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Giovanni Traverso

Contact Info

room 3-340

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 1998

    Trinity College, University of Cambridge

  • 2002

    Johns Hopkins University

  • 2006

    Trinity College, University of Cambridge

    M.B., B.Chir.

Research Interests

Ingestible and implantable robotics

Biocompatible smart materials

Translational science

Drug delivery for optimal drug adherence

Biomedical device development

Early detection of cancer

“Inactive ingredients” and their potential benefits and harms 


Giovanni Traverso is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and also a gastroenterologist in the Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School. Dr. Traverso grew up in Peru, Canada and the United Kingdom.  He received his BA from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK, and his PhD from the lab of Prof. Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins University.  He subsequently completed medical school at the University of Cambridge, internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his gastroenterology fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital, both at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Traverso’s previous work focused on the development of novel molecular tests for the early detection of colon cancer. For his post-doctoral research, he transitioned to the fields of chemical and biomedical engineering in the laboratory of Professor Robert Langer at MIT where he developed a series of novel technologies for drug delivery as well as physiological sensing via the gastrointestinal tract.

His current research program is focused on developing the next generation of drug delivery systems to enable safe and efficient delivery of therapeutics, biomedical device to support new modes of drug administration and sensing a broad array of physiologic and pathophysiologic signals. Additionally, Dr. Traverso continues his efforts towards the development of novel diagnostic tests that enable the early detection of cancer.

Honors + Awards

2002 Collegiate Inventors Competition

2002 Research Fellowship, Trinity College, University of Cambridge

2003 MIT TR100

2016 Inventions Award, Popular Science

2022 Fellow, Controlled Release Society College of Fellows

2023 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors


Medical Device Design (2.750) - Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Translational Engineering (2.S988) - Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Mechanics & Materials (2.001) - Fall 2021