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

Bridge Projects in Bloom

Weather aside, a sure sign of spring at the Koch Institute is the announcement of the latest cohort of research teams supported by the Bridge Project, the Koch Institute’s collaborative partnership with Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. This year, nine new projects seek improved understandings and test novel approaches, from exploring a new target for brain cancer treatment, to understanding how obesity may help colon cancer evade the immune system, to developing personalized therapeutic vaccines for metastatic cancers. Also included is a foray into a new disease area, ileal carcinoids. This neuroendocrine cancer is hard to treat and to study, partly due to a lack of reliable models. Combining advances in modeling, drug delivery, and highly sensitive analysis, the team aims to better understand and predict the tumors’ therapeutic response. See the 2018 Bridge Projectsmore...

Roots of Success

KI member and MIT Institute Professor Phillip Sharp will be honored at this year's American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting with the 2018 AACR Distinguished Award for Extraordinary Scientific Innovation and Exceptional Leadership in Cancer Research and Biomedical Science, the latest in a long line of commendations. However, cancer research is not the only "field" that shaped Sharp's career. In March, Sharp returned to his Bluegrass State roots to speak at a "Kentucky to the World" event where he stopped by Louisville's NPR Station, WFPL, to discuss his journey from growing up on a farm in rural Kentucky to his 1993 Nobel Prize win and beyond. more...

Science Festival Double Header

Pardon the mixing of sports metaphors, but the KI is going for gold in the Cambridge Science Festival this April. First up, the triumphant return of Putt-ing Cancer in its Place — the pop-up cancer research-themed mini-golf course — on Thursday, April 19 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. in MIT North Court. (rain date Friday, April 20). Mark your calendars to swing by (it's free!) and be sure to share the event on Facebook be-fore-hand. Then, on Friday, April 20, stop by the KI Public Galleries for Cell Lines to Street Signs, a "Behind the Images" event celebrating the Festival's new look thanks to the inclusion of KI Image Award winners and runners-up! The program will include light refreshments and relay-style lightning talks about the featured images. more...

From Origami to Organoids: 2018 Image Awards Exhibition Opens

From tissues to tumors, dendrites to diabetes, vacuoles to vaccines, 10 dynamic images from eleven MIT laboratories were unveiled on March 8, marking the opening of the eighth annual Image Awards exhibition in the Koch Institute Public Galleries. This year's winning visuals, also featured in STAT and Nature, encompass a wide range of imaging techniques and subject matters, shining light on the processes and progress of today's biomedical research endeavors. Learn more. more...

A Day in the Langer Life

Juggling his roles as engineer, professor, entrepreneur, and inventor — KI member and David H. Koch Institute Professor Robert Langer is always on the go. In this day-in-the-life video, produced by MIT's School of Engineering and MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering, Langer takes viewers behind the curtain to learn more about how his interest in chemisty and fascination with magic propels him to keeping learning and discovering through chemical engineering. more...

Hammond Wins ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science

In March, Paula Hammond, KI member and David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, received the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Applied Polymer Science at the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans. Hammond, also the head of MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored for her contributions to the fields of polymer and polymer materials research. Also recognized at the ACS National Meeting was KI member Angela Belcher, who gave the Fred Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Lecture at the event. more...

Langer Lab Alumna Named Gates Cambridge Scholar

From Cambridge Mass to Cambridge UK — former Langer Lab UROP June Park has been selected as a 2018 Gates Cambridge Scholar and will be heading across the pond to earn a PhD in bioengineering at Cambridge University. During her time in the Langer Lab, Park helped develop ultrasound-mediated colonic drug-delivery device, which became the platform technology for KI startup Suono Bio. She is currently an associate consultant at Putnam Associates, where she helps generate and deliver strategic recommendations for global biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We're sure that she'll be applying her keen sense of both business and engineering as she takes on this next opportunity. Congratulations! Read more. more...

Yilmaz Wins AAAS Award

Congratulations to KI member and Assistant Professor of Biology Ömer Yilmaz for being named a winner of the 2018 AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award! The award honors early-career investigators who have performed outstanding work in the field of cancer research. Yilmaz was selected along with Neville Sanjana, a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center and Assistant Professor at New York University. Both awardees will deliver a public lecture on their research and have their award-winning essays published in Science Translational Medicine. Read more. more...

Advancing New Bodies of Knowledge

Researchers from the laboratory of KI member Linda Griffith have engineered a new "body on a chip" technology that could be used to accurately test the efficacy of drugs before they're administered to humans. The technology, a microfluidic platform that connects engineered tissues from organs, can replicate human organ interactions for an extended period of time, allowing researchers to learn how various parts of the body react to the drug being tested. An image of previous work from this project was showcased in the 2017 Koch Institute Image Awards Exhibition. Read more. more...

Winter Blues No Match for Reviews

Late-winter weather got you down? Curl up fireside with one of two new KI research reviews. In Nature Reviews Cancer, Stefani Spranger, the Howard S. (1953) and Linda B. Stern Career Development Professor, helps uncover the mystery behind which tumors respond to cancer immunotherapies called checkpoint blockades, and how activation of certain signaling pathways in tumor cells can impair local antitumor immune responses. Mystery not your genre? ACS Nano recently featured a page-turner by members of the Langer lab and their collaborators describing recent advances in drug delivery, materials science, and nanotechnology to develop next-generation nanoparticle platforms to overcome barriers for delivery of TRAIL. TRAIL is an immune molecule that has received significant attention as a cancer therapeutic because it can selectively trigger cancer cell apoptosis — or cell suicide — without causing toxicity, but creating viable delivery systems is no linear plot. The team has received support from the S. Leslie Misrock (1949) Fund for Cancer Nanotechnology, the Bridge Project, and the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine. more...