Heather Bowerman: Innovating for women’s health
As she pursued her career as a bioengineer, Heather Bowerman (B.S.’05 BioE) noticed how medical research and technology deployment severely lagged in women’s health and ultimately led to worse outcomes. For example, to diagnose endometriosis — a chronic and debilitating disease affecting 176 million women worldwide and one of the leading causes of infertility — patients face an average delay of ten years. Bowerman began thinking about what the best point of entry could be to eliminate this systemic bias and help to bring healthcare equality to women.
Now she’s CEO and founder of DotLab, a molecular diagnostics company that has developed the first non-invasive, accurate test for endometriosis. The condition can present differently in each patient, making it difficult to identify, and the standard of care for diagnosis is laparoscopic surgery. But DotLab has developed an innovative test that replaces the invasive procedure with a simple serum sample, and published its clinical validation study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Bowerman was named one of the Top Innovators Under 35 of 2016 by MIT Technology Review, a 2016 World Technology Award finalist in Health & Medicine, and Goldman Sachs named her one of the Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017. Before DotLab, she was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, an associate in the White House’s Office of Science & Technology Policy under President Barack Obama, and a Nanotechnology Teaching Fellow at Harvard University.
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