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

Daniel G. Anderson, PhD

Daniel G. Anderson

Professor, Chemical Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science

Member, Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine

Associate Member, Broad Institute

Associate Member, Ragon Institute


KI Research Areas of Focus:
Nano-based Drugs
, Personalized Medicine, Cancer Immunology

"Our laboratory works at the interface of biology and engineering to develop new medical devices and human therapies. For example, we are working to create nanoparticles that can deliver genetic therapy inside of cells, or even perform genome editing in vivo. We are also developing living therapeutics, constructed from human cells and biomaterials, that can provide long-term therapy for chronic diseases such as diabetes. Finally, we are seeking to create smart biomaterials and responsive drug delivery systems that can integrate with the body and provide customized, on-demand treatment for patients."

Learn more about the work that Professor Anderson’s lab is doing to create tiny nanoparticles that can deliver RNA to a cancer cell to stop tumor growth by watching this video: "Inside the Lab: Daniel G. Anderson, Ph.D."

Daniel G. Anderson is a leading researcher in the field of nanotherapeutics and biomaterials. He is appointed in the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology at MIT. The research done in Prof. Anderson’s laboratory is focused on developing new materials for medicine. He has pioneered the development of smart biomaterials, and his work has led to advances in a range of areas, including medical devices, cell therapy, drug delivery, gene therapy and material science. Prof. Anderson received a B.A. in mathematics and biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of California at Davis. His work has resulted in the publication of over 400 papers, patents and patent applications. These advances have led products that have been commercialized or are in clinical development, as well as to the foundation of companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and consumer products space. Dr. Anderson is a founder of Living Proof, Olivo Labs, Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP), Sigilon Therapeutics, Verseau Therapeutics, VasoRx, and Orna. 

Further Information

Research Summary

We seek to combine biology and engineering to develop new human therapies.  One particularly important problem is the quest to deliver drugs, inside of specific cell targets, in vivo. There are many macromolecular drugs, such as DNA, RNA and some proteins, with great therapeutic potential that will only function when inside of a cell. We have developed synthetic nanoparticles that can act like artificial viruses, delivering genetic therapies in vivo to selectively turn genes off, turn them on, or even permanently edit the genome. We are also working to develop new biomaterials and approaches to tissue engineering. By developing smart biomaterials that can interact appropriately with the immune system, we have made living medical devices, that can secrete drugs on demand as needed by the body for chronic disease such as diabetes. Finally, we continue to focus our efforts towards developing next generation nanotherapeutics for cancer, by developing vaccines and methods to control immune cell function. These advances have led products that have been commercialized or are in clinical development, as well as to the foundation of companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and consumer products space.

Selected Publications

Bose S, Volpatti LR, Hiono D, Yesilyurt V, McGladrigan C, Tang Y, Facklam A, Wang A, Jhunjhunwala S, Veiseh O, Hollister-Lock J, Bhattacharya C, Weir GC, Greiner DL, Langer R, Anderson DG. A retrievable implant for the long-term encapsulation and survival of therapeutic xenogeneic cells Nature Biomedical Engineering. 2020; 4: 814-826.

Miao L, Li L, Huang Y, Delcassian D, Chahal J, Han J, Shi Y, Sadtler K, Gao W, Lin J, Doloff JC, Langer R, Anderson DG. Delivery of mRNA vaccines with heterocyclic lipids increases anti-tumor efficacy by STING-mediated immune cell activation. Nature Biotechnology. 2019; 37(10):1174-1185. doi: 10.1038/s41587-019-0247-3. PMID: 31570898.

Bochenek MA, Veiseh O, Vegas AJ, McGarrigle JJ, Qi M, Marchese E, Omami M, Doloff JC, Mendoza-Elias J, Nourmohammadzadeh M, Khan A, Yeh CC, Xing UY, Isa D, Ghani S, Li J, Landry C, Bader AR, Olejnik K, Chen M, Hollister-Lock J, Wang Y, Griener DL, Weir GC, Strand BL, Rokstad AMA, Lacik I, Langer R, Anderson DG, Oberholzer J. Alignate encapsulation as long-term immune protection of allogeneic pancreatic islet cells transplanted into the omental bursa of macaques.  Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2018; 2(11) 810-821.

Wesselhoeft RA, Kowalski PS, Anderson DG. Engineering circular RNA for potent and stable translation in eukaryotic cells. Nature Communications, 2018; 9(1):2629. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05096-6. PMCID: PMC6035260.

Yin H, Song CQ, Suresh S, Wu Q, Walsh S, Rhym LH, Mintzer E, Bolukbasi MF, Zhu LJ, Kauffman K, Mou H, Oberholzer A, Ding J, Kwan SY, Bogorad RL, Zatsepin T, Koteliansky V, Wolfe SA, Xue W, Langer R, Anderson DG. Structure-guided chemical modification of guide RNA enables potent non-viral in vivo genome editing. Nature Biotechnology, 2017; 35(12):1179-1187. doi: 10.1038/nbt.4005. PMID: 29131148.

Doloff JC, Veiseh O, Vegas AJ, Tam HH, Farah, S, Ma, M, Li, J, Bader, A, Chiu, A, Sadraei, A, Aresta-Dasilva, S, Griffin, M, Jhunjhunwala, S, Webber, M, Siebert, S, Tang, K, Chen, M, Langan, E, Dholokia, N, Thakrar, R, Qi, M, Oberholzer, J, Greiner, DL, Langer, R, Anderson, DG. Colony stimulating factor-1 receptor is a central component of the foreign body response to biomaterial implants in rodents and non-human primates. Nature Materials 2017; 16(6):671-680. doi: 10.1038/nmat4866. PMCID: PMC5445003.

Sager HB, Dutta P, Dahlman JE, Hulsmans M, Courties G, Sun Y, Heidt T, Vinegoni C, Borodovsky A, Fitzgerald K, Wojtkiewicz GR, Iwamoto Y, Tricot B, Khan OF, Kauffman KJ, Xing Y, Shaw TE, Libby P, Langer R, Weissleder R, Swirski FK, Anderson DG, Nahrendorf M. RNAi targeting multiple cell adhesion molecules reduces immune cell recruitment and vascular inflammation after myocardial infarction. Science Translational Medicine. 2016; 8(342):342ra80. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf1435. PMCID: PMC5125383.

Vegas AJ, Veiseh O, Gürtler M, Millman JR, Pagliuca FW, Bader AR, Doloff JC, Li J, Chen M, Olejnik K, Tam HH, Jhunjhunwala S, Langan E, Aresta-Dasilva S, Gandham S, McGarrigle JJ, Bochenek MA, Hollister-Lock J, Oberholzer J, Greiner DL, Weir GC, Melton DA, Langer R, Anderson DG. Long-term glycemic control using polymer-encapsulated human stem cell-derived beta cells in immune-competent mice. Nature Medicine. 2016; 22(3):306-11. doi: 10.1038/nm.4030. PMCID: PMC4825868.

Yin H, Song CQ, Dorkin JR, Zhu LJ, Li Y, Wu Q, Park A, Yang J, Suresh S, Bizhanova A, Gupta A, Bolukbasi MF, Walsh S, Bogorad RL, Gao G, Weng Z, Dong Y, Koteliansky V, Wolfe SA, Langer R, Xue W, Anderson DG. Therapeutic genome editing by combined viral and non-viral delivery of CRISPR system components in vivo. Nature Biotechnology. 2016; 34(3):328-333. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3471. PMID: 26829318.

Vegas AJ, Veiseh O, Doloff JC, Ma M, Tam HH, Bratlie K, Li J, Bader AR, Langan E, Olejnik K, Fenton P, Kang JW, Hollister-Locke J, Bochenek MA, Chiu A, Siebert S, Tang K, Jhunjhunwala S, Aresta-Dasilva S, Dholakia N, Thakrar R, Vietti T, Chen M, Cohen J, Siniakowicz K, Qi M, McGarrigle J, Lyle S, Harlan DM, Greiner DL, Oberholzer J, Weir GC, Langer R, Anderson DG. Combinatorial hydrogel library enables identification of materials that mitigate the foreign body response in primates. Nature Biotechnology. 2016; 34(3):345-352. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3462. PMCID: PMC4904301.

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Contact Information

Daniel G. Anderson

room 76-653
phone (617) 258-6843

Anderson Lab

phone (617) 324-3634
fax (617) 258-8827

Administrative Assistant:

Tara Fawaz
phone (617) 324-5258