New health institute at MIT to host inaugural symposium

Engineers, scientists and hospital clinicians to discuss the future of research in diagnostics, infectious disease and global health, and neurological disorders at MIT

September 24, 2013

Press Contact

Kimberly Allen
Phone: 617-253-2702
MIT News Office

Sarah McDonnell
Phone: 617-253-8923
MIT News Office

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. —  Health and science journalists are invited to “Converge, Create, Cure,” the inaugural symposium of MIT’s new Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the MIT Bartos Theater. The event will feature over a dozen experts discussing the future of health research at MIT. The gathering will help define how MIT, in partnership with hospitals and industry, can meet challenges in diagnostics, infectious disease and global health, and neurological disorders by bringing together approaches from diverse disciplines, a model that MIT faculty have effectively applied to cancer research at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and to HIV at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.

The program will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude with a preview of the new IMES laboratories at 5:30 p.m. Speakers will include MIT President L. Rafael Reif and MIT Professor Arup Chakraborty, Director of IMES, with the following keynote addresses:

  • Trevor Mundel, President, Global Health Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    “Priority Setting in Global Health: Delivery-Focused Innovation and the Importance of Measurement”
  • David N. Louis, Pathologist-in-Chief, Massachusetts General Hospital; Benjamin Castleman Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
    “The Skeleton of Computational Diagnostics”
  • Paul Hermes, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Global Research Surgical Solutions, Covidien
    “The Future of Surgical Tools”
  • Gregory A. Petsko, Mahon Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience; Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College
    “The Coming Epidemic of Neurodegenerative Diseases and What We Are Trying to Do About It”
  • Francis Jensen, Chair, Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
    “The Transformation of Neurology by Neuroscience: Moving Towards Integration and Intervention”
  • Bruce Walker, Director, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
    “Toward an HIV Vaccine: Learning from Patients”
  • Tyler Jacks, David H. Koch Professor of Biology; Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
    “Cancer, Convergence, and the Koch Institute Experience at MIT”

The full program is available at


8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
MIT Bartos Theater on the ground floor of the Wiesner Building
20 Ames Street, Cambridge MA 02139

Media RSVP:

Contact Kimberly Allen ( or Sarah McDonnell ( to RSVP or request the webcast link.

Additional Background

According to IMES Director Arup Chakraborty, this new collaboration will focus on five grand challenges:

  1. Make diagnosis cost-effective and accurate, and guide individual clinical decisions based on real-time monitoring and massive patient data sets.
  2. Enable systematic design of vaccines and therapies for existing and emerging infectious diseases.
  3. Enhance human cognitive function by developing accurate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.
  4. Enable remote monitoring of chronic and post-acute-care patients with mobile and/or at-home devices that can communicate with caregivers.
  5. Develop accurate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cardiovascular diseases.

More information is available online at

MIT News also ran a series of “Engineering Health” articles this year, prompted by the launch of IMES, to examine research with the potential to reshape medicine and health care through new scientific knowledge, novel treatments and products, better management of medical data, and improvements in health-care delivery. Those articles are online at: