Bridge-Funded Research

The Bridge Project focuses on bringing into the lives of patients new technical advances related to cancer detection and monitoring, targeted drug delivery, rapid mapping of drug resistance, and sustaining cancer-specific immune responses.

Bridge Project funding is currently being applied to make advances in the treatment of several cancer types that represent areas of great clinical need:

  • Brain cancer 
  • Pediatric brain tumors
  • Advanced breast cancer
  • Advanced colon cancer
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Advanced prostate cancer

The Bridge Project also welcomes proposals in the following areas:

  • Cachexia in cancer
  • Cancers with viral etiology (e.g., Merkel cell carcinoma)
  • New technologies for tumor monitoring
  • Mechanism-based molecular cancer prevention



Expansion Bridge Grant 
These grants support previous awardees whose Bridge Project research is close to clinical trials/clinical application

Traditional Bridge Project grants
These grants form the foundation of the Bridge Project, providing research funds to cross-institutional teams from MIT and DF/HCC who are focused on finding solutions to some of the most complex cancers.

  • “Targeting Breast Cancer Cell Metabolism to Treat Brain Metastases,” a collaboration between Rakesh Jain of Massachusetts General Hospital and Matthew Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute.
  • “Large Fingerprint Cancer Screening in Blood, “ a collaboration between  J. Christopher Love of the Koch Institute and Mike Makrigiorgos and Heather Parsons of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • “Targeting Aberrant Chromatin Structure in Cohesin-Mutated Myelodysplastic Syndrome,” a collaboration between Benjamin Ebert of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Richard Young of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes.

Footbridge grants 
Footbridge grants are designed to enable the formation and growth of new teams, and support data collection and/or proof of concept work—and provide a potential path to full Bridge team funding.

  • “Predicting Cancer Risk After Multi-Gene Panel Testing, Across All Cancer Types,” a collaboration between Regina Barzilay of MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab, Kevin Hughes of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Giovanni Parmigiani of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health.
  • “Quantitative microRNA Profiling in Cancer with Single Cell Resolution,” a collaboration between Patrick Doyle of the Koch Institute and Frank Slack of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
  • “Novel Acute Myeloid Leukemia Differentiation Therapies Targeting Nucleosome Organization,” a collaboration between Andrew Lane of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Angela Koehler of the Koch Institute.
  • “Developing PRMT5 Inhibitors with Improved Blood-Brain Barrier Penetration for Brain Tumor Treatment,” a collaboration between Jacqueline Lees of the Koch Institute and Jun Qi of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

2016 Bridge Project Pediatric Brain Tumors Projects

  • “The DF/HCC-MIT Super Team Initiative for the Advancement of Diagnostics and Combination Therapeutics in Pediatric Brain Tumors,” a collaboration between Viktor Adalsteinsson, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Rameen Beroukhim, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Paul Blainey, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Paula Hammond, Koch Institute, Keith Ligon, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, J. Christopher Love, Koch Institute, Karen Wright, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Michael Yaffe, Koch Institute.
  • “Targeting the Microenvironment of Pediatric High Grade Gliomas," a collaboration between Linda Griffith of the Koch Institute and MIT’s departments of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Douglas Lauffenburger of the Koch Institute and MIT’s department of Biological Engineering, and Rosalind Segal, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • “Engineering Synthetic Promoters and Viruses for Pediatric Glioma-specific Immunotherapy,” a collaboration between Samuel Rabkin of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Timothy Lu of the Koch Institute and MIT’s departments of Biological Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.