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Ritu Raman

Contact Info


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2012

    Cornell University

    B.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • 2013

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    M.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • 2016

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests

Biological materials have an unparalleled ability to sense, process, and respond to their environment in real-time. The Raman Lab creates adaptive biological materials powered by assemblies of living cells for applications ranging from medicine to machines.

Currently the Raman Lab is focused on engineering biological actuators. Humans and other biological creatures navigate unpredictable and dynamic environments by combining compliant mechanical actuators (skeletal muscle) with neural control and sensory feedback. Abiotic actuators have yet to match their biological counterparts in their ability to autonomously sense and adapt their form and function to changing surroundings. The Raman Lab uses biological materials and engineering tools to build living neuromuscular tissues. These biological actuators help us understand and manipulate the architecture and function of the biological motor control system. Our goal is to help restore mobility to those who have lost it after disease or trauma, and to deploy biological actuators as functional components in machines.


Ritu Raman, PhD is the d’Arbeloff Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her lab is centered on engineering adaptive living materials for applications in medicine and machines. Prof. Raman has received several recognitions for scientific innovation, including the NSF CAREER Award, the Army Research Office YIP Award, the Office of Naval Research YIP Award, and being named a Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. She has also been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 lists, and is the author of the MIT Press book Biofabrication. She is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM and has championed many initiatives to empower women in science, including being named a AAAS IF/THEN ambassador and founding the Women in Innovation and STEM Database at MIT (WISDM). Prof. Raman received her BS from Cornell University and her PhD as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her postdoctoral research with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT, funded by a L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Raman Lab WebsiteTwitter


Honors + Awards

Full List of Honors + Awards

  • 2024, Office of Naval Research YIP Award
  • 2023, MIT Faculty Founder Innovation Fellowship
  • 2023, NSF CAREER Award
  • 2022, Army Research Office YIP Award
  • 2021, National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science fellow
  • 2019, MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35
  • 2019, Science and Sartorius Prize for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy
  • 2018, Forbes 30 Under 30


2.001 | Mechanics and Materials I

2.797 | Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics