In the News

Jacks Lab

Genome-editing technique speeds analysis of genes mutated in tumors

Using CRISPR, KI researchers from Tyler Jacks’ lab have developed a new approach to rapidly model the effects of tumor cells’ genetic mutations in mice. The researchers envision using the technique to study personalized cancer treatments by modeling mice based on the genetic profile of an individual patient’s tumor. more...

Oct. 22 webinar from the Koch Institute and Cell Signaling Technology - Targeting Cancer Pathways: Tumor Resistance

The Koch Institute and Cell Signaling Technology are proud to present this webinar, the first in a series focusing on the pathways that allow for cancer development and progression, the emerging research in identifying and targeting these pathways, and the innovations in the development of cancer treatment options. more...

Sangeeta Bhatia

Koch Institute Member Awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize

Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia, biomedical engineer and faculty member at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, is the recipient of the 2014 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. Bhatia is recognized for designing and commercializing miniaturized technologies with applications to improve human health. The Lemelson-MIT Prize, celebrating its 20th year, honors outstanding mid-career inventors improving the world through technological invention and demonstrating a commitment to mentorship in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is the second consecutive year, and third overall, in which a Koch Institute faculty member has been awarded the prize. Dr. Angela Belcher, W.M. Keck Professor of Energy, received the prize in 2013, and Dr. Robert S. Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, received the prize in 1998. This also is only the fourth time an MIT faculty member has received the prize in its 20-year history. more...

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Special Symposium: Bridging the Gap in Ovarian Cancer

Join us on September 16 for Bridging the Gap in Ovarian Cancer, a special symposium for ovarian cancer patients, survivors, family members, advocates, researchers, and other interested members of the public. This free public event has been organized by the Koch Institute to share and discuss advances in science and technology to fight ovarian cancer and will highlight the power of bringing bioengineering, advanced cancer science, and clinical oncology together to solve today’s most challenging problems in ovarian cancer through collaborative, interdisciplinary research. Symposium attendees are invited to stay for our evening program, SOLUTIONS with/in/sight: Women Converge on Cancer, which will take place at the Koch Institute immediately following the reception. This evening program will feature remarkable women who are staunch advocates for cancer research. (Photo by MesserWoland / CC BY-SA 3.0) more...

with/in/sight

SOLUTIONS with/in/sight: Women Converge on Cancer

From MIT's Great Dome to the rotunda on Capitol Hill, cancer research and associated advocacy efforts are changing the lives of patients everywhere. On September 16, join three staunch advocates for cancer research to learn more about the personal journeys and powerful collaborations at the forefront of the fight against cancer. Whether forging the convergence revolution, carving out new paths for research and funding, or elevating public conversation, these inspiring leaders embody the perseverance, partnerships, and progress that move the field ever forward. more...

Talk with Vik Muniz & Tal Danino at the Galeria Nara Roesler in Sao Paulo

In a conversation with bioengineer Tal Danino at the Galeria Nara Roesler, visting artist Vik Muniz presented on the innovative research that underlies his new Sandcastles and Colonies series and the results of his MIT residency. While undertaking a residency at MIT, Muniz started taking his research into high-technology materials to the extreme in order to develop his two new series. They both combine artistic ingeniousness and cutting-edge science work by leading names such as bioengineer Tal Danino, who was Muniz’s guest for the conversation Galeria Nara Roesler hosted on August 16. more...

RNA combination therapy for lung cancer offers promise for personalized medicine

Researchers in the Jacks, Anderson, and Langer Labs report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have successfully delivered nanoparticles carrying small RNA therapies in a clinically relevant mouse model of lung cancer to shrink tumors and slow their growth. They found that their nanoparticle treatment extended life just as well as a standard-care chemotherapy drug, and furthermore, that the combination therapy of the nanoparticles and the drug together prolonged life by about an additional 25 percent. “Small-RNA therapy holds great promise for cancer,” Jacks says. “It is widely appreciated that the major hurdle in this field is efficient delivery to solid tumors outside of the liver, and this work goes a long way in showing that this is achievable.” more...

New technique allows for better study of hepatitis B and drug treatments

When a hepatocyte—the main liver cell type—is isolated from the liver for study in the lab, it quickly becomes unstable. As a result, it is normally difficult to study how HBV-infected cells respond to antiviral drugs. Now, in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, members of Sangeeta Bhatia’s laboratory at MIT and Charles Rice’s laboratory at Rockefeller University describe how to effectively stabilize these liver cells and infect them robustly with HBV, which will allow researchers to study the immune response and investigate new treatments for the virus. HBV infects about 400 million people around the world and often leads to serious complications, including liver cancer. more...

A new way to rapidly study cancer-causing mutations

In a study appearing in Nature, researchers from the lab of KI Director and David H. Koch Professor of Biology Tyler Jacks, together with Phillip Sharp’s and Daniel Anderson’s labs, have shown that they can generate liver tumors in adult mice by using CRISPR, a gene-editing tool, to disrupt tumor suppressor genes p53 and pten. This technique allows for rapid screening of these mutations and tumors’ response to treatment without needing to undergo the long and expensive process of breeding a strain of mice with a particular mutation. “The sequencing of human tumors has revealed hundreds of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in different combinations. The flexibility of this technology, as delivery gets better in the future, will give you a way to pretty rapidly test those combinations,” says Institute Professor Phillip Sharp. The team is now working on ways to deliver the necessary CRISPR components to other organs, allowing them to investigate mutations found in other types of cancer. more...

Nanoscale film

Dressing drug molecules in layers

David H. Koch Professor in Engineering Paula Hammond and her laboratory have refined a technique to steadily release pain medications and other drugs to a specific part of the body over a time period as long as 14 months. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe using a layer-by-layer technique to attach diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, to individual layers of biodegradable, nanoscale thin-film coating. The film can be used to coat implantable medical devices or nanoparticles that can be injected into a local site. This system will reduce the need for patients to take medication frequently and, as the treatment is localized, should reduce potential side effects from medication. Researchers will now study how to best optimize this drug-delivery system for different bodily environments and other drugs. more...