In the News

Diviya Sinha

Graduate student Diviya Sinha earns Schlumberger Foundation Fellowship

Chemical engineering graduate student Diviya Sinha has received a Faculty for the Future Fellowship from the Schlumberger Foundation. These fellowships are awarded to deserving female scientists and engineers from developing and emerging countries who are pursuing advanced degrees at leading universities worldwide. As a 2015-2016 fellow, Sinha receives a grant of up to $50,000 per year to support her research in immunology. Sinha is a graduate student in the laboratories of KI faculty member Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, and Daniel Blankschtein. more...

CellSqueeze

Freshly squeezed vaccines

KI researchers have shown that they can use a microfluidic cell-squeezing device to introduce specific antigens inside the immune system’s B cells, providing a new approach to developing and implementing antigen-presenting cell vaccines. Through CellSqueeze, the device platform originally developed at MIT, the researchers pass a suspension of B cells and target antigen through tiny, parallel channels etched on a chip. A positive-pressure system moves the suspension through these channels, which gradually narrow, applying a gentle pressure to the B cells. This “squeeze” opens small, temporary holes in their membranes, allowing the target antigen to enter by diffusion. more...

Tyler Jacks

Tyler Jacks receives MIT’s Killian Award

Tyler Jacks, a pioneering cancer biologist and director of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, is this year’s recipient of MIT’s James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award. Jacks is recognized for his leadership of MIT’s cancer research community, and his influence on the field of cancer research. The Killian Award is the highest honor MIT grants to members of its faculty. more...

Creativity Lab

Creativity Lab

Are you interested in exploring the creative side of research science through hands on biology labs? Creativity Lab, hosted by the Koch Institute and the Whitehead Institute, allows high-school students to understand the connection between art and biology. The program will feature ample hands-on experiments in a research lab led by visiting scientists. We will take the science concepts learned in the labs and use them to jump-start art projects. Discover how creative thinking plays a critical role in both disciplines! Applicants must be at least 16 years old at the time of the program. $250 per student fee and seats are limited. Please visit http://wi.mit.edu/programs/creativitylab to register or contact Mary Brooks (brooks@wi.mit.edu) for more details. more...

Sangeeta Bhatia wins $250,000 Heinz Award

An innovative scientist who is developing simple, affordable cancer screening tools and applying the principles of microchip fabrication to develop artificial human “microlivers” was today named as a recipient of a coveted Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment. The Award was announced by the Heinz Family Foundation and includes an unrestricted cash award of $250,000. Sangeeta Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., a professor within MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science is one of six recipients of the 20th Heinz Awards. The accolades honor the memory of the late U.S. Senator John Heinz by recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions in one of five critically important categories: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment. more...

A metabolic vulnerability in glioblastoma

Funded in part through the KI Frontier Research Program, KI members David Sabatini, a professor of biology, and Matthew Vander Heiden, the Eisen and Chang Career Development Professor and an associate professor of biology, have identified a vulnerability in glioblastoma that could offer a new target for treating these brain tumors. Certain glioblastoma cells depend on the enzyme GLDC to break down the amino acid glycine. The researchers found that when GLDC is blocked in these cells, glycine enters a different metabolic pathway, producing toxic byproducts that build up and ultimately kill the tumor cells. The researchers are now seeking GLDC-blocking compounds that could exploit this vulnerability to treat glioblastoma. more...

Steven Keating

Open data opens minds

As access to data about his brain ultimately led to the detection and removal of a baseball-sized tumor last August, Steven Keating knows firsthand how powerful health data can be. Keating, an MIT graduate student, has open sourced much of his own health data on his personal website with the hope that it may help researchers and patients better understand cancer. His inspiring story, which blends equal parts curiosity and positivity, has been shared in MIT NewsThe New York Times, and BetaBoston, and he has given several talks on campus, including two at the KI. more...

Nano-networked drug delivery

Researchers in the lab of KI faculty member Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, have designed an injectable nano-network that can release drugs, including chemotherapeutics, over a prescribed period of time. The mesh-like network can flow through a needle and rapidly reform into an intact gel inside the body, allowing for a great deal of flexibility in delivering drugs to specific tissues—including those that are hard to reach. The researchers are also studying how this technology can attract, sequester, and kill metastatic tumor cells. This research was funded in part through a postdoctoral fellowship through the S. Leslie Misrock (1949) Frontier Research Fund for Cancer Nanotechnology. more...

Susan Hockfield

Converging on world challenges

January’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, explored some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Susan Hockfield, MIT president emerita, KI faculty member, and chair of the WEF’s Foundation Board, says that the convergence of scientific disciplines is the path forward for addressing many of them. With an estimated nine billion people projected to occupy the globe by 2050, Hockfield writes that “an accelerating convergence of the biological, physical, and engineering sciences promises a stunning array of new technological solutions,” citing KI faculty member Sangeeta Bhatia’s inexpensive, paper-strip urine test for cancer as one example. more...

Daniel Anderson

Special delivery

Although KI faculty member Daniel Anderson once considered going into business school or industry after completing his Ph.D. in molecular genetics, he instead was drawn to a postdoctoral position in David H. Koch Institute Professor Robert Langer’s laboratory to study drug delivery. Ever since, he’s been on the cutting edge of developing new biomaterials and delivery methods. After completing his postdoc, he continued to work with Langer’s lab for about a decade before joining the KI faculty in 2010. Now, Anderson and his own lab have developed new systems for nanoparticle drug delivery, non-viral gene therapy, siRNA delivery, and vaccines to treat cancer and other diseases. To ensure a direct impact on human health, Anderson has also founded several companies to catalyze the bench-to-bedside pipeline and bring his discoveries one step closer to patients in need. more...