Koch Institute to hold 16th annual symposium: Convergence of Science and Engineering in Cancer

How will convergence impact the future of cancer research? Answering that question is the driving force behind the Koch Institute for Integrative Research at MIT’s 16th Annual Summer Symposium, “Convergence of Science and Engineering in Cancer,” which will take place on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Kresge Auditorium on the MIT Campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Convergence–the merging of historically distinct disciplines such as engineering, physics, computer science, chemistry, mathematics, and the life sciences–has created extraordinary opportunities in biomedicine. Symposium co-chairs Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at MIT and Nobel Laureate (1993), and Susan Hockfield, Ph.D., MIT President Emerita, along with Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., Director of the Koch Institute and a David H. Koch Professor of Biology at MIT, co-chaired a 2016 report entitled, “Convergence: The Future of Health,” which cited a host of successful interdisciplinary collaborations, and provided strategies to inform the future of medicine and promote innovation in biomedical research.

“Convergence is the cornerstone of the future of biomedical research,” Sharp explained. “It is vital to solving the world’s greatest health challenges, including cancer. This exciting symposium highlights many of the leaders in convergence-type science, and will encourage and educate the academic and biotech communities with outstanding cancer research. ”

Reflecting the multifaceted nature of convergence, this year’s symposium features leaders from various fields who will come together to discuss interdisciplinary new approaches and technologies to better understand, detect, monitor, treat, and prevent cancer:

  • James Collins, Ph.D. Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science and Professor of Biological Engineering, MIT; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
  • Gad A. Getz, Ph.D. Director, Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Associate Professor of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School
  • Paula T. Hammond, Ph.D. David H. Koch Professor in Engineering, Koch Institute, MIT; Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
  • Eric Lander, Ph.D. President and Founding Director, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Professor of Biology, MIT; Koch Institute, MIT
  • Robert S. Langer, Sc.D. David H. Koch Institute Professor, Koch Institute, MIT
  • Daniel Larson, Ph.D. NIH Stadtman Investigator, Center for Cancer Research; Head, Systems Biology of Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute
  • Franziska Michor, Ph.D. Professor of Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Chad A. Mirkin, Ph.D. Director, International Institute for Nanotechnology; George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University
  • Aviv Regev, Ph.D. Director, Klarman Cell Observatory and Cell Circuits Program, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Professor, Department of Biology, MIT; Koch Institute, MIT
  • Xiaowei Zhuang, Ph.D. David B. Arnold Professor of Science, Harvard University

The symposium will also feature a panel, moderated by Hockfield, focused on the impact of convergence on the future of medical care. “This year’s symposium features top biomedical experts and industry executives who promote and embody convergence in both their leadership and research,” Hockfield said. “We have a unique opportunity to bring these brilliant minds together to explore how convergence will accelerate our progress to design and deliver better cancer outcomes.” Panelists include:

  • Cori Bargmann, Ph.D. President of Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, The Rockefeller University
  • Marc N. Casper, M.B.A. President and CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Victor Dzau, M.D. President, National Academy of Medicine
  • Tyler Jacks, Ph.D. Director, Koch Institute, MIT; David H. Koch Professor of Biology, MIT
  • Nancy Simonian, M.D. CEO, Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Elias Zerhouni, M.D. President for Global Research and Development, Sanofi; Former Director, National Institutes of Health

Registration and more information about the Koch Institute’s 16th Annual Cancer Research Symposium is available at https://ki.mit.edu/news/symposium/2017. Registration is open to all, and ends on June 11, 2017.

Complimentary press passes are available for members of the media. Please contact Kelsey Montgomery, Koch Institute Communications Coordinator, at [email protected] or (617) 324-7795 for further information.


About the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, a National Cancer Institute-designated Basic Cancer Research Center, is the hub of cancer research on the MIT campus. Bringing together biologists, chemists, engineers, computer scientists, clinicians, and others in a state-of-the-art facility, the Koch Institute offers fresh perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to advancing the fight against cancer. Working within the vibrant MIT research community and with external collaborators, including NCI-designated clinical cancer centers and biotech/pharma partners, the Koch Institute is dedicated to developing novel insights into cancer, as well as new tools and technologies to better detect, treat, and prevent the disease.

For more information about MIT’s Koch Institute, please visit https://ki.mit.edu/

Media Contact

Kelsey Montgomery
[email protected]



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