Deblina Sarkar receives the NIH Director's New Innovator Award

Jimmy Day, MIT Media Lab

By Alexandra Kahn

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Deblina Sarkar on receiving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award, 2022.  

Sarkar, the AT&T Career Development Chair Professor, leads the Media Lab's Nano-Cybernetic Biotrek research group. She is being recognized by the NIH for unusually innovative work in the development of biomedical implants that defy the need for surgery. In its summary statement, the NIH panel concluded that Sarkar's proposed studies have a strong potential of producing ground-breaking results, with a reviewer noting "It would be a new day if the ideas work. Very high impact."

"Present biomedical implants require invasive surgery, often associated with health risks and adverse psychological effects," Sarkar notes. "We are fusing nanoelectronics with biology to create a new paradigm for biomedical devices that could circumvent the need for surgery. We thank the NIH and the Director's New Innovator Award for supporting our ambitious work."

The awards are part of the NIH's High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, designed to enable exceptionally creative scientists to push the boundaries of biomedical science. Sarkar is among four MIT researchers to be recognized.

“Professor Sarkar combines nanoelectronics with biotechnology to build remotely controlled biomedical devices that reduce the need for invasive surgery," notes Matt Vander Heiden, director of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. "Sarkar's work could lead to unprecedented opportunities to improve patient care through new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.” 

The NIH awarded Professor Sarkar’s proposal a perfect and rarely achieved impact score of “10,” the highest score possible. For more details see here.

Additional  information  about the awards and recipients  can be found here.

Grant # DP 2HL 168072-01


NIH Common Fund

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