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Linda Griffith

School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering
Director, MIT Center for Gynepathology Research

School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering
Director, MIT Center for Gynepathology Research

Linda Griffith
School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering at MIT
Director, MIT Center for Gynepathology Research

As a biotechnologist, Professor Griffith is on the frontier of tissue engineering and synthetic regenerative technologies. Her research areas include biomaterials, drug metabolism, women’s health, systems biology, and bioinformatics.

Professor Griffith is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Popular Science Brilliant 10 Award, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the MIT Class of 1960 Teaching Innovation Award, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and several awards from professional societies. She became a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 2013.

She received her bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley .

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Learned to design and make things as a child through sewing projects, knitting projects and building projects.  Grew her own cotton and made cloth. She learned how to fix cars because everyone did chores and dad travelled a lot.
  • Invested babysitting money in the stock market to get money to pay for college at Georgia Tech.
  • Went to Denmark as an exchange student to live with a family on a farm in for 6 months before starting at Georgia Tech.
  • First came to MIT as a postdoc working at Harvard Medical School, which eventually lead to a faculty position at MIT.
  • Proposed having a minor degree in Biomedical Engineering and it became MIT’s first interdepartmental minor.  Started in 1995 and became most popular minor in two years.  Launched as an undergrad major in 2005.
  • MIT values bringing people up through the ranks, and they value the contributions of the undergrad and grad students to the Institute.
  • Developed technology to better resection breast cancer tumors.  It has been developed with her surgeon from when she had breast cancer.
  • Her personal struggle with endometriosis lead her to found the Center for Gynepathology Research at MIT.
  • Built the scaffold for a human ear on the back of a mouse.   
  • Solid Free form fabrication is an additive process for building up a complex 3-D object.

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