Forest M. White, PhD

Forest White

Ned C. and Janet Bemis Rice Professor of Biological Engineering

Member, MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine

Contact Information

Forest M. White


(617) 258-8949

White Lab

(617) 324-0403

(617) 258-0225


Administrative support

Isadora Deese

(617) 324-3938

Research Areas

Metastasis, Precision medicine, Immunology & immunotherapy

Professor White uses systems biology and computational modeling to characterize signaling networks and the tumor-immune interface to identify therapeutic targets.

Research Summary

The focus of research in our laboratory is the identification of therapeutic targets as well as therapeutic resistance mechanisms for cancer and other diseases. In this effort we use systems biology, combined with computational modeling, to define activated signal transduction networks driving the pathological state. In particular, the lab is using mass spectrometry to perform high-resolution, quantitative characterization of the signaling networks underlying development, progression and therapeutic resistance of breast, brain, and lung cancers, as well as several other disease states. By focusing on proteins and protein post-translational modifications, our approach complements other systems-level analyses focused at the genomic or transcript expression level. Another aspect of our research is focused on the tumor-immune interface to identify therapeutic targets and strategies to improve tumor immunotherapy. In this effort the lab uses mass spectrometry to quantify peptides presented by tumor cells to the immune system, with the goal of identifying targeted immunotherapies or tumor vaccines to complement chemotherapy or targeted small molecule inhibitors. We are also studying signaling networks in the tumor microenvironment to better understand the immunosuppressive nature of some tumors.  The ultimate goal is to define more efficacious therapeutic strategies, potentially using combinations of cancer therapies with targeted immunotherapies.


Forest White is a Professor in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT, a member of the Koch Institute, and a member of the MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Framingham State College in 1993, and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from Florida State University in 1997. Following postdoctoral research in bioanalytical chemistry in the laboratory of Donald Hunt at the University of Virginia, he joined MDS Proteomics, Inc. as a research scientist working his way up to group leader. White joined MIT in 2003 as an Assistant Professor and was awarded the Mitsui Career Development Professorship (2005-2008). In 2010, he received the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Excellence in Teaching.

See list of publications

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