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

AACR Experiences the 'KI Effect'

That engineers can make a difference in cancer research comes as no surprise to our faithful readers. However, attendees at the recent American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington, just got a taste of KI convergence!

The conference, entitled "Research Propelling Cancer Prevention and Cures," broke new ground by beginning and ending with plenary sessions delivered by KI engineers Angela Belcher and Sangeeta Bhatia, who spoke about their efforts in developing technologies for early detection of cancer.

Angela Belcher shows off her bacteriophage model during her plenary session. 

Sangeeta Bhatia talks biomarkers for her plenary session.

This year had over 21,000 attendees, and the annual meeting also featured many leaders in the field—including a moving address from former Vice President of the United States and Cancer Moonshot champion Joe Biden.

The Cancer Moonshot was a large source of discussion at this year's meeting.

AACR 2017 Joe Biden

Joe Biden addresses the large AACR crowd.

KI engineering faculty and trainees took home awards recognizing them for their work — Michael Birnbaum received an AACR Career Development Award, and Liangliang Hao from the Bhatia Lab and the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine was given an AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award. 

Of course, the scientists received their fair share of acclaim as well —chemist Helen Evans from the Koehler Lab received an AACR Scholar-in-Training Award, and new KI faculty member Stefani Spranger spoke about her postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago on the mechanisms governing the induction and recruitment of antitumor effector T cells. KI Director Tyler Jacks unveiled his new journal, Annual Review of Cancer Biology — for which he serves as co-editor alongside Charles Sawyers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Additionally, several companies founded by KI faculty members — Tarveda, Epizyme, Syros, and Verastem — shared their progress and presented promising clinical data.

AACR 2017 Liang Hao Bhatia Lab

Liangliang Hao (Bhatia Lab) received an AACR Women in Cancer Research Award

Helen Evans wins AACR Scholar in Training Award

Helen Evans (Koehler Lab) received an AACR Scholar in Training Award

Last, but certainly not least, we were thrilled to see KI Bridge Project co-director David Livingston, Deputy Director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, receive the prestigious Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award.

David Livingston Wins AACR Award

David Livingston receives the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award.

David Livingston accepts AACR award

David Livingston receives the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award.

Want to see more? Check out additional photos from the 2017 annual meeting on Facebook!