Boston is home to two National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers: MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). Each works to advance the fight against cancer in its own unique way.
The latter draws on the collective resources of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. The Koch Institute (KI) integrates life sciences researchers with cancer-oriented engineers to develop new insights, tools, and technologies to detect, monitor, and treat the disease.
The work of the KI builds on that of its predecessor, the MIT Center for Cancer Research, which made seminal contributions to the understanding of cancer biology in its three-plus decades as MIT’s hub of cancer research. Clinical collaborations have been an important component of this enterprise for years—but never on the scale of the Bridge Project.
The Bridge Project was launched in 2012 to provide seed funding for collaborative research teams comprised of investigators from both MIT and Harvard University. Its goal is to foster interdisciplinary studies that combine innovative tools and methods with the translational expertise of clinical oncologists to solve today’s most challenging problems in cancer research and care. It is a simple idea, uniquely suited to this community.
“In Boston, we are blessed with differently focused, world-class cancer researchers on both sides of the Charles River,” says founding donor Arthur Gelb ScD ’61, who is an emeritus trustee of DFCI and an emeritus MIT Corporation member. “The Bridge Project’s operating presumption is that spanning the gap between them—to enable truly joint research at the intersection of their disciplines—is destined to produce new, highly original, and powerful approaches to defeating cancer. The early history of the Bridge Project suggests that is exactly the case.”