The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITThe David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

National Cancer Institute Cancer Center

Science + Engineering... Conquering Cancer Together

Bridge-Funded Research

The Bridge Project focuses on bringing into the lives of patients new technical advances related to cancer detection and monitoring, targeted drug delivery, rapid mapping of drug resistance, and sustaining cancer-specific immune responses.

Bridge Project funding is currently being applied to make advances in the treatment of several cancer types that represent areas of great clinical need:

  • Brain cancer 
  • Pediatric brain tumors (with preference for gliomas)
  • Advanced breast cancer
  • Advanced colon cancer
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Advanced prostate cancer

The Bridge Project also welcomes proposals in the following areas:

  • Cachexia in cancer
  • Cancers with viral etiology (e.g., Merkel cell carcinoma)
  • New technologies for tumor monitoring
  • Mechanism-based molecular cancer prevention

Bridge Project awardees


Expansion Bridge Grant 

These grants support previous awardees whose Bridge Project research is close to clinical trials/clinical application

“Inducing Non-Cell Autonomous Killing to Overcome Drug Resistance in Double-Hit Lymphoma,” a collaboration between David Weinstock of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Michael Hemann of the Koch Institute, and Ann LaCasce of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“A Phase I Clinical Trial Using an ALK Peptide Vaccine for ALK-Rearranged Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers,” a collaboration between Mark Awad of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Roberto Chiarle of Children’s Hospital Boston.

Traditional Bridge Project grants

These grants form the foundation of the Bridge Project, providing research funds to cross-institutional teams from MIT and DF/HCC who are focused on finding solutions to some of the most complex cancers.

“Dendrimer-Replicon mRNA Nanoparticles to Deliver Neoantigen Vaccines in a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Cancer,” a collaboration between Daniel Anderson of the Koch Institute and Stephanie Dougan of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Designing Treatments for SMARCA4/BRG1-Mutant Lung Cancers,” a collaboration between Carla Kim of Children’s Hospital Boston, Tyler Jacks of the Koch Institute, and Alice Shaw of Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Targeting Transcriptional Amplification for the Treatment of Small Cell Lung Cancer Using a CDK7 Inhibitor,” a collaboration between Nathanael Gray of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Kwok-Kin Wong of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Richard Young of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes.

“Systematic Discovery of Combination Immunotherapies for Melanoma,” a collaboration between Chris Love of the Koch Institute, Alex Shalek of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, Kai Wucherpfennig of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Guo-Cheng Yuan of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Nanoparticle-Mediated RNAi Therapy in Bone Marrow to Prevent Multiple Myeloma Colonization,” a collaboration between Ruben Carrasco of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Robert Langer of the Koch Institute.

Footbridge grants 

Footbridge grants are designed to enable the formation and growth of new teams, and support data collection and/or proof of concept work—and provide a potential path to full Bridge team funding.

“Predicting Drug Sensitivity in Lung Cancer by Single Mass Accumulation,” a collaboration between Pasi Jänne of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Scott Manalis of the Koch Institute.

“Modulating the Heat-Shock Machinery to Limit Genetic Heterogeneity and the Evolution of Drug Resistance in Highly Malignant Cancers,” a collaboration between Rameen Beroukhim of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Susan Lindquist of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes, and Sandro Santagata of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

“Targeting Breast Cancer Cell Metabolism to Treat Brain Metastases,” a collaboration between Rakesh Jain of Massachusetts General Hospital and Matthew Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute.

“Investigating MELK as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer,” a collaboration between Angelika Amon of the Koch Institute and Jean Zhao of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


“A novel in vivo assay to define personalized multi-drug combination therapy for advanced prostate cancer,” a collaboration between Steven Balk of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Glenn Bubley of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Akash Patnaik of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Michael Yaffe of the Koch Institute, and Xin Yuan of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

“Targeting chemoresistant disease in AML,” a collaboration between Michael Hemann of the Koch Institute and Kimberly Stegmaier of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

“Targeting minimal residual disease in acute leukemias,” a collaboration between Scott Manalis of the Koch Institute and David Weinstock of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


"Development of an ALK Vaccine for Lung Cancer Treatment," a collaboration between Roberto Chiarle of Boston Children's Hospital and Darrell Irvine of the Koch Institute

"Development of a Prototype Instrument Based on a Second-window Near-infrared Fluorescence Optical Imaging Modality for Detection and Monitoring of Deep-tissue Ovarian and Pancreatic Cancers," a collaboration between Angela Belcher of the Koch Institute, Michael Birrer of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Marcela del Carmen of Massachusetts General Hospital

"Novel Agents for Targeting MCL-1 in  Adult AML/ALL," a collaboration between Amy Keating of MIT Department of Biology, Loren Walensky of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Anthony Letai of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

"Targeting Transcriptional Amplification for the Treatment of SCLC Using a CDK7 Inhibitor," Nathanael Gray of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Kwok-Kin Wong of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Rick Young of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes


"Detection of 'Invisible' Nevi in Redheads," a collaboration between Peter So of the MIT Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Conor Evans of Massachusetts General Hospital, and David Fisher of Massachusetts General Hospital

"Developing Novel Therapeutic Approaches in Small Cell Lung Carcinoma Using Genetically Engineered Mouse Models and Human Circulating Tumor Cells," a collaboration between Tyler Jacks of the Koch Institute, Jeffrey Engelman of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Daniel Haber of Massachusetts General Hospital

"Osmotic Micro-Pump as Delivery System for Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer," a collaboration between Michael Cima of the Koch Institute, Michael Birrer of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Marcela Del Carmen of Massachusetts General Hospital

"Targeting Mutant IDH1 in Malignant Gliomas," a collaboration between Matthew Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute, William G. Kaelin, Jr. of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Daniel Cahill of Massachusetts General Hospital


"A Pancreatobiliary Chemotherapy Eluting Stent for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas," a collaboration between Jeffrey W. Clark of Massachusetts General Hospital, Robert S. Langer of the Koch Institute, and Elazer Edelman of the Institute of Medical Engineering and Sciences at MIT and the Koch Institute

"Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) as a Novel Approach to Improve Drug Delivery in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer," a collaboration between Rakesh K. Jain of Massachusetts General Hospital and Robert S. Langer of the Koch Institute

Novel Immunotherapies Against Pancreatic Cancer," a collaboration between Hidde Ploegh of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes, Kai W. Wucherpfennig of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and J. Christopher Love of the Koch Institute

Single-Cell Functional, Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis in Glioblastoma," a collaboration between Keith L. Ligon of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, J. Christopher Love of the Koch Institute, and Matthew Meyerson of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute