June 27, 2016
A new MIT report sounds the battle cry for increased collaboration and funding of integrative research bringing together physical and life sciences. Co-chaired by KI members Tyler Jacks, KI director and the David H. Koch Professor of Biology; Susan Hockfield, president emerita of MIT; and Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor, the report builds on a 2011 white paper and cites numerous examples of ground-breaking cross-disciplinary research. The report was formally presented at last month’s Convergence Forum at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (watch presentations). The winners of the Convergence Idea Challenge, a contest for emerging researchers to push (and blur) the boundaries of their field, were also announced.
This was not the only showcase of convergent minds, however. Earlier in the month, the KI hosted another Convergence-inspired event, highlighting the hot topics of biomedicine here in the Kendall Square convergence hub. The American Association of Cancer Research also stepped up to the challenge, hosting the first ever Special Conference on Engineering and Physical Sciences in Oncology in late June. MGH’s Rakesh Jain, along with his KI Bridge Project collaborator, KI faculty member Robert Langer, the David. H. Koch Institute Professor, and Joan Brugge of Harvard Medical School, co-chaired the conference. Like the Convergence movement itself, meetings like these bring together diverse perspectives in pursuit of a common goal—advancing the future of medicine.