ESP Biography

SUJATA BHATIA, Teacher of biomedical engineering at Harvard

Major: Biomedical Engineering

College/Employer: Harvard University (faculty)

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Sujata Bhatia

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Sujata K. Bhatia, MD, PhD, PE is a physician, bioengineer, and professionally licensed chemical engineer who serves on the teaching faculty of biomedical engineering and government at Harvard University. She is the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering at Harvard; she is the academic advisor for all Harvard undergraduate students in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. She has also been appointed an Assistant Dean of the Harvard Summer School; in this capacity, she supervises the academic progress and well-being of several hundred undergraduates each summer, and serves on the Summer School Dean's Council. In addition, she is an Associate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; she works with students on projects for medical innovation in Africa, as well as global engineering education. She is additionally a faculty member in the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program on Innovation for Economic Development. Sujata has personally mentored several Harvard undergraduates to complete innovative research and design projects that advance the field of bioengineering. She has demonstrated a strong commitment not only to biomedical engineering research, but also to education, community outreach, and student life.

Past Classes

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E7833: Natural Biomaterials for Tissue Repair, Reconstruction, and Regeneration in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23 - 24, 2013)
A new class of implantable medical materials, constructed from naturally-derived and renewably-sourced polymers, is poised to transform clinical medicine by providing materials with improved performance and versatility. Biochemical engineering and biomedical engineering, both of which fall under the broad category of biological engineering, are being brought to bear for the development of bio-based polymers as biomedical materials. Toward the goal of a sustainable bio-economy, research in biochemical engineering is increasingly devoted to the development of renewably sourced materials, such as bio-polymers and bio-composites derived from biomass and obtained from agricultural resources or microbial production. At the same time, innovators in biomedical engineering are seeking novel materials for implantable medical devices which will be optimally compatible with the human body. Such optimized materials will have properties of biocompatibility and mechanical tunability that maximize the clinical benefits of the implant. A natural intersect exists between these two areas of emerging research: naturally sourced polymers may be ideal for the design of new biomedical devices, as such polymers can effectively interface with human cells and tissues. Moreover, naturally-derived polymers can allow developing nations to join in the biomedical revolution in ways that were not previously possible. Bio-based polymers can empower developing countries to leverage their own agricultural capabilities to enter the biomedical revolution. This class will discuss the evolving field of bio-based polymers as biomedical implants, and describe examples of success stories in wound closure, tissue repair, and tissue regeneration. The class will describe several specific examples of bio-based materials for biomedical applications from our work. Students will brainstorm potential applications of natural biopolymers for medical applications.