History

"Building the Foundation of Modern Cancer Research: Four Decades of Discovery within the CCR at MIT"

On October 9, 2007, MIT announced the launch of a major new initiative in cancer research, supported by a $100 Million gift from MIT alumnus David H. Koch.  As MIT President Susan Hockfield declared, "The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research will harness the power of MIT scientists and engineers to address one of the most pressing challenges to human health: The ultimate eradication of cancer, starting with real improvements in detection, treatment and prevention.”

The dedication of the building in March 2011 coincided with MIT’s 150th anniversary, during which the many achievements of this institution have been richly celebrated. The Koch Institute builds on this legacy while transforming and transcending the MIT Center for Cancer Research (CCR).

Founded in 1974 by Nobel Laureate and MIT Professor Salvador Luria, CCR has made enormous contributions to the field of cancer research, including:

  • Identification of the molecules that led to two of the first FDA-approved molecularly targeted anti-cancer drugs: Herceptin® (1998) and Gleevec® (2001)
  • Isolation of the first human cancer genes
  • Discovery of extracellular matrix components and their receptors, which play a critical role in metastasis
  • Development of novel materials for sustained delivery of anti-cancer drugs

For three decades, CCR has been a mainstay of MIT's – and the nation's – efforts to conquer cancer. Its faculty has included five Nobel Prize winners, and the wealth of fundamental discoveries that have emerged under its aegis have helped shape the face of molecular biology. Under the banner of the Koch Institute, the future promises to hold even more astounding advances.