Sangeeta Bhatia named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers

Bhatia recognized for work developing low-cost, noninvasive diagnostics for colon cancer.

From MIT News, November 17, 2014 by Kevin Leonardi | Koch Institute

Koch Institute faculty member Sangeeta Bhatia has been selected as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014 for her work in developing inexpensive and noninvasive diagnostics for the early detection of colon cancer.

The annual list identifies top minds with translational ideas in politics, business, technology, the arts, and the sciences that have the potential to impact millions around the world. This year’s list, published today, has a particular focus on disruptive ideas and technologies. The honorees were recognized today at an event in Washington, D.C., where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was the keynote speaker.

Bhatia, the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was specifically recognized for her work in developing accessible diagnostics for colon cancer that would enable earlier detection.

If colon cancer is detected early, while cancer cells are confined to the colon or rectum, the five-year survival rate for patients is 90 percent. However, such early detection represents only 40 percent of diagnoses, hindered in large part by expensive and invasive tests, such as colonoscopies.

Bhatia and her lab recognized this critical gap and developed nanoparticles and a simple, inexpensive, paper-strip urine test that can reveal the presence of cancer within minutes.

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