WISDM Speaker Series: Dr. Padmini S. Pillai

Tuesday, March 01, 2022 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

This semester, the Women's League is proud to be continuing our partnership with WISDM, the Women in Innovation and STEM Database at MIT and the MIT Innovation Initiative to continue our popular speaker series.

Dr. Padmini S Pillai is an immunoengineer bridging the gap between advances in immunology & the development of new biomaterials to treat human disease. She will tell us about her scientific journey and research, highlighting the crucial role of mentorship (in and out of science), obstacles she has faced along the way, the importance of SciComm, and making STEM more equitable.

Dr. Pillai completed her Ph.D. in Immunobiology at Yale Univ. in the lab of Prof. Akiko Iwasaki, where her research was the first to identify excessive inflammation as the reason flu infection is more deadly in the elderly than in younger adults, & suggested a new potential strategy for combating the flu in susceptible individuals by blocking an inflammatory pathway in the lung. Inspired to apply her expertise to building new tools to treat disease, Dr. Pillai is a postdoc in the lab of Prof. Robert Langer at MIT, where she is developing biomaterial & nucleic acid strategies to boost anti-tumor immunity & treat chronic inflammatory diseases. Dr. Pillai was a 2019 Delegate to the American Academy of Achievement & Young Pioneer at the World Frontiers Forum. Dr. Pillai is also a musician, trained in piano, violin, and South Indian Classical music, and has provided backup vocals for Grammy award-winning artist, Angélique Kidjo at venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Bonnaroo, & Carnegie Hall.


The Women in Innovation and STEM Database at MIT (WISDM) promotes the visibility of women in our academic community, increases gender diversity in innovation and entrepreneurship, and makes it easier to find talented and diverse speakers for various events. WISDM supports women and gender non-conforming MIT community members and upholds the Institute’s efforts to foster community, equity, and inclusion.

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Conferences/Seminars/Lectures, Community Event, Career Development

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MIT Community


women, science, Immunology, STEM, Q&A



MIT Women's League
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