David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Koch Institute logo.png
Established October 9, 2007
Research Type Basic (non-clinical) research
Budget $24.5 million[1]
Field of Research Cancer research
Director Tyler Jacks
Robert G. Urban
Faculty 25[2]
Staff 500[2]
Undergraduate students 70[2]
Doctoral students 175[2]
Post-docs 120[2]
Address 77 Massachusetts Ave.
Building E17-110
Location Cambridge, Massachusetts
Telephone (617) 253-6403
Campus 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2)
Affiliations National Cancer Institute
Operating Agency Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Website web.mit.edu/ki

The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research (pronounced /ˈkoʊk/ "coke", also referred to as the Koch Institute, KI, or CCR/KI) is a cancer research center affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The Institute is one of eight National Cancer Institute-designated basic research centers in the United States.[3][4]

The Institute was launched in October 2007 with a $100 million grant from David H. Koch and will replace the MIT Center for Cancer Research (CCR) when the 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2) research facility opens in December 2010.[5][6] The Institute is affiliated with 25 MIT faculty members in both the Schools of Engineering and Science.[7]



In 1974, the Center for Cancer Research was founded by 1969 Nobel Laureate Salvador Luria to study basic biological processes related to cancer. The Center researches the genetic and molecular basis of cancer, how alterations in cellular processes affect cell growth and behavior, and how the immune system develops and recognizes antigens.[8] The CCR was both a physical research center as well as an organizing body for the larger MIT cancer research community of over 500 researchers.[9] Financial support for the CCR primarily came from Center Core grant from the National Canter Institute as well as research project grants from the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and foundation support. The CCR research groups were successful in identifying oncogenes, immunology of T lymphocytes, and roles of various cellular proteins. The CCR produced four Nobel Laureates: David Baltimore (1975), Susumu Tonegawa (1987), Phillip Sharp (1993), and H. Robert Horvitz (2002).[10]

In 2006, President Susan Hockfield announced plans for a new CCR center to support and expand cancer research performed by biologists and engineers.[9][10] A $20 million grant was made by the Ludwig Fund in November 2007 to support a Center for Molecular Oncology to be administered by the CCR.[11] In 2007, MIT announced it had received a $100 million gift from David H. Koch, the executive vice president of the oil conglomerate Koch Industries. Koch graduated from MIT with bachelors and masters degrees in chemical engineering and served on the university's board of directors since 1988. Koch survived a prostate cancer diagnosis in 1992,[12] previously donated $25 million over ten years to MIT to support cancer research,[13] and is the namesake of the university's biology building.[14] Half of the gift will go towards construction of the estimated $240–$280 million facility and half will pay for research, on the condition that MIT builds the center even if fund raising falls short.[6][12]


The Koch Institute emphasizes basic research into how cancer is caused, progresses, and responds to treatment. Unlike many other NCI Cancer Centers, it will not provide medical care or conduct clinical research but it has partnered with oncology centers such as the Massachusetts General Hospital's Cancer Center.[4] The Institute will combine the existing faculty of the CCR with an equivalent number of engineering faculty to promote new interdisciplinary approaches to diagnosing, monitoring, and treating cancer.[1]

The Koch Institute has identified five areas of research that it believes are critical for controlling cancer: Developing nanotechnology-based cancer therapeutics, creating novel devices for cancer detection and monitoring, exploring the molecular and cellular basis of metastasis, advancing personalized medicine through analysis of cancer pathways and drug resistance, engineering the immune system to fight cancer.[15]


The Koch Institute is home to faculty members from various departments, including Biology, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, and Biological Engineering; more than 40 laboratories and 500 researchers across the campus.[1] Koch Institute faculty teach classes at MIT, as well as train graduate and undergraduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows. The Koch Institute is affiliated with two current Nobel Laureates (Horvitz and Sharp), fifteen members of the National Academy of Sciences, one member of the National Academy of Engineering, six National Medal of Science laureates, and five Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, and one MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient.[4]

The following faculty members are formally affiliated with the Koch Institute:[2]

  • Angelika Amon
  • Angela M. Belcher
  • Sangeeta N. Bhatia
  • Paul Chang
  • Jianzhu Chen
  • Michael J. Cima
  • Herman N. Eisen
  • Frank B. Gertler
  • Paula T. Hammond
  • Michael Hemann
  • Nancy Hopkins
  • David E. Housman
  • Richard O. Hynes
  • Darrell J. Irvine
  • Tyler Jacks
  • Robert S. Langer
  • Jacqueline A. Lees
  • Scott Manalis
  • Ram Sasisekharan
  • Phillip A. Sharp
  • Frank Solomon
  • Forest M. White
  • K. Dane Wittrup
  • Michael B. Yaffe


The 180,000 square feet (17,000 m2) research facility is located on the corner of Main Street and Ames Street near Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The building is located opposite the Whitehead Institute and Broad Institute and near the biology and chemical engineering buildings on the north-eastern end of MIT's campus. MIT broke ground on Building 76 in March 2008,[7] a topping-off ceremony was held in February 2009,[16] and the building is expected to open in December 2010.[17] The building was dedicated on March 4, 2011.

The building was designed by Cambridge-based architecture firm Ellenzweig which designed several other buildings on the MIT campus.[18] Designed to encourage interaction and collaboration, the building will employ both dedicated lab space as well as common areas, and will feature a ground-floor gallery exhibiting art and technical displays related to biomedical research.[1] The building will include facilities for bioinformatics and computing, genomics, proteomics and flow cytometry, large-scale cell and animal facilities for genetic engineering and testing, advanced imaging equipment and nanomaterials characterization labs.[7]

Recent Activity

The KI remains funded by a NCI center grant as well as 110 fully funded projects. Research volume in 2007–2008 totaled $24.5 million.[1] Notable grants include Mouse Models of Cancer Consortium, Integrative Cancer Biology Program, and the Centers for Excellence in Nanotechnology and Cancer.[4]

In 2011, scientists at the Institute pinpointed a genetic change that makes lung cancer more likely to spread around the body. Lead author of the paper, Monte Winslow, of the David H Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, said understanding the role of the gene may help scientists develop new drugs. The research could ultimately lead to new medicines to fight secondary tumors.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Annual Reports to the President, 2007–2008: David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research". Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/annualreports/pres08/2008.06.10.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Faculty". The Koch Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/ki/faculty/. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^ "Cancer Centers Program - MIT Center for Cancer Research". National Cancer Institute. http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/cancer_centers/mitccr.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The Koch Institute - Frequently Asked Questions". The Koch Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/ki/about/faq.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  5. ^ Trafton, Anne (October 9, 2007). "David H. Koch gives $100 million to MIT for cancer research". MIT News Office. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/koch-institute-1009.html. 
  6. ^ a b Strout, Erin (October 10, 2007). "MIT Receives $100-Million Gift for Cancer-Research Center". The Chronicle of Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/article/MIT-Receives-100-Million-Gift/62. 
  7. ^ a b c Trafton, Anne (March 8, 2008). "MIT breaks ground for Koch institute". MIT News Office. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/cancer-groundbreak-0308.html. 
  8. ^ "Annual Reports to the President, 1994–1995: Center for Cancer Research". Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/annualreports/pres95/14.12.html. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  9. ^ a b "Annual Reports to the President, 2006–2007: Center for Cancer Research". Office of the President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/annualreports/pres07/07.07.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  10. ^ a b Thomson, Elizabeth (June 26, 2006). "Cancer Center highlights past, present research". MIT News Office. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/cancer-course.html. 
  11. ^ Richards, Patti (November 14, 2006). "MIT receives major grant from the Ludwig Fund to tackle metastasis". MIT News Office. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/ludwig.html. 
  12. ^ a b Dembner, Alice (October 10, 2007). "MIT gets $100m for cancer center". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/10/mit_gets_100m_for_cancer_center/. 
  13. ^ Halber, Deborah (February 10, 1999). "David Koch '62 donates $25m for cancer research". MIT News Office. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1999/koch-0210.html. 
  14. ^ "Lecture marks Koch Building naming cancer-research gift". MIT News Office. September 29, 1999. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1999/koch-0929.html. 
  15. ^ "Research". The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. http://ki.mit.edu/research. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Video of Topping-Off Ceremony "Highlights of Koch Institute Topping-Off Ceremony". MIT News Office. February 20, 2009. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/koch-topping-0220.html Video of Topping-Off Ceremony. 
  17. ^ "While you were out". MIT News Office. September 2, 2009. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/facilities-upgrades-0902.html. 
  18. ^ Brobbey, Valery (February 26, 2008). "Cancer Building Groundbreaking Scheduled". The Tech. http://tech.mit.edu/V128/N7/cancer.html. 
  19. ^ Briggs, Helen (April 7, 2011). "Gene clue to how cancer spreads". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12986522. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 

External links

Coordinates: 42°21′44″N 71°5′19″W / 42.36222°N 71.08861°W / 42.36222; -71.08861

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