Biotechnology and Healthcare Category

Dr. Krishna Kumar

Dr Krishna Kumar is Chairman of the Dept. of the Chemistry at Tufts University and runs a peptide therapuetic successful research program there. His research work concerns peptide therapeutics - more specifically, increasing the chemical, thermal and biological stability of peptides by selective fluorination. Sensing the potential impact of this concept, Dr Kumar worked on an efficient way of generating synthetic short fluorinated peptides. Overcoming this hurdle was also useful in reducing the life cycle of testing new hypotheses with other candidate peptides, thus greatly increasing the scalability and impact of his research work.

His patent pending concepts have immense potential to impact cancer management. In several human cancers, the malignant cells may metastasize to a location remote from its site of origin. These cells typically produce an unusually high amount of surface proteins that enable it to align along the periphery of our blood vessels and eventually squeeze its way between cells that line blood vessels into surrounding tissue. Dr Kumar has experimentally proved that cancer cells can be made to express surface proteins that incorporate fluorinated peptides and this modification could be used to prevent the ominous sequence of events implicated in cancer metastasis. In addition, in combination with auxiliary imaging techniques, it will be possible to image these cancer cells – an invaluable tool in guiding management and reducing morbidity associated with cancer.

Dr Kumar received his Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from Brown University. Born in Chennai, India, he received his bachelor's in chemistry from St. Stephen's College in Delhi. He was among the MIT's TR100 awardees in 2003 and won the DuPont Young Professor Award at Tufts .

back to top

Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta

Dr. Shiladitya Sengupta is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School, in addition to holding the position of Associate Bioengineer at Brigham and Women's Hospital. His laboratory focuses on developing engineering solutions for complex diseases by integrating fundamental biology with nano and microscale engineering.

During his stint as a post-doctoral associate at MIT, Dr. Sengupta worked on bringing together the concepts of angiogenesis (formation of blood vessels) and nanotechnology to enable hybrid applications in the field of drug delivery. He received the prestigious TR35 Innovator award for one of his biggest innovations, the "nano-cell". This device consists of a lipid sphere about 200 nanometers wide surrounding smaller, biodegradable polymer spheres. These nanocells home in on cancers based on the unique characteristics of tumor blood vessels. The outer shells then dissolve, releasing a drug that destroys the vessels. As the cancer cells starve for oxygen, they secrete enzymes that break up the inner spheres, dispensing a standard chemotherapy agent. A significant aspect of this discovery is that the use of polymers and drugs already approved for human use could potentially move the innovation quicker into clinical trials. Dr. Sengupta received the Coulter Foundation Young Investigator Award in Bioengineering (2006). During his doctoral studies, he revealed how a protein that causes liver regeneration promotes blood vessel growth, and co-founded Dynamic Biosystems to turn the discovery into treatments for chronic wounds.

Dr. Sengupta received his Ph.D from University of Cambridge, UK, after having completed both his Bachelors and Masters of Science from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India.

back to top

Dr. Anita Goel

Physicist and physician, Anita Goel, MD, PhD was recently named one of the world’s “top 35 science and technology innovators under the age of 35” by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine. Dr. Goel holds both a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and an MD from the Harvard-MIT Joint Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST).

Dr. Goel is the President and Scientific Director of Nanobiosym Labs and the President and CEO of Nanobiosym Diagnostics, Inc. Nanobiosym Labs focuses on fundamental research at the interface of Physics, Medicine, and Nanotechnology. Nanobiosym Diagnostics, Inc. is the commercial arm of Nanobiosym that is developing next-generation diagnostic capabilities. Dr. Goel’s work at Nanobiosym has been recognized by recent prestigious funding awards from the United States Department of Defense and DARPA and US Dept of Energy. The recipient of numerous honors and an esteemed speaker at major international conferences, Dr. Anita Goel has quickly emerged as a leading researcher in the field of nanobiophysics and nanobiotechnology.

She is a Fellow of the World Technology Network, a Fellow-at-Large of the Santa Fe Institute, and an Associate of the Harvard Physics Department. She serves as a Trustee and Scientific Advisor to India-Nano, an organization devoted to bridging breakthrough advances in nanotechnology with the burgeoning Indian nanotech sector.

back to top