Postdoctoral researcher Indrajit Srivastava receives the 2020 BMES Career Development Award


Huan Song

Illinois bioengineering postdoctoral researcher Indrajit Srivastava received the 2020 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Career Development Award. This award is given to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or early career professionals at a critical transition point in his or her career, from historically minoritized groups and/or are involved in research or training focused on health disparities or minority health.

Srivastava received a bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science Engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology(IIEST), Shibpur, India. He then completed his master's and Ph.D. degrees in bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"As an international student trying to make it into academia in the United States, I learned first-hand how important it is to have role models who had a similar career trajectory like mine," Srivastava said. For him, his Ph.D. advisor professor Dipanjan Pan provided him with key guidance and support to ensure his success. Srivastava was also the first Ph.D. candidate in the bioengineering department to complete a virtual dissertation defense due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to performing research, Srivastava also has a passion for educating and mentoring future bioengineers on scientific projects particularly those who may have come to the discipline from an under-represented background. Srivastava has served as a graduate student mentor for several campus outreach programs including spHERES, researcHStart & NSF-REU. "I take immense pride in my teaching and mentoring skills," he said. 

At Illinois, Srivastava has worked on various projects at the intersection of nanotechnology and cell biology including developing nanoparticle-based probes for medical diagnosis. From his dissertation work in professor Pan’s group, he has been the first-author in over ten high-impact scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals including JACS, ACS Nano and Advanced Functional Material to name a few.  As a postdoctoral researcher, Srivastava is working with professors Shuming Nie from bioengineering and Viktor Gruev from electrical and computer engineering to develop clinically translatable near-infrared probes with the capability to be detected by fluorescence-enabled image-guided surgery camera systems.

“This award provides me with the continued motivation to work on my goals and become an academic professor,” said Srivastava. In addition, at this year’s BMES Virtual Annual Meeting, he will be presenting his dissertation work on how Carbon Dots can be developed for a multitude of in-vitro and in-vivo biomedical applications.