B.U. Biomedical Engineer Named “Woman Of The Year” by South Asian Newspaper


For Release Upon Receipt – February 3, 2004
Contact: Ann Marie Menting, 617/353-2240, amenting@bu.edu

(Boston, Mass.) — Tejal Desai, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, has been named 2003 Woman of the Year by India New England, a Waltham-based newspaper for the Indian-American community. The award was conferred recently during an evening ceremony at the Seaport Hotel, located in Boston’s World Trade Center.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my own South Asian community,” says Desai. “I hope that I can serve as a role model to others in the community, particularly in encouraging young girls to explore science and engineering.”
Listed as one of the “Brilliant 10” young scientists of 2003 by Popular Science magazine, Desai is a leading nanotechnology researcher. Her research focuses on developing biomedical devices that can be used in the treatment of disease. This work has produced tiny implantable silicon bits that deliver doses of insulin to diabetic rats, speck-sized plastic chips that attach to the lining of the intestine and release medicine directly to targeted cells, and, in current work, biodegradable artificial blood vessels that will serve as scaffolds for the formation of functioning new vessels.

Established in 2002, India New England’s Woman of the Year award honors the accomplishments of outstanding South Asian women living in the six New England states. Originally designed to recognize businesswomen, the scope of the award was expanded this year to include women who are making exceptional contributions in all areas, including academia, social activism, politics, and the arts.

Desai was chosen from a group of 20 New England women that included Madhu Sridhar, president of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters; Taniya Nayak, an interior designer and star of ABC’s do-it-yourself show “Knock First”; Indira Patel, owner of New England Office Supply; and Shikha Kapoor, co-owner of the Bombay Club and other restaurants.

For the past five years, India New England has served as the leading newspaper for the Indian and South Asian communities in the six New England states. Its semi-monthly issues cover Indian-American business, cultural, social, and community news.

Boston University, with an enrollment of more than 29,000 in its 17 schools and colleges, is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. The Biomedical Engineering Department, established in 1966 in the University’s College of Engineering, applies engineering, computational, and analytical techniques to biological systems from the nanoscale level of DNA to the macroscopic level of organ systems.