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

Do Viruses Make You Feel Funny?

What exactly does KI faculty member Angela Belcher do all day? This was the challenge presented to three comedians on a recent “You’re the Expert” podcast, which brings together academic experts and sharp-witted humorists for a deep, humorous dive into the inner workings of top research laboratories. Listen, laugh, and learn about Belcher’s work engineering viruses and bacterial to create new technologies. more...

Taking a Stand

Researchers in the field of cancer metabolism are working to identify how cancer cells fuel their growth, and how to use this process against the disease. For his work in this area, KI member Matthew Vander Heiden, the Eisen and Chang Career Development Professor, has received a $750,000 Innovative Research Grant from Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). SU2C's Innovative Research Grants support early career scientists focused on high-risk projects. Vander Heiden was among ten researchers nationwide to receive the award this year. Vander Heiden’s project is focused on understanding the aspects of metabolism that are essential for the growth of lung, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. This work may lead to the identification of novel drug targets and thus new treatments. Read more.   more...

Podcasts with Postdocs

Three episodes of a new MIT podcast offer an insightful glimpse into the wide-ranging research of the Koch Institute. Sharing insights about cancer biology, immune engineering, and biomaterials, KI postdocs Madeleine Oudin (Gertler Lab), Talar Tokatlian (Irvine Lab), and Asha Patel (Lander/Anderson Labs, and a 2016 Image Awards winner) spoke with GLIMPSE podcast host Alex Albanese, himself a former Bhatia Lab researcher and current KI Image Awards winner, about their studies, their pathways, and their inspiration. Read more more...

Trusting Ömer Yilmaz to Change the World

The Pew Charitable Trusts honor creative, young, curiosity-driven scientists poised to change the course of scientific discovery and human health. KI faculty member Ömer Yilmaz is among this year’s Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research, recognized for his promising approaches toward the treatment of intestinal cancers. Amon Lab alumna Gloria Brar, Jaenisch Lab alum Dirk Hockemeyer, and Ploegh Lab alumna Stepahnie Dougan have also been honored as a 2016 Pew Biomedical Scholar. more...

Once in a Blue Ribbon ‘Moonshot’

KI Director Tyler Jacks has been selected to co-chair a panel of experts convened to advise Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The Blue Ribbon Panel is comprised of leaders from academia, medicine, and advocacy groups. In the coming months, it will develop recommendations on a range of cancer-related issues from promising new technologies to data-sharing. Jacks’s fellow co-chairs are Elizabeth Jaffee of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and Dinah Singer of the National Cancer Institute. The panel’s recommendations will be incorporated in a report produced by the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force and delivered to President Obama by December 31. more...

Mission: Accepted

In honor of the five-year anniversary of the dedication of Building 76, the KI invited members of our community to participate in a special competition: 'Mission: Possible.' Six teams from labs across the KI proposed innovative research projects related to cancer prevention or early detection. The judges included some of the biggest names in biotech and venture capital. The competition was emceed by STAT's Megan Thielking. The grand prize—a $300,000 one-year research grant—went to team IllumiRNA, comprised of members of the Sharp, Anderson, and Langer laboratories. They plan to develop a diagnostic platform to detect leukemia cells using simple blood tests at very early stages of the disease. The award came after a surprise funding announcement by the Advanced Medical Research Foundation for team Project Asclepius, from the Jacks and Anderson laboratories, who are working on a cancer prevention vaccine that will train the immune system to fight cancer as it does an infectious disease. See the pictures, watch the presentations, and read more. more...

Bridge to the Future

The Bridge Project collaboration between the Koch Institute and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center also celebrated its fifth anniversary this spring. With eleven new projects launched in April, Bridge Project research teams continue to pursue solutions to the most challenging problems in cancer research and care. Among many Bridge success stories, a team led by KI members Robert Langer and Elazer Edelman, selected in the very first round of funding, has now launched a company with their device aimed at drug delivery to pancreatic tumors. Watch MIT post-doc Laura Indolfi discuss this technology on the TED stage and read more about recent results from this collaboration. more...

Another Five to Celebrate

Five KI faculty members were among the 25 honored with awards at this year’s American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Angelika Amon, the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor in Cancer Research, was selected to present the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship; Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, was recognized with the 2016 AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship; Rudolf Jaenisch and Eric Lander were elected Fellows of the AACR Academy; and last, but certainly not least, Robert Weinberg was honored with the AACR’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Cancer Researchmore...

Happy Birthday to Us

This spring marked the fifth anniversary of the Koch Institute's move into Building 76 and of bringing together scientists and engineers under one roof, with one mission. The season was filled with celebrations of this momentous occasion. Our Public Galleries welcomed a new set of images, beautifully illustrating the power of convergence. We created an anniversary video celebrating the KI’s accomplishments and looking toward the possibilities of the future. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we awarded a number of postdoctoral Quinquennial Cancer Research Fellowships. Continuing on our theme of ‘fives,’ our SOLUTIONS with/in/sight masterclasses this year have focused on each of our five research focus areas. A two-day Immune Engineering Symposium dove deeply into the promise of the marriage of immunotherapy and engineering, and 'Mission: Possible' (see below) gave us two more reasons to celebrate.  more...

TED Live and Learn

KI engineers Paula Hammond, a David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, and Sangeeta Bhatia, the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, made their Broadway debuts at TED Talks Live, in partnership with PBS. Hammond unveiled “a new superweapon in the fight against cancer” (watch now) while Bhatia explored how a “tiny particle could roam your body to find tumors” (watch now). Both presentations were offered as part of the two-day Science & Wonder series within the weeklong event and preceded Bhatia’s appearance at TEDMED, during which she spoke further about her vision for miniaturization of biomedical inventions (watch now). more...