Sangeeta's Open Road


    Women in STEM Roadtrip


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.”


Engineering Science


Experience Goals Doubt Societal Pressures Individualism Chance Passion


Problem Solving


  • 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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