Cambridge, MA – Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As Secretary of Defense, Carter, a physicist, became known for pushing the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box” in order to transform the way the military fought adversaries and strengthened alliances, managed its budget and talent, developed its technology, and more. He will now lead the Belfer Center’s programs and will focus his scholarship on the role of innovation and technology in addressing challenges at home and around the world.
Sujata K. Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., PE is a physician, bioengineer, and professionally licensed chemical engineer who serves on the teaching faculty of biomedical engineering 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 Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; she works with students on projects for medical innovation in Africa, as well as global engineering education. 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.
Sujata graduated from the University of Delaware in 1999 with bachelor's degrees in biology, biochemistry, and chemical engineering and a Master's degree in chemical engineering; she earned all four degrees in only four years. Sujata then trained in the M.D./Ph.D. combined degree program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and graduated in 2003, completing both degrees in four years. Her doctoral thesis work lent insights into immune cell and cancer cell migration and was published in several journals, including Cancer Research, Biotechnology Progress, and Biophysical Journal. From 2003 to 2011, Sujata was a principal investigator at the DuPont Company; her projects included the development of bioadhesives for wound closure and development of minimally invasive medical devices. She worked on a team to develop a new surgical sealant; this system can prevent leakage from surgical wounds and can be used to stop bleeding from traumatic wounds. She also worked on a team to develop microspheres for the minimally invasive treatment of cancerous tumors. She then worked on omega-3 fatty acids for heart health. Her industrial experience spans medical device and biotechnology product development, clinical trials management, intellectual property, leadership of multidisciplinary teams, and industry-academic partnerships. In 2011, Sujata was offered a position on the teaching faculty of biomedical engineering at Harvard University and is now the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering as well as an Assistant Dean of the Harvard Summer School.
In 2010, Sujata wrote and published a textbook, Biomaterials for Clinical Applications, which discusses opportunities for both biomaterials scientists and physicians to alleviate diseases worldwide. The book appeared on Amazon.com bestseller lists for Biotechnology, Clinical Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering. The book was also selected as Innovation Book of the Week by the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project. In 2011, she published another book, Engineering Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine. The book appeared on Amazon.com Kindle best-seller lists for Polymer Science, Polymer Chemistry, and Microbiology. In 2012, she published two books with her Harvard students, Medical Devices and Biomaterials for the Developing World: Case Studies in Ghana and Nicaragua and Naturally Based Biomaterials and Therapeutics: The Case of India.
Sujata has established a positive reputation nationally and internationally and has won numerous awards in recognition of her professional accomplishments and community outreach efforts. She has served on panels and committees for the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation, Institute of Medicine, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and United States Department of Health and Human Services. In 1999, Sujata was awarded the University of Delaware Woman of Promise award. Seven years later, she was awarded the 2006 University of Delaware Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement, an award given to University of Delaware graduates of the past twenty years who exhibit great promise in their professional career and public service activities. In 2007, Sujata was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women. At the national level, Sujata was invited to participate in the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium in 2005. While this honor is given by the National Academy of Engineering to the nation's top 100 engineers ages 30–45, Sujata was selected for the honor at age 27. At the international level, Sujata was selected to participate in the 2006 Japan-U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium; this honor is given to the nation's top 30 engineers ages 30–45, and Sujata was selected at age 28. She co-organized the 2007 Japan-U.S. Frontiers of Engineering meeting. In 2008, she was the invited keynote speaker at the National Science Olympiad Invitational. In 2009, she was honored with a Strong, Smart, and Bold Award by Girls Incorporated of Delaware. In 2012, she won an award from the Harvard University President's Innovation Fund for Faculty, in recognition of her innovative approaches to biomedical engineering education. In 2012, she was awarded the John R. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling of Harvard Students, the highest award in Harvard College for excellence in advising. Finally, in 2012, she was selected as a Resident Fellow in the Harvard Administrative Fellowship Program, a program that prepares administrators for leadership positions in the university. She has delivered invited lectures at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. In 2013, Sujata will represent the United States at the Global Grand Challenges Summit, a joint initiative of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.Last Updated: Jan 11, 2017, 3:32pm