Daniel G. Anderson

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KI Collaborators Edit Genes to Correct Genetic Diseases

Using a new gene-editing system known as CRISPR to replace mutated DNA with the correct sequence, KI engineers and biologists from the Anderson, Jacks, and Sharp Laboratories have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single mutation in an enzyme needed to break down the amino acid tyrosine. This collaborative work, described in Nature Biotechnology, offers the first evidence that this technology can reverse disease symptoms in living animals. The team believes that recent advances in the delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics provide hope that CRISPR-mediated correction of genetic diseases may be translatable to humans. The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Marie D. and Pierre Casimir-Lambert Fund. more...

Anderson and Langer’s Nature-mimicking Nanoparticles

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and featured in The Boston Globe describes the work of KI faculty members Daniel Anderson, the Samuel A. Goldblith Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, in designing new nanoparticles that efficiently and selectively deliver snippets of genetic material that turn off disease-causing genes (an approach known as RNA interference) in the liver. These nanoparticles, which are inspired by tiny particles that carry cholesterol through the body, silence target genes in the liver more efficiently than any previous delivery system. The technology has already been licensed for commercial development and holds great promise to treat cancer by selectively blocking mutated cancer-causing genes.  more...

KI Team Deciphers Mechanisms of Nanoparticle-Mediated RNA Interference 

A new study published in Nature Biotechnology and led by KI faculty member Dan Anderson in collaboration with Robert Langer will help scientists design more efficient nanoparticles to shut down malfunctioning genes in cancer.  The work provides, for the first time, insights into how nanoparticles carrying short RNA strands are processed inside the cell and how the delivery of their payloads could be improved. Among the team's findings was the identification of a protein that helps cells excrete the particles faster. With the protein knocked out, the particles achieved a level of gene silencing 10 to 15 times greater than in normal cells. The team is now looking for other targets to slow cellular 'recycling' of the nanoparticles and potentially improve potency. Gaurav Sahay, postdoc in the Langer lab, is the first author of this work. more...

The KI at The Leading-edge of Nanomedicine

The nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems being developed at the KI are a revolutionary gateway to new, more targeted disease treatments. An  MIT News article published on March 11 nicely featured the exciting work of KI members Dan Anderson, Paula Hammond, Michael Cima, and Robert Langer, who are engineering new nanoscale therapeutic agents that selectively target and destroy cancer cells or help monitor tumor response to treatment. “We’re doing this because we can do some cool technology, but more importantly, we’re doing it because there’s a clinically meaningful need,” says Cima.

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Nucleic Acid Origami Improves Therapeutic RNA Delivery to Cancer Tumors

KI researchers have built tiny particles made out of DNA and RNA that can deliver snippets of RNA directly to tumors, turning off genes expressed in cancer cells. The particles' composition, together with their specialized construction, poses less risk of side effects and allows for better targeting. This research is reported in the June 3rd edition of Nature Nanotechnology. more...

Cancer Drug Therapy Direct to Tumor

KI researchers devised new nanoparticles that, triggered by UV light, can synthesize proteins to fight cancer cells once they reach the tumor site. The proteins battle the cancer cells while avoiding healthy cells, reducing side effects of treatment. The research appears in the journal NanoLetters. more...

RNA Interference Inhibits Inflammation

Collaborative effort, including KI researchers, successfully delivered short strands of RNA to reduce inflammation. The findings are reported in the October 9, 2011 issue of Nature Biotechnology and could eventually lead to treatments for cancer and heart patients. more...

Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Improved

KI and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals researchers collaborated to find a new nanoparticle that successfully delivered siRNA therapeutics into cells. The researchers tested over 1,500 diverse nanoparticles to deliver the drugs. The research paper appears in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). more...

Inside the Lab: Daniel Anderson

Daniel Anderson

Learn more about the work that Professor Anderson’s lab is doing to create tiny nanoparticles that can deliver RNA to a cancer cell to stop tumor growth. watch...

Biodegradable polymer (Image: Jordan Green)

Nanoparticles for gene therapy improve

About five years ago, Professor Janet Sawicki at the Lankenau Institute in Pennsylvania read an article about nanoparticles developed by MIT's Daniel Anderson and Robert Langer for gene therapy, the insertion of genes into living cells for the treatment of disease. The resulting cross-institutional collaboration has led to a promising ovarian cancer formulation. more...

Using RNAi to tackle ovarian cancer

Small RNA molecules can effectively keep ovarian tumors from growing and spreading in mice, according to a team of researchers from MIT, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. more...

Team develops safe, effective RNA interference technique

A team of researchers from MIT and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has developed safe and effective methods to perform RNA interference, a therapy that holds great promise for treating a variety of diseases including cancer and hepatitis. more...