After getting a bachelor's degree in Biological Chemistry from Wellesley College, she started her career out as an undergraduate research assistant in the biochemistry lab at Princeton University. After that she earned her Master's degree and Ph.D. at Princeton University for her research in Molecular Biology, where she studied for the signal transduction pathway for the ras oncogene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She then went on to do her post-doctoral research at Stanford University in Neurobiology.
Then she was hired as a payload scientist by Lockheed Martin to work at the NASA Ames Center. She was later promoted to the spot of Chief Scientist in the Small Spacecraft Division of the Ames center.
- Developing New Habitats for Life Science Experiments on the International Space Station 
- T.Fahlen, M. Sanchez, M.Lera, E.Blazevic, J.Chang, and S.Bhattacharya (2006). A Study of the Effects of Spaceflight on the Immune Response in Drosophila melanogaster. Gravitational and Space Biol. 19(2):133
- S. Bhattacharya, B.A. Stewart, B.A. Niemeyer, R.W. Burgess, B.D.McCabe, P.Lin, G.Boulianne, C.J. O’Kane, & T.L. Schwarz (2002). Members of the Synaptobrevin/VAMP family in Drosophila are functionally interchangeable in vivo for neurotransmitter release and cell viability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99(21):13867-13872.
- S. Bhattacharya, R.Bowman, F.Donovan, B.Girten, E.Hill, M.Kirven-Brooks, O.Santos (2001). The Space Station Biological Research Project: Habitat Development and Capabilities. Publication of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, #2001-4984: 1-11.
- F.S. Neumann-Silberberg, S. Bhattacharya, & J.R. Broach (1995). Nutrient Availability and RAS/cAMP Both Induce Expression of Ribosomal Protein Genes in Saccharomyces but by Different Mechanisms. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 15: 3187-3196.
- S. Bhattacharya, L. Chen, J.R. Broach, & S. Powers (1995). Ras Membrane Targeting is Essential for Glucose Signaling but not for Viability in Yeast. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 92: 2984-2988
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