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The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe highlights Robert Buderi’s new book, “Where Futures Converge: Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub.” Buderi features the Future Founders Initiative, an effort by Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins aimed at increasing female entrepreneurship. 

Stat

STAT has named Noubar Afeyan ’87, Cornelia Bargmann PhD ’87, Prof. Regina Barzilay and Prof. Sangeeta N. Bhatia to their list of trailblazing researchers working in the life sciences. “Many of the STATUS List are well-known as change makers; others are largely unheralded heroes. But all have compelling stories to tell,” writes STAT.

Forbes

David Lucchino ’06 and Prof. Robert Langer have co-founded Frequency Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing a new approach to restoring hearing from the most common form of hearing loss, reports Jack Kelly for Forbes. “FX-322 is designed to treat the underlying cause of SNHL (sensorineural hearing loss) by regenerating sensory hair cells through activation of progenitor cells already present in the cochlea,” writes Kelly.

Newsweek

Researchers from MIT and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology have found a vaccine ingredient that may strengthen immune response, reports Natalie Colarossi for Newsweek. This combination-style vaccine ingredient “may boost the effectiveness of inoculations ranging from HIV to Covid-19,” writes Colarossi.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Jack Kelly profiles Institute Prof. Robert Langer, spotlighting his career journey and his passion for helping others. “I traded job security and high pay for doing things I was passionate about,” Langer explains. “Out of over 20 job offers I received upon graduation from college, I chose the lowest paying one by far because I thought by doing so, I could potentially improve the health of patients. I dreamed about doing things that I thought would make the world a better place.”

NIH

Writing for the NIH Director’s Blog, Dr. Francis Collins highlights how Prof. Tyler Jacks and research scientist Megan Burger’s work exploring T cell exhaustion led to the creation of a “strategy for developing cancer vaccines that can ‘awaken’ T cells and reinvigorate the body’s natural cancer-fighting abilities.” Collins writes that “the researchers hope to learn if this approach to cancer vaccines might work even better when used in combination with immunotherapy drugs, which unleash the immune system against cancer in other ways.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Steve Annear spotlights research specialist Kathy Cormier’s dedication to tending a flower planter at the Collier Memorial. “Here’s something that’s empty that I can fill, and make myself feel better and make other people — hopefully — feel better,” says Cormier. MIT Chief of Police John DiFava says, “what she is doing is just so amazing. I just think it’s wonderful and it’s so illustrative of the way we have been treated here.”

Bloomberg Businessweek

Orna Therapeutics, which was co-founded by MIT researchers, is working on “programming RNA with genetic code that instructs a line to split into several strands and then repair itself in the shape of a circle,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Angelica LaVito. “Delivering those messages via circles may produce a more stable, longer-lasting signal, potentially treating cancer, autoimmune disorders, and genetic diseases.”

Inside Higher Ed

Institute Professor Paula Hammond, head of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, has been selected to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, “a group of external advisers tasked with making science, technology and innovation policy recommendations to the White House and the president,” reports Alexis Gravely for Inside Higher Ed. Professors Maria Zuber, MIT vice president for research, and Eric Lander, the president’s science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, are two of the co-chairs for the council.

The Wall Street Journal

In an article for The Wall Street Journal about efforts to help repair or prevent cartilage damage before osteoarthritis sets in, Laura Landro spotlights how MIT researchers are developing “ways to get drugs into the cartilage tissue and keep them there. They are using microscopic particles called nanocarriers to deliver IGF-1, an insulin like growth factor, to the tight mesh that holds cartilage in joints.”

Boston Herald

Boston Herald reporter Rick Sobey writes that a new drug combination has shown potential in treating pancreatic cancer. “The trio drug combination is a CD40 agonist antibody, a PD-1 inhibitor and a TIGIT inhibitor. The researchers found that this combination led to pancreatic tumors shrinking in about 50% of the animals that were given this treatment,” writes Sobey.

Science

In an editorial for Science, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins and President Emerita Susan Hockfield underscore the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in tech transfer. “The discoveries women and minority researchers are making today have great potential as a force for good in the world,” they write, “but reaching that potential is only possible if paths to real-world applications are open to everybody.”

Stat

Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins speaks with Rebecca Sohn of STAT about the Boston Biotech Working Group’s goal of increasing the number of women leaders and entrepreneurs in biotech and her hopes for the future of women in biotech and the sciences. “You want people to feel that they are free to participate in all the things wherever it leads them,” says Hopkins. “So I think the goal is just that people who really want to do this [pursue biotech] don’t face any greater barrier than anybody else. That everybody has equal access and education to do as they want to.”

Boston Globe

A group of MIT scientists has announced a new plan, called the Future Founders Initiative, aimed at addressing gender inequities in the biotech industry, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “If we can’t advance discoveries at the same rate for women and men, that means there are drugs, therapies, devices, and diagnostics that are not getting to where they can actually benefit people,” says President Emerita Susan Hockfield. “If as a region we want to continue to lead the world, the best thing to do is not squander our resources.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Matthew Vander Heiden has been selected to serve as the new director of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, reports Anissa Gardizy for The Boston Globe. “We have broken down all these barriers, these traditional silos of fields, and I think that uniquely positions us to answer the big questions about cancer going forward," says Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute's work.