.
  • But she says that even as far as she’s come, she still struggles with imposter syndrome; the way she overcomes it is by continuing to work hard and celebrate her successes.

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