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Sangeeta Bhatia, Indian-origin scientist at MIT, won the 2015 Heinz Award

Apr 27, 2015 11:11 IST

Sangeeta Bhatia, an Indian-origin scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), on 26 April 2015 won the prestigious 2015 Heinz Award in the Technology, the Economy, and Employment category. This was the 20th Heinz Award which is given annually since 1993.

Bhatia who developed artificial human microlivers for drug testing was awarded for her work in tissue engineering and disease detection. Microliver is a miniature model organ that makes it possible to test drug reactions efficiently and predictively, and could eventually lead to an artificial human liver.

Her team pioneered the fabrication of artificial human microlivers, which are being used by many biopharmaceutical companies to test the toxicity of drug candidates.

At present, she is using microlivers in the lab to model malaria infection and test drugs that can eradicate malaria parasites completely. She aims to develop implantable liver tissue as a complement or substitute for whole-organ transplant.

Other winners of the 20th Heinz Award



Arts and Humanities category

Roz Chast (Illustrator and prolific cartoonist)

Environment category

Dr. Frederica Perera

Human Condition

organization Team Rubicon)

William McNulty and Jacob Wood (Founders of the nonprofit


Public Policy

Dr. Aaron Wolf (Professor at Oregon State University)

About Heinz Awards
The Heinz Awards are annually given by the Heinz Family Foundation and are individual achievement honors. It recognises outstanding individuals for their innovative contributions in five areas: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment.

The award was established in 1993 by Teresa Heinz, the chairwoman of the Heinz Family Foundation, in honor of her late husband, Senator H. John Heinz III. The award includes a cash prize of 250000 US dollars and a medallion with Shared Ideals Realized inscribed on the one side and an image of globe positioned between two hands inscribe on the reverse side.

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