News & Events


3 Questions: Ibrahim Cissé on using physics to decipher biology

July 22, 2020


A biophysicist employs super-resolution microscopy to peer inside living cells and witness never-before-seen phenomena

How do cells use physics to carry out biological processes? Biophysicist Ibrahim Cissé explores this fundamental question in his interdisciplinary laboratory, leveraging super-resolution microscopy to probe the properties of...


Engineers use "DNA origami" to identify design rules

June 29, 2020

In lab tests, virus-like DNA structures coated with viral proteins provoke a strong immune response in human B cells.


By folding DNA into a virus-like structure, MIT researchers have designed HIV-like particles that provoke a strong immune response from human immune cells grown in a lab dish. Such particles might eventually be used as an HIV vaccine.

The DNA particles, which closely mimic the size and shape of viruses, are coated with HIV...


Inside the new world of online dissertation defenses

May 22, 2020

Emojis, grandmas logging in, and kudos from strangers: How MIT students have finished their PhDs during the pandemic.


Call it another MIT innovation. When PhD student Jesse Tordoff passed her dissertation defense this month, she learned about the outcome in a new way: Her professors sent a thumbs-up emoji on the Zoom screen they were all sharing.

Welcome to the new world of the...


Hacking life inside and outside the laboratory

January 21, 2020

Managing her own synthetic biology project helped graduate student Jesse Tordoff overcome imposter syndrome and hit her stride.

Jesse Tordoff makes cells form unusual patterns. “I have the coolest research project ever, which has the big, broad goal of controlling the shapes that cells grow into.” Her signature shape?...