College of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering Student Developing Cancer Treatment

Meet a Roadrunner: UTSA’s Arpan Satsangi is developing cancer treatment

By KC Scharnberg
Public Affairs Specialist

(July 17, 2013) — Meet Arpan Satsangi. This 26-year-old biomedical engineering Ph.D. student is developing a novel drug delivery system that will make chemotherapy treatment more tolerable for cancer patients. He will defend his research this Friday and start medical school at the UT Health Science Center on Monday.

The son of two biomedical researchers, Satsangi developed a passion for research at a young age. As a high school student, he volunteered to help UTSA biomedical engineering professor Joo L. Ong (then at the UT Health Science Center) with his research and ended up as one of the top winners in the national Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology, which recognizes talented high school students who challenge themselves through science research.

He received his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M but then joined UTSA for graduate school to study under Ong again.

“Ever since I’ve known Arpan in his high school days, he has always been interested in science,” said Ong. “He is tremendously talented and it has been a privilege to serve as his mentor.”

Satsangi’s motivation to pursue a doctorate in medicine in addition to a Ph.D. comes from his desire to contribute to society as a physician-scientist who translates biomedical discoveries into medical advances.

“It was actually in a Gross Anatomy class when we were able to witness a full dissection of a human body that I first realized that I wanted use my interest in scientific research to help create real improvements in medicine,” said Satsangi.

“Drug delivery to aid in cancer treatment is an area that many people have been researching but haven’t found one perfect solution yet. Many patients have told me that the symptoms from chemo are almost worse than the cancer itself. This desire to relieve this suffering is what drives me to find a better solution than what we have now.”