In the News

Forbes 30 Under 30

Four KI trainees recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30

The KI boasts a great deal of young talent, and Forbes agrees! Forbes published its fourth annual 30 Under 30 lists in January, recognizing young game changers, movers, and makers in various fields. Four KI-affiliated trainees were named to the lists: two in the healthcare category, and two in the science category. more...

Rhodes Scholars

Two new Rhodes Scholars with KI connections

The 2015 class of Rhodes Scholars includes three members of the MIT community, two of whom have close KI ties. Since his freshman year, senior biology major Elliot Akama-Garren has been an undergraduate researcher in KI Director Tyler Jacks's laboratory, where he studies the therapeutic potential of T cells in suppressing lung cancer. While at Oxford, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in integrated immunology before returning to the U.S. to begin MD-PhD studies. Senior chemical and biological engineering major Anisha Gururaj has worked with the Langer Lab and, more recently, with KI faculty member Michael Yaffe to design a low-cost, nonelectric fluid warmer for military trauma victims. At Oxford, she plans to pursue master’s degrees in engineering science research and public policy. more...

Steven Keating

Curiouser and curiouser

In 2007, Steven Keating had his brain scanned out of sheer curiosity—he wanted to see what his brain looked like. While the scan showed nothing too out of the ordinary, his persisting interest in his brain would ultimately lead to the detection of a baseball-sized tumor that was removed this past August. Now a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and based at the MIT Media Lab, Keating says that his curiosity saved his life and that his experience with cancer has fueled a strong interest in advocating for open sourcing health data. He spoke at the KI in October to share his story as part of a SOLUTIONS: with/in/sight event on IDH-mutant cancers. more...

Phil Sharp

Crucial convergence

KI member Phillip Sharp, Nobel laureate and Institute Professor, writes about MIT's history of convergence and the changing way we "do science." In the School of Science’s fall newsletter, he discusses the importance of bringing faculty and students together from the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering to tackle the world's growing challenges. As Sharp writes, “Convergence does not mean that different fields of study merely share their tools, but rather that the fields come together to re-conceptualize approaches to research and solving problems.” He cites the KI as an example, when in 2008, cancer biologists from MIT’s Center for Cancer Research joined engineers from the School of Engineering to create this new institute on campus.  more...

Margarita Siafaca to retire at the end of 2014

Margarita Siafaca has been an integral part of MIT’s cancer research community since its formal inception. After 40 years in this community, Margarita, the Sharp Lab’s administrative lab manager, has decided to retire from MIT at the end of December. more...

Guiding light

While aptamers—single-stranded nucleic acids—offer promise as drug-delivery tools for cancer treatment, it has proven difficult to get them to tumor cells at therapeutic levels. Now, researchers in the laboratories of Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor and member of the Koch Institute, and Daniel S. Kohane, director of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at Boston Children’s Hospital, describe in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences how a new light-triggered strategy can provide more accurate control over where aptamers accumulate. This strategy holds promise for using light triggering to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of drug delivery, especially as aptamers can be attached to a variety of therapeutic agents and delivery devices, including chemotherapy drugs, siRNA, and nanoparticles.  more...

Bhatia’s disruptive technology nabs international acclaim

Koch Institute faculty member Sangeeta Bhatia has been selected as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014 for her work developing inexpensive and noninvasive diagnostics for the early detection of colon cancer. The annual list identifies top minds with translational ideas in politics, business, technology, the arts, and the sciences that have the potential to impact millions around the world. This year’s list has a particular focus on disruptive ideas and technologies. The honorees were recognized at an event in Washington, D.C., where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was the keynote speaker. Bhatia, the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was specifically recognized for developing a diagnostic driven by nanoparticles and a simple, inexpensive, paper-strip urine test that can reveal the presence of cancer within minutes. more...

The inside story: Implantable technology improves treatment

Working on implantable devices for drug delivery, KI member Michael Cima, David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, hopes to make cancer treatments safer, more effective, and more convenient. As these implantable devices advance toward the clinic, so does the promise for improving patient outcomes and experiences. more...

Herman Eisen

In fond remembrance

The KI community mourns the loss of Herman Eisen, a professor emeritus of biology and founding faculty member of the MIT Center for Cancer Research (CCR), who died Nov. 2 at age 96. Over a 70-year career, Eisen forged a path as a pioneering immunologist whose research has significantly shaped the field. He joined the MIT faculty in 1973, having been recruited by CCR founder Salvador Luria. Eisen retired from MIT in 1989, albeit only in the official sense: As a professor emeritus, he maintained an active laboratory and continued to advise students and postdocs, research, and publish until his very last day. “Herman was a true treasure: an inspiring colleague, a caring mentor, and a wonderful human being,” says Tyler Jacks, director of the Koch Institute and David H. Koch Professor of Biology. “We all aspire to be Herman Eisen.” more...

Tyler Jacks

Life lessons from 34 years of fighting cancer

At TEDxCambridge in September, Koch Institute Director Tyler Jacks shared insights from his 34 years in the "maze" of cancer research. more...