MIT Koch Institute
August 7, 2021
Congratulations to Institute Professor and KI member Paula Hammond, the inaugural recipient of the Black in Cancer Distinguished Investigator Award. Established through a partnership between Black in Cancer and the Emerald Foundation in response to racial abuse experienced by Black birdwatcher Chris Cooper in Central Park last year, this award recognizes Black excellence in cancer research and medicine. With this support, Hammond will apply her signature layer-by-layer technology—variations on which were recently featured in National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal—to engineer a nanoscale delivery system that direct a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy to ovarian cancer cells and the surrounding tumor microenvironment. Although the incidence rate of high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is higher in white than black women, the mortality rate is higher for black women, making Hammond's approach a powerful tool for combating serious health disparities.