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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mass High Tech Honors Draper Researcher Among 2012's "Women to Watch"

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Mass High Tech honored Dr. Lisa E. Freed, a Draper Laboratory researcher studying tissue engineering for organs like the heart, as one of its “Women to Watch” for 2012 during a May 11 ceremony.

Mass High Tech’s “Women to Watch” honor is presented to women in the technology field who will likely take on more senior leadership positions in the future, and already have track records that include
inventions, growing and launching businesses, and leading teams working on new developments.

Freed is a senior member of the technical staff at Draper, as well as an affiliated research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She holds an M.D. from Harvard University, and a PhD in applied biological sciences from MIT.

Freed’s research has focused on developing new solutions to regenerate hearts damaged by heart attacks, with the goal of overcoming the current poor prognosis of these patients, and to address the severe shortage of heart donors and quality of life issues in general.

Her recent work brings together concepts from Draper and MIT to fabricate tissue scaffolds that more closely mimic the three-dimensional shapes of real organs, which may lead to improved cell growth, healthier organs, and ultimately better health and quality of life for patients.

“She is a physician, a first-rate researcher, an innovator, collaborator, and mentor,” said Livia Racz, Draper’s division leader for microsystems technologies, and a “Women to Watch” honoree in 2010.”She cares deeply about early-career professionals, and they respond enthusiastically to her leadership. “ Lisa is especially committed to mentoring young women, with whom she works at all ages ranging from high school through post-doctoral associate.”

Freed “is deeply committed to advancing the state of biotechnology, and has provided exceptional leadership, enthusiasm and technical innovation in this important area,” said John Dowdle, Draper’s vice president for engineering. “Her work as a mentor of young women, and the inspiration that she provides, is essential to training the next generation of researchers.”

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