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

In the News

The Bridge Project and KI Community Members Named 2017 Xconomy Awards Finalists

Congratulations to the KI members, companies, collaborators, and friends who have been named as 2017 Xconomy Awards finalists! We're excited to see who takes home the titles on September 26, 2017. more...

Satellite Liver from Launch to Liftoff

The Bhatia Lab’s satellite liver, previously seen in the KI Public Galleries as part of the 2016 Image Awards exhibition, is reaching new heights with the publication of a new paper in Science Translational Medicine. In it, investigators describe how their engineered liver tissue integrates with other cells in the body and expands production of hepatocytes to perform normal liver function in mice with damaged livers. The team is now working to refine and expand their approach to accelerate the impact these engineered “organoids" can have on patients who suffer from liver diseases, including liver cancer. Read more, and watch an interview with one of the image’s creators here. more...

Sasisekharan Wins Agilent Thought Leader Award

Congratulations to KI member Ram Sasisekharan, the Alfred H. Caspary Professor of Biological Engineering and Health Sciences and Technology in the Department of Biological Engineering, for winning an Agilent Thought Leader Award for his contributions in the field of biologics characterization. Comprised of financial support, Agilent products, and expertise, the Agilent Thought Leader Award will help the Sasisekharan Lab, located within the Koch Institute, further refine an approach that aims to shorten the development time between biopharmaceutical product design and clinical use. more...

Honoring the Lippard Legacy

Congratulations to KI member Stephen J. Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry, on his upcoming retirement and for being named to the 2017 cohort of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's "the one hundred," which annually celebrates 100 individuals and groups who display outstanding efforts — from caregiving to research to philanthropy to advocacy — in the fight against cancer. Recognized for his groundbreaking research in platinum-based cancer therapeutics, and his commitment to education and mentoring, Lippard's stake in this work is both professional and personal. He lost his wife, Judy, to endometrial cancer in 2013, and to honor her memory, Lippard — along with sons Josh and Alex — created the Judith Ann Lippard Memorial Lectureship to honor individuals whose research has the possibility to change the face of women’s cancers. In addition to giving a formal lecture at MIT and delivering Grand Rounds at MGH, the Lippard Lecturer also spends time with trainees, researchers, and physician-scientists at both institutions, inspiring the best and brightest young minds to advance cancer therapies. more...

Converging on Cancer on the Nanoscale

This summer, we mark the first anniversary of the launch of our Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, established through a generous gift from Kathy and Curt Marble ’63. Bringing together leading Koch Institute faculty members and their teams, the Marble Center focuses on grand challenges in cancer detection, treatment, and monitoring that can benefit from the emerging biology and physics of the nanoscale. In its first year, the Center funded six transformative research projects in the areas of drug delivery and immunotherapy, established a scientific advisory board, and provided fellowship support for trainees, along with valuable opportunities for mentorship, scientific exchange, and professional development. We look forward to continued success and progress at the interface of nanotechnology and medicine. more...

The Importance of Being Convergent

On June 16, cancer research enthusiasts from the MIT community and beyond gathered for the Koch Institute’s 16th Annual Summer Symposium, “Convergence of Science and Engineering in Cancer" to learn about interdisciplinary approaches and new technologies to better understand, detect, monitor, and treat cancer. The event featured dynamic speakers that represented different facets of interdisciplinary research, and an exciting panel on the future of medical care made up of top biomedical experts and industry executives. It was an enlightening event, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s symposium — which will be dedicated to nanomedicine in cancer and held on Friday, June 15, 2018. Read more about the 2017 Koch Institute Summer Symposium and watch this year’s talks here. more...

Tenure, They Wrote

Congratulations to resident KI faculty member Matthew Vander Heiden for being awarded tenure. Vander Heiden, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, is breaking new ground in the research area of cancer metabolism and is the recipient of numerous awards from such organizations as the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He joins KI collaborators Bradley Pentelute and Jeremiah Johnson from the Department of Chemistry as one of seven newly tenured members of MIT's School of Science. Also among the newly tenured ranks are extramural KI faculty member Timothy Lu from the Departments of Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and KI collaborators Polina Anikeeva from the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering and Katharina Ribbeck from the Department of Biological Engineering. more...

Understanding the Spread of Lung Cancer

In a collaborative effort, researchers from the Jacks and Hynes laboratories applied quantitative proteomics to identify microenvironmental regulators of lung cancer metastasis. Their study, published in PNAS, identifies Tenascin-C, an extracellular matrix protein, as a novel lung cancer metastasis promoter and demonstrates the prognostic value of Tenascin-C expression for lung-cancer-patient survival. This study paves the way for future explorations of the tumor microenvironment, underexplored sources of diagnostic markers, and potential therapeutic targets for cancer patients. more...

Cell Cycle Arrest and Immune Surveillance

Attention aneuploid cells: You have the right to remain senescent. Unless of course you begin producing pro-inflammatory signals that are recognized by the immune system. New research from the KI's Amon Lab reveals how cells containing an improper number of chromosomes — a condition known as aneuploidy — are detected and eliminated by natural killer cells following periods of genomic instability leading to cell cycle arrest (when cells become senescent, ceasing to grow or divide). These results, published in Developmental Cell, present an intriguing connection between aneuploidy and immune surveillance, and raise even more intriguing questions about how cancer cells, which are highly aneuploid, are able divide uncontrollably and escape this immune recognition. The team hopes to eventually exploit the high levels of aneuploidy observed in cancer cells as a therapeutic weakness. more...

Budget Balancing Acts

With the future of federal funding for biomedical research under constant scrutiny, many members of the KI community are stepping out of the lab and into the fray. This spring, the Koehler Lab’s Shelby Doyle joined the MIT Science Policy Initiative on an advocacy trip to Washington, D.C. to learn about the legislative process and how to interact with policy makers to better serve the science and engineering community. KI faculty members Tyler Jacks (who testified in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to advocate for federally funded cancer research earlier this year), Robert Langer, Phillip Sharp, and Robert Weinberg — along with Gertler Lab postdoc Madeleine Oudin and former Langer Lab postdocs Omid Veiseh and Jeffrey Karp — spoke with The Boston Globe about NIH's controversial plan to cap the number of grants awarded to larger, more established labs. The plan was ultimately abandoned in favor of new programs like the Next Generation Researchers Initiative, which will provide dedicated funding to early- and mid-career investigators. By speaking out and working together, researchers at all levels have the ability to change the course of cancer — and of cancer research. more...