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Michael Mitchell wins Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface

MIT postdoc is among 10 scientists honored for combining biology with the physical sciences and engineering toward medical breakthroughs.
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Michael Mitchell has been recognized with a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface for his research on developing a new class of materials and devices that detect and treat bone marrow disorders.
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Michael Mitchell has been recognized with a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface for his research on developing a new class of materials and devices that detect and treat bone marrow disorders.
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Photo: Karin Wang/Harvard University

Michael J. Mitchell, a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoc in the lab of Robert Langer at the Koch Institute for Cancer Research at MIT, has won a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (CASI).

“It’s an honor to be included among the outstanding young investigators from across the nation who won the CASI award,” says Mitchell. “I’m grateful for the incredible support from Bob Langer and the MIT Koch Institute for paving the way for scientists and engineers like myself who work across many disciplines to advance biology and medicine.”

He is among 10 researchers who will be provided with $500,000 over five years — as well as job placement, mentoring, and professional networking resources. The awards are meant to help foster the careers of promising academics and celebrate bleeding edge, cross-disciplinary science and engineering.

“Of all our research investment programs at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, this award comes closest towards bridging science fiction with reality — and we can’t wait to see all the ideas and breakthroughs these researchers will contribute to the biomedical world as their careers unfold,” says BWF President John E. Burris.

Mitchell, who received his PhD in biomedical engineering with Professor Michael King from Cornell University and his ME/BE from Stevens Institute of Technology, was recognized for his research on developing a new class of materials and devices that detect and treat bone marrow disorders.

Currently, Mitchell and Langer are working with clinician-scientists Kenneth Anderson and Ruben Carrasco at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute on novel therapeutics to treat multiple myeloma, an incurable hematologic cancer that colonizes in bone marrow.

“Mike has done a wonderful job at Cornell and at MIT, and I'm very hopeful that this prestigious grant will permit him to make important contributions to cancer research," says Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT and a member of the Koch Institute.

Past CASI awardees have investigated topics spanning robotic prosthetic limb programming, DNA computing, biomagnetic manipulation of stem cells, and the chemistry of human circadian rhythms.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other educational endeavors.

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