Scott Manalis, PhD

Scott Manalis

David H. Koch (1962) Professor of Engineering

Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering

Associate Department Head, Biological Engineering

Member, MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine

Member, Ludwig Center at MIT

Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Contact Information

scott manalis


(617) 253-5039

manalis Lab

(617) 253-3203

(617) 253-5102


Administrative support

Mariann Murray

(617) 253-0632

Research Areas

Detection & monitoring, Metastasis, Precision medicine

Professor Manalis develops novel instrumentation for cancer research.

Research Summary

Tumors are made up of single cells. In aggregate, we know a great deal about the genetic and cellular defects that cause cancer, but comparatively little about the progress of individual cells. Our laboratory develops quantitative and real-time techniques for single cell analysis, using conventional approaches to fabricate novel fluidic devices, and exploit the unique physical properties associated with micro- and nanoscale dimensions for developing precision measurement methods.

In cancer, we are interested in creating functional assays for precision medicine. We are developing new technology platforms for predicting therapeutic response in which biophysical properties of individual tumor cells are measured in response to ex vivo treatment in a broad range of tumor types, including leukemias, glioblastoma, colon and pancreatic cancers.

We are also interested in real-time monitoring of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in genetically engineered mouse models. We seek to understand how metastatic progression correlates with, and could be explained by, the circulatory dynamics and physical properties of CTCs. Our approach will make possible a series of experiments that can answer fundamental questions about the relationship between CTC characteristics and metastasis and potentiate hypothesis-driven tumor biology studies and large-scale preclinical exploration of therapeutic strategies that are not feasible in patients.


Scott Manalis is the David H. Koch (1962) Professor of Engineering and faculty member in the departments of biological and mechanical engineering at MIT. He currently serves as Associate Department Head in the Department of Biological Engineering. He received a BS in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a PhD in applied physics from Stanford University. Dr. Manalis is a founder of two companies (Travera and Affinity Biosensors) that utilize the suspended microchannel resonator for weighing single cells.

See list of publications

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