No 26
New Promise in Treating Aggressive Breast Cancer

KI member Michael Yaffe and his laboratory team report finding, in the May 11 issue of Cell, that staggering the doses of two common cancer drugs dramatically boosts their ability to kill a particularly malignant type of breast cancer cells. Yaffe has been studying the complex cell signaling pathways of cancer cells and the ability of dysfunctional pathways to promote uncontrolled cell growth. He is now working with researchers at Dana Farber Cancer Institute to plan clinical trials of the novel approach. read more

Bio Flash Mob at the KI

On April 26, more than 200 MIT researchers, Boston-area students and local community members came together to bring science to life in the Bio Flash Mob.  The event was inspired by the concept of creating: a dynamic, living animation in which each participant represents a component of a nanoparticle-based system for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells.  The KI organized the event as part of the 2012 Cambridge Science Festival.  watch the video

Targeted Nanoparticles Deliver Antibiotics

KI researchers, together with physicians from Brigham and Women's Hospital, have engineered a nanoparticle that evades the immune system to fight bacteria.  They created the new nanoparticles from a polymer, originally developed under a CCNE grant for use in cancer treatment, capped with polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is commonly used for drug delivery because it is nontoxic and can help nanoparticles travel through the bloodstream by avoiding detection by the immune system. The well-designed vehicles deliver powerful doses of existing antibiotics and may have great potential for treating infectious diseases. This research recently appeared the journal ACS Nanoread more

KI Member Elected to National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences announced on May 1 that Richard Young, a member of the Koch and Whitehead Institutes, is among 84 new Academy members elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Young was recognized for his work mapping the circuitry that controls the differentiation, development, and function of multiple cell types, including embryonic stem cells.There are now 16 Koch Institute faculty members elected to the NAS. One of the highest honors accorded U.S. scientists and engineers, the elections were announced during the 149th annual meeting of the Academy.  read more

Two KI Members Elected to AAAS

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently announced the election of 220 new members, among them the KI's Angela Belcher and director Tyler Jacks. The new class of fellows continue a 230-plus year history recognizing some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education. read more

Cancer Drug Therapy Direct to Tumor

KI researchers have devised new nanoparticles that, triggered by UV light, can synthesize proteins to fight cancer cells once they reach the tumor site. The proteins battle the cancer cells while avoiding healthy cells, reducing side effects of treatment. This work appears in the journal NanoLetters. read more

Targeted Drug Delivery Encouraging in Clinic Trials

KI researchers, along with scientists from BIND Biosciences and Brigham and Women's Hospital, have shrunk cancer tumors using targeted drug delivery nanoparticles that specifically attack cancer cells while avoiding the immune system. In this first human test, side effects were minimal and results achieved even in patients receiving substantially lower dosage than in typical chemotherapy treatment. The study appears in the April 4 edition of Science Translational Medicineread more

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