Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist, has won the prestigious 2015 Heinz Award for innovative contributions in five areas: Arts and Humanities, Environment, Human Condition, Public Policy and Technology, and Economy and Employment.
Bhatia was awarded the $250,000 Heinz award for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection. "This type of recognition helps to bring science into the public eye so that everyone can appreciate the dedication and innovation that is happening in laboratories all over the country," said Bhatia, the John J and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Bhatia and her team developed artificial human micro-livers for drug testing and deserve credit for their pioneering work. Many bio-pharmaceutical companies make use of the artificial human micro-livers to test the toxicity of drugs.
Micro-livers are also being used in the lab to model malaria infection and test drugs that could help in the complete eradication of malaria parasites. Bhatia aims to develop implantable liver tissue as a complement or substitute for whole-organ transplant.