J. Christopher Love

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Cancer Researchers on the Up-and-Up

Congratulations to KI faculty members Daniel Anderson, J. Christopher Love, and Laurie Boyer on being awarded tenure from MIT. Both Love and Anderson hold appointments in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, bringing their respective expertise in bioanalytics and biomaterials to bear on the Koch Institute's mission (read more). Boyer, an extramural KI member, is a biochemist who develops high-throughput platforms for genome analysis. The granting of tenure to these three by MIT is a testament to the quality of their research and teaching. On June 13, Boyer and Anderson will speak at the KI’s annual summer symposium, "RNA Biology, Cancer, and Therapeutic Implications."

In other promotion-related news, Forest White was promoted to full Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering, and Matthew Vander Heiden, Howard S. (1953) and Linda B. Stern Career Development Professor, to Associate Professor in the Department of Biology. Congratulations to all! more...

A Muti-institutional Approach to Genome-guided Cancer Medicine

Researchers from the laboratory of KI faculty member Chris Love have joined forces with investigators at the Broad Institute and clinicians at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to develop a modular set of experimental and analytical protocols for comprehensively sequencing and confidently determining single-point mutations in the DNA of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from prostate cancer patients. The work, published in Nature Biotechnology, demonstrates that these techniques can provide a minimally invasive window into the genetics of metastatic prostate cancer to characterize the underlying cancer and define targeted treatments for individual patients. This proof-of-concept study sets the foundation for future comprehensive surveys of CTC genomics applied to other cancer types and across a large number of samples. The work was supported in part by a TRANSCEND grant through the KI's alliance with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. more...

Bridge Project Team Sets New Standard for In Vivo Discovery of New Targets for Cancer Immunotherapy

The recent release of promising clinical data from cancer immunotherapies has generated considerable optimism in the cancer research community. Recent work has shown that targeting inhibitory receptors on T cells can result in clinical benefits in patients with advanced cancers. However, the regulatory switches of the immune function in immunosuppressive tumors are not well understood. A multidisciplinary group of investigators, including the Bridge Project-funded team composed of KI faculty members Hidde Ploegh and Chris Love, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Kai Wucherpfennig, used short hairpin RNA (shRNA) screening to identify genes that modify the action of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells in mice bearing melanomas. The group identified the regulatory phosphatase Ppp2r2d as a target and showed that knocking down this gene in T cells enabled their accumulation in tumors and delayed tumor growth. This groundbreaking study, published in Nature, provides a new approach to further dissecting the function of immune cells in vivo and identifying new targets for cancer therapy. The work was partially supported by the Bridge Project, a collaboration between the Koch Institute and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center designed to bring bioengineering, advanced cancer science, and clinical oncology together to solve challenging problems in cancer research and care. more...

Love Team Receives $10.4M Grant

KI professor J. Christopher Love received a two-year award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to lead a new program to develop novel technologies for its Biologically-derived Medicines On Demand (BioMOD) program. Currently, making an industrial-scale batch of one of these biologic drugs involves growing cells in large reactors and takes six to twelve months.  Love's group is tasked with engineering robust, flexible microbes that can synthesize small quantities of multiple protein-based therapeutics in just 24 hours using portable device platforms.  

The DARPA-funded program has the potential to transform access for patient access across the globe to effective drugs for cancer treatment, and will also accelerate drug development for the disease. New methods like these microbes can help make treatment more widely accessible for patients for whom refrigeration, transportation, or geographic isolation pose serious challenges, and showcase how engineering can impact cancer patient care. more...

Collaboration Key in Unique Attack on Cancer

The Bridge Project collaboration between the Koch Institute at MIT and Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) awarded funding to four interdisciplinary teams on March 6, 2012 The teams will work together on two of the most lethal forms of cancer - pancreatic and glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.  The unprecedented clinical research effort awards teams made up of biologists, bioengineers and clinical researchers from both cancer centers. It is the most extensive collaboration of its kind between Boston's two National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers.  more...

Inside the Lab: J. Christopher Love

J. Christopher Love

Learn more about how the Love lab is using miniature microtiter plates and microfluidics to evaluate populations of cells, maximize their productivity, and ultimately improve the process of developing cancer biologics. watch...