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

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In the News

Yaffe conferring with a colleague at a hospital

Critical Analysis

As head of a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and co-director of the acute care and ICU section at Boston Hope, Michael Yaffe offers his perspective as both cancer researcher and intensivist/trauma surgeon on the evolution of emergency care during this crisis and beyond.  more...

Langer wearing a face mask sitting on a bed

“I wish I was chilling.”

The Boston Globe reports that physical isolation is no match for Bob Langer. From vaccine development to viral blood-brain barrier studies, the ever-prolific engineer is doing his part for coronavirus response efforts. Catch up with him (if you can) via recorded web chat or help your student at home channel their inner-Langer with some STEM inspiration. more...

Join us for a with/in/sight webinar!

SOLUTIONS with/in/sight: How Are Cancer Researchers Fighting COVID-19? This virtual event (Zoom Webinar) offers insight into the current research of MIT investigators who have taken existing projects and pivoted their technology and approaches to focus on urgent and pressing needs related to the COVID-19 crisis. With an introduction by KI director Tyler Jacks, researchers will share their projects addressing PPE, diagnostics, and vaccine development. After each presentation, a brief moderated Q&A session will allow participants to learn more about the science and understand how the Koch Institute’s flexible, collaborative research models allow for rapid response and agility across the biomedical landscape. more...

Microwell CARMEN chip

High-Capacity Viral Diagnostics

A new CRISPR-based diagnostic platform simultaneously performs thousands of tests to detect viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. In a study published in Nature, researchers adapted microfluidic technology developed in the Blainey Lab and supported in part by the Bridge Project to create chips that can run thousands of tests flexibly configured across different numbers of samples and viruses.   more...

Airway cilia grown in culture

Nothing to Sneeze At

Sabatini Lab postdoc and pulmonologist Raghu Chivukula used cell culture and electron microscopy to unravel the mystery of a rare genetic mutation behind an unknown lung disease. His 2019 Image Awards winning image shows the “airway in a dish” that proved the foundational model for the eventual diagnosis. more...

Sussing Out Susceptibility

A team including Alex Shalek, KI member and recently named Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award recipient, is using gene expression data to identify specific types of cells targeted by the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Their study’s results, published in Cell and reported on in The Boston Globe and the NIH Director’s Blog, could be used to guide future treatment of the disease.

This work was supported in part by the MIT Stem Cell Initiative. The team recently received an award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to study how cells in the airways of pediatric patients respond to SARS-CoV-2 and common respiratory viruses. more...

Neil Dalvie, Andrew Biedermann, Sergio Rodriguez, and Laura Crowell

Faster, Cheaper, Scalable

A small team of graduate researchers has returned to the Love Lab with a mission: generate and test preclinical materials to help develop an affordable, accessible COVID-19 vaccine for large-scale production on a lightning-speed timeline. Although there are efforts underway across the globe to manufacture vaccines in the hundreds of millions, billions of doses may be necessary. To address this gap, the researchers are deploying a strategy developed under a Grand Challenge for ultra-low cost vaccines and are now simultaneously testing their first candidate component for a vaccine and optimizing the manufacturing process. The concurrent approach allows the team to develop vaccine components with manufacturability in mind from the start and potentially compresses the timeline from benchtop to full-scale production. more...

Balancing Act

MIT senior and former Anderson/Langer Lab researcher Steven Truong brings his experience as a biological engineering student home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the resident biomedical expert in his immigrant family, Truong balances schoolwork with medical challenges, language barriers, and a pressing need to combat misinformation. Read more  or watch video  more...

diagram of nanoparticles' journey from lungs to urine

Turning the Peptide on Lung Cancer Detection

The Bhatia Lab’s peptide-based nanosensors offer a non-invasive strategy for early cancer detection. In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers used intratracheally administered particles in combination with machine learning algorithms to accurately detect lung tumors as small as 2.8 cubic millimeters. Working with Jacks Lab collaborators, they showed in genetically engineered mouse models that their urine-based diagnostic could also distinguish between early-stage cancer and noncancerous inflammation of the lungs, which could greatly reduce the number of false positives in a clinical setting. Watch video.

The research was supported in part by the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, the Koch Institute Frontier Research Program through a gift from Upstage Lung Cancer, and the Johnson & Johnson Lung Cancer Initiative. more...

Mutated and nonmutated cells in a pancreas

Weight Loss and Pancreatic Cancer

Along with his former KI mentor, Jacks Lab alum and collaborator Mandar Muzumdar is a senior author on a study investigating obesity’s role in pancreatic cancer progression. The work, partly supported by the Lustgarten Foundation, appears in Cell and examines the effects of genetically-engineered and dietary induction of weight loss on tumorigenesis.