• MIT Professor Ram Sasisekharan

    MIT Professor Ram Sasisekharan

    Photo: Bryce Vickmark

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Ram Sasisekharan wins Agilent Thought Leader Award

MIT Professor Ram Sasisekharan

Honor recognizes bioengineer’s advance of analytical techniques for characterization of biopharmaceuticals.


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Michael Rutter
Email: mprutter@mit.edu
Phone: 617-253-4793

MIT Professor Ram Sasisekharan has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award in recognition of his contributions in the field of biologics characterization.

Sasisekharan, the Alfred H. Caspary Professor of Biological Engineering and Health Sciences and Technology in the Department of Biological Engineering and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, employs multidisciplinary strategies to develop and integrate technologies to further study complex polysaccharides important to a host of disease processes. A primary goal of his lab is to develop novel therapeutic approaches to alleviate suffering from disease and promote overall human health.

Comprised of financial support, Agilent products, and expertise, the Agilent Thought Leader Award will help Sasisekharan’s lab further refine an approach that aims to shorten the development time between biopharmaceutical product design and clinical use. This approach represents a new paradigm, characterizing and optimizing both the product and the process in a highly rich, parallel, and multilayered fashion.

“I am gratified by this honor,” Sasisekharan says. “Having secure, reliable funding is ever more important, and we are pleased that Agilent has stepped up to support our ongoing work in the area of biopharmaceutical characterization and development."

Specifically, Sasisekharan and his team will focus on the advancement of analytical techniques for monoclonal antibody (mAb) characterization to explore the utilization of critical quality attribute measurements, earlier in the clone selection and drug development process, as a strategy to bring biologics to market faster. The efficient development of mAbs, against novel cancer targets and emerging pathogens (such as pandemic influenza, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and multi-drug resistant bacteria) is becoming ever more critical, as the typical timeframe to develop these biopharmaceuticals from discovery to human clinical trials can be up to several years.

“We are very excited to be working with Dr. Sasisekharan and the entire team at MIT on these innovative methods and approaches. Fundamentally improving the biopharmaceutical development process and timelines will ultimately result in more effective therapies being available sooner,” says Todd Christian, general manager of Agilent’s Cell Analysis Division, and executive sponsor of this award.

The Agilent Thought Leader Award promotes fundamental scientific advances by contributing financial support, products, and expertise to the research of influential thought leaders in the life sciences, diagnostics, and applied chemical markets. Information about previous award recipients is available on the Agilent Thought Leader Award web page.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Funding, Grants, Faculty, Biological engineering, Drug development, Medicine, Health sciences and technology, Industry, Disease, School of Engineering

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