Matthew Vander Heiden seeks new cancer treatments that exploit tumor cells' abnormal metabolism
Illustration Credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT
Image Credit: Manalis, Lauffenburger, and Shalek labs
Research in Cancer Systems Biology at MIT emphasizes mechanistic understanding of oncogenesis and cancer progression through integration of large-scale –omic data, and single cell analysis
Shortfall of digestive enzymes can lead to tissue breakdown in early stages of pancreatic cancer.
Study in worms reveals gene loss can lead to accumulation of waste products in cells.
Synthetic Biologist hopes to develop treatments for cancer and other diseases.
In high school and college, Timothy Lu spent a lot of time programming computers. But as his college graduation approached, he turned his attention toward programming biological systems. The field of synthetic biology was just beginning to emerge, and he wanted to be part of it.
Drug that targets a key cancer protein could combat leukemia and other types of cancer.
MIT biologists have designed a new peptide that can disrupt a key protein that many types of cancers, including some forms of lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer, need to survive.
The new peptide targets a protein called Mcl-1, which helps cancer cells avoid the cellular suicide that is usually induced by DNA damage. By blocking Mcl-1, the peptide can force cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death.
Technique may predict which therapies a patient is most sensitive or resistant to.
Doctors have many drugs available to treat multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. However, there is no way to predict, by genetic markers or other means, how a patient will respond to a particular drug. This can lead to months of treatment with a drug that isn’t working.
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body’s immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.
The circuit, which will only activate a therapeutic response when it detects two specific cancer markers, is described in a paper published today in the journal Cell.