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

Michael J. Cima, PhD

David H. Koch (1962) Professor of Engineering



KI Research Areas of Focus:
Nano-based Drugs, Detection + Monitoring,
Personalized Medicine

"We develop materials and engineered systems aimed at improving human health. Specifically, we are focused on diagnostics and treatments for cancer, metabolic diseases, trauma, and urological disorders. Our laboratory has expertise in advanced forming technologies for complex macro and micro devices, such as colloid science, MEMS and other micro components, as well as high-throughput development methods for formulations of materials and pharmaceutical formulations.  We are currently developing implantable MEMS devices for unprecedented control in the delivery of pharmaceuticals and implantable diagnostic systems."

Learn more about the Cima lab's work to create tiny nanosensors that are chemically sensitive to different molecules—and how they hope these sensors can be used to help determine proper dosage for chemotherapy—by watching the video: "Inside the Lab: Michael J. Cima, Ph.D.".

The Cima lab's work is profiled as part of the current interactive exhibits in the Koch Institute Public Galleries.  Watch a web version of the story here.

Dr. Michael J. Cima is a David H. Koch (1962) Professor of Engineering and a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has an appointment at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He earned a BS in chemistry in 1982 (phi beta kappa) and a PhD in chemical engineering in 1986, both from the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Cima joined the MIT faculty in 1986 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to full Professor in 1995. He was elected a Fellow of the American Ceramics Society in 1997. He was the recipient of the W. David Kingery Award in 2019. Prof. Cima was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2016 and the National Academy of Engineering in 2011. He now holds the David H. Koch Chair of Engineering at MIT.  He was appointed faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program in 2009 which is a program to inspire youth to be inventive and has a nationwide reach. In 2018, Cima was named a co-director of MIT's Innovation Initiative and the Associate Dean of Innovation for the School of Engineering.

Prof. Cima is author or co-author of over two hundred and fifty peer reviewed scientific publications, fifty eight US patents, and is a recognized expert in the field of materials processing. Prof. Cima is actively involved in materials and engineered systems for improvement in human health such as treatments for cancer, metabolic diseases, trauma, and urological disorders. Prof. Cima's research concerns advanced forming technology such as for complex macro and micro devices, colloid science, MEMS, and other micro components for medical devices that are used for drug delivery and diagnostics, high-throughput development methods for formulations of materials, and pharmaceutical formulations. He is a coinventor of MIT’s three dimensional printing process. His research has led to the development of chemically derived epitaxial oxide films for HTSC coated conductors. He and collaborators are developing implantable MEMS devices for unprecedented control in the delivery of pharmaceuticals and implantable diagnostic systems. Finally, through his consulting work he has been a major contributor to the development of high throughput systems for discovery of novel crystal forms and formulations of pharmaceuticals. 

Prof. Cima also has extensive entrepreneurial experience. He is co-founder of MicroChips Inc., a developer of microelectronic based drug delivery and diagnostic systems. Prof. Cima took two sabbaticals to act as senior consultant and management team member at Transform Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company that he helped start and that was ultimately acquired by Johnson and Johnson Corporation. He is a co-founder and director at T2 Biosystems, a medical diagnostics company.  Most recently, Prof. Cima co-founded SpringLeaf Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company, and Taris Biomedical, a urology products company.

Further Information

Selected Publications

Lee CS, Cheah JH, Soule CK, Din H, Whittaker CA, Karhohs K, Burds AA, Subramanyam KS, Carpenter AE, Eisner BH, Cima MJ Identification and local delivery of vasodilators for the reduction of ureteral contractions Nature Biomedical Engineering 2020 Jan 4, doi: 10.1038 s41551-019-0482-4 ISSN: 2157-846X Epub 2019 Dec. 02. PMID: 31792422

Cotler MJ, Rousseau EB, Ramadi KB, Fang J, Graybiel AM, Langer R, Cima MJ. Steerable Microinvasive Probes for Localized Drug Delivery to Deep Tissue. Small. 2019 Jun 11:e1901459. doi: 10.1002/smll.201901459.

Jonas O, Kang JW, Singh SP, Lammers A, Nguyen FT, Dasari RR, So PTC, Langer R, Cima MJ. In vivo detection of drug-induced apoptosis in tumors using Raman spectroscopy. Analyst. 2018 Oct 8;143(20):4836-4839. doi: 10.1039/c8an00913a.

Tanenbaum LM, Mantzavinou A, Subramanyam KS, Del Carmen MG, Cima MJ. Gynecol Oncol. Ovarian cancer spheroid shrinkage following continuous exposure to cisplatin is a function of spheroid diameter. 2017 Jul; 146(1):161-169. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.04.014. Epub 2017 May 10. PMID: 28499648

Davidson SM, Jonas O, Keibler MA, Hou HW, Luengo A, Mayers JR, Wyckoff J, Del Rosario AM, Whitman M, Chin CR, Condon KJ, Lammers A, Kellersberger KA, Stall BK, Stephanopoulos G, Bar-Sagi D, Han J, Rabinowitz JD, Cima MJ, Langer R, Vander Heiden MG. Direct evidence for cancer-cell-autonomous extracellular protein catabolism in pancreatic tumors. Nat Med. 2017 Feb;23(2):235-241. doi: 10.1038/nm.4256.

Hong AL, Tseng YY, Cowley GS, Jonas O, Cheah JH, Kynnap BD, Doshi MB, Oh C, Meyer SC, Church AJ, Gill S, Bielski CM, Keskula P, Imamovic A, Howell S, Kryukov GV, Clemons PA, Tsherniak A, Vazquez F, Crompton BD, Shamji AF, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Janeway KA, Roberts CW, Stegmaier K, van Hummelen P, Cima MJ, Langer RS, Garraway LA, Schreiber SL, Root DE, Hahn WC, Boehm JS. Integrated genetic and pharmacologic interrogation of rare cancers. Nat Commun. 2016 Jun 22; 7:11987.

Oudin MJ, Jonas O, Kosciuk T, Broye LC, Guido BC, Wyckoff J, Riquelme D, Lamar JM, Asokan SB, Whittaker C, Ma D, Langer R, Cima MJ, Wisinski KB, Hynes RO, Lauffenburger DA, Keely PJ, Bear JE, Gertler FB. Tumor Cell-Driven Extracellular Matrix Remodeling Drives Haptotaxis during Metastatic Progression. Cancer Discov. 2016 May; 6(5):516-31. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Jonas O, Oudin MJ, Kosciuk T, Whitman M, Gertler FB, Cima MJ, Flaherty KT, Langer R. Parallel in-vivo assessment of drug phenotypes at various time points during systemic BRAF inhibition reveals tumor adaptation and altered treatment vulnerabilities. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Apr 18. pii: clincanres.2722.2015. [Epub ahead of print]

Ye H, Tanenbaum LM, Na YJ, Mantzavinou A, Fulci G, del Carmen MG, Birrer MJ, Cima MJ. Sustained, low-dose intraperitoneal cisplatin improves treatment outcome in ovarian cancer mouse models. J Control Release. 2015 Dec 28; 220(Pt A):358-67. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Schwerdt HN, Shimazu H, Amemori K, Hong S, Sy JC, Spencer KC, Tierney PL, Yang Y, Yerramreddy H, Dagdeviren C, Ramadi K, Langer RS, Cima MJ, Graybiel AM. Fast-scan cyclic voltammetric measurements of stimulation-induced dopamine release with chronically implanted carbon fibers in awake non-human primate, In Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting, 266.03/BB33, Chicago, IL, Oct. 2015.

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Contact Information

Michael J. Cima

room 76-653
phone (617) 253-6877

Cima Lab


Administrative Assistant:

Wendy Brown
phone (617) 253-2185