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.

Teams may submit proposals focused on any aspect of translational cancer research in any tumor type. Preference will be given to projects addressing significant unmet clinical needs requiring improved or new methods for early detection, more accurate diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, and prevention. A subset of available funding will be awarded with preference for projects focused on drug discovery and development, brain cancer research and/or immunotherapy. We further encourage applications in the Expansion category of award types; such teams may have been funded previously via Traditional or Footbridge awards from the Bridge Project, but this is not required. 

2020 Bridge Project Awardees

 

Expansion Bridge Grants

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

  • “Phase II study of pembrolizumab in combination with infliximab for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and prevention of adverse events,” a collaboration between Michael Dougan and Ryan J. Sullivan of Massachusetts General Hospital and Michael Birnbaum of the Koch Institute.


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.

  • The development of potent ALK CAR-T cells to eradicate Neuroblastoma, a collaboration between Darrell J. Irvine of the Koch Institute and Roberto Chiarle of Boston Children's Hospital.   
  • Identification of PRMT5 regulated pathways and resistance mechanisms in Merkel cell carcinoma,” a collaboration between Jacqueline Lees of the Koch Institute and James A. DeCaprio of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Exploiting pathogen-associated nucleic acids to trigger immunity against non-immunogenic colorectal cancer,” a collaboration between Judith Agudo of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Vikram Deshpande and Cristina Ferrone of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Ömer Yilmaz of the Koch Institute.


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.

  • Transcriptomic perturbations by a new class of HDAC complex inhibitors at single-cell resolution,” a collaboration between Alex K. Shalek of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and the Koch Institute and Marc Vidal of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

  • Microneedle patches for noninvasive cancer screening via interstitial fluid miRNAs,” a collaboration between Kevin Elias of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Darrell Irvine and Paula Hammond of the Koch Institute.

  • Identifying determinants of immunotherapy response in ovarian cancer using a novel genetically defined immunocompetent mouse model,” a collaboration between Robert Weinberg of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes and David Pepin of Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • A deep learning model for lung cancer detection and risk prediction from computed tomography,” a collaboration between Regina Barzilay of the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Koch Institute and Lecia V. Sequist of Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Highly multiplexed, spatially-resolved tissue imaging of genetically engineered mouse models of cancer to discover and characterize immune regulators of tumorigenesis,” a collaboration between Tyler Jacks of the Koch Institute, Sandro Santagata of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Peter Sorger of Harvard Medical School.

  • Targeting phase separated condensates in cohesin-mutant myeloid malignancies,” a collaboration between Zuzana Tothova of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Richard Young of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes.

2019 Bridge Project Awardees

 

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.

  •  “A patient-centered approach to dissecting and overcoming resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors,” a collaboration between Aviv Regev of Broad institute of MIT and Harvard and the Koch Institute, and Bruce Johnson and Benjamin Izar of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.        
  • Nanocarriers for safe targeted delivery of potent inhibitor combinations,” a collaboration between Paula Hammond of the Koch Institute, Joan Brugge of Harvard Medical School, and Ursula Matulonis of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 
  • Credentialing aneuploidy as a prognostic biomarker in prostate cancer,” a collaboration between Angelika Amon of the Koch Institute, Lorelei Mucci of the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health, Matthew Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute, and Massimo Loda of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 
  • Optimizing Plk1 therapeutics for clinical translation,” a collaboration between Steven Balk and David Einstein of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Michael Yaffe of the Koch Institute.
  • Nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery to ovarian cancer organoid cultures,” a collaboration between Alan D’Andrea of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Paula Hammond and Darrell Irvine of the Koch Institute.


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.

  • Identification of PRMT5 regulated pathways and resistance mechanisms,” a collaboration between Jacqueline Lees of the Koch Institute and James DeCaprio of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  
  • Development of small molecule degraders targeting Hepatitis B virus,” a collaboration between Angela Koehler of the Koch Institute and Priscilla Yang of the Harvard Medical School.     
  • Early multiplexed functional testing of patient-derived pancreatic cancer organoids to investigate tumor heterogeneity and therapeutic sensitivity,” a collaboration between Scott Manalis of the Koch Institute, and William HahnSrivatsan RaghavanBrian Wolpin, and Andrew Aguirre of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Conditionally replicating HSV-1 regulated by multi-input genetic circuits to identify and target glioblastoma,” a collaboration between Anna Krichevsky of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ron Weiss of the Koch Institute.
  • Selective drug delivery to pediatric high-grade gliomas: Leveraging parallel genetic and mechanistic screens for rationally designed nanotherapeutics,” a collaboration between Paula Hammond of the Koch Institute, Daphne Haas-Koganof the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.        
  • Systematic examination of the metabolic competition between immune cells and cancer cells in tumors,” a collaboration between Matthew Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute and Oliver Jonas of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

2018 Bridge Project Awardees

 

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.

 

  • Dynamic Therapeutic Network Re-Wiring of Apoptotic Signaling Pathways to Improve the Efficacy of Frontline Chemotherapy for Treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a collaboration between Gerburg Wulf of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Michael Yaffe of the Koch Institute.
  • Developing Next-Generation Personal Neoantigen-targeting Vaccines for Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Cancer,” a collaboration between Catherine Wu of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Bradley Pentelute of the Koch Institute, and Patrick Ott of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
  • Evolution of Tumor and Immune Microenvironment in the Central Nervous System During Immune Checkpoint Blockade,” a collaboration between Priscilla Brastianos of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Scott Carter of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Alex Shalek of the Koch Institute.
  • The CLEC2D-KLRB1 Interaction as a Novel Target for Immunotherapy of Glioblastoma,” a collaboration between Kai Wucherpfennig of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mario Suva of Massachusetts General Hospital, Aviv Regev of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Dane Wittrup of the Koch Institute.

 

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.

 

  • Deciphering Obesity-Mediated Immune Evasion Mechanisms in Colorectal Tumorigenesis,” a collaboration between Judith Agudo of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Vikram Deshpande of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Ömer Yilmaz of the Koch Institute.
  • Development of Novel Androgen Receptor Antagonists for Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer,” a collaboration between Angela Koehler of the Koch Institute and Steven Balk of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 
  • Targeting the Hippo Signaling Pathway in Pancreatic Cancer,” a collaboration between Angela Koehler of the Koch Institute and Fernando Camargo of Boston Children's Hospital.
  • DHODH Inhibitors in the Treatment of Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Linking Pyrimidine Metabolism and Myeloid Differentiation,” a collaboration between Matthew Vander Heiden of the Koch Institute and David Sykes of Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Using Platinum-Loaded Microdevices to Identify Targetable Vulnerabilities in Ileal Carcinoid Tumors,” a collaboration between Michael Hemann of the Koch Institute, Oliver Jonas of Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Jennifer Chan of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 

BRIDGE PROJECT AWARDEES


2017

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.

2016

  • Inducing Non-Cell Autonomous Killing to Overcome Drug Resistance in Double-Hit Lymphoma
    Collaborators: David Weinstock, MD (DFCI), Michael Hemann, PhD (Koch), and Ann LaCasce, MD (DFCI)
  • A Phase I Clinical Trial Using an ALK Peptide Vaccine for ALK-Rearranged Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers
    Collaborators: Mark Awad, MD, PhD (DFCI) and Roberto Chiarle, MD (BCH)
  • Dendrimer-Replicon mRNA Nanoparticles to Deliver Neoantigen Vaccines in a Mouse Model of Pancreatic Cancer
    Collaborators: Daniel Anderson, PhD (Koch) and Stephanie Dougan, PhD (DFCI)
  • Designing Treatments for SMARCA4/BRG1-Mutant Lung Cancers
    Collaborators: Carla Kim, PhD (BCH), Tyler Jacks, PhD (Koch), and Alice Shaw, MD, PhD (MGH)
  • Targeting Transcriptional Amplification for the Treatment of Small Cell Lung Cancer Using a CDK7 Inhibitor
    Collaborators: Nathanael Gray, PhD (DFCI), Kwok-Kin Wong (DFCI), and Richard Young (Whitehead/Koch)
  • Systematic Discovery of Combination Immunotherapies for Melanoma
    Collaborators: Chris Love, PhD (Koch), Alex Shalek, PhD (MIT), Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD (DFCI), and Guo-Cheng Yuan, PhD (DFCI)
  • Nanoparticle-Mediated RNAi Therapy in Bone Marrow to Prevent Multiple Myeloma Colonization
    Collaborators: Ruben Carrasco, MD, PhD (DFCI), and Robert Langer (Koch)
  • Predicting Drug Sensitivity in Lung Cancer by Single Mass Accumulation
    Collaborators: Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD (DFCI) and Scott Manalis, PhD (Koch)
  • Modulating the Heat-Shock Machinery to Limit Genetic Heterogeneity and the Evolution of Drug Resistance in Highly Malignant Cancers
    Collaborators: Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD (DFCI), Susan Lindquist, PhD (Whitehead/Koch), and Sandro Santagata, MD, PhD (DFCI)
  • Targeting Breast Cancer Cell Metabolism to Treat Brain Metastases
    Collaborators: Rakesh Jain, PhD (MGH) and Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD (Koch)
  • Investigating MELK as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
    Collaborators: Angelika Amon, PhD (Koch) and Jean Zhao, PhD (DFCI)
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2015

  • A Novel in vivo Assay to Define Personalized Multi-drug Combination Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer
    Collaborators: Steven Balk, MD, PhD (BIDMC), Glenn Bubley, MD (BIDMC), Akash Patnaik, MD, PhD (BIDMC), Xin Yuan (BIDMC), and Michael Yaffe, MD, PhD (Koch)
  • Targeting Chemoresistant Disease in AML
    Collaborators: Kimberly Stegmaier, MD (DFCI), Michael Hemann, PhD (Koch)
  • Targeting Minimal Residual Disease in Acute Leukemias
    Collaborators: David Weinstock, MD (DFCI), Scott Manalis, PhD (Koch)
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2014

  • Development of an ALK Vaccine for Lung Cancer Treatment
    Collaborators: Roberto Chiarle, MD (BCH), Darrell Irvine, PhD (Koch)
  • Development of a Prototype Instrument Based on a Second-window Near-infrared Fluorescence Optical Imaging Modality for Detection and Monitoring of Deep-tissue Ovarian and Pancreatic Cancers
    Collaborators: Michael Birrer, MD, PhD (MGH), Marcela del Carmen, MD (MGH), and Angela Belcher, PhD (Koch)
  • Novel Agents for Targeting MCL-1 in Adult AML/ALL
    Collaborators: Loren Walensky, MD, PhD (DFCI), Anthony Letai, MD, PhD (DFCI), and Amy Keating, PhD (MIT) 
  • Targeting Transcriptional Amplification for the Treatment of SCLC Using a CDK7 Inhibitor
    Collaborators: Nathanael Gray, PhD (DFCI), Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD (DFCI), and Richard Young, PhD (Whitehead/Koch)

 

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2013

  • Detection of 'Invisible' Nevi in Redheads 
    Collaborators: Conor Evans, PhD (MGH), David Fisher, MD, PhD (MGH), and Peter So, PhD (MIT)
  • Developing Novel Therapeutic Approaches in Small Cell Lung Carcinoma Using Genetically Engineered Mouse Models and Human Circulating Tumor Cells
    Collaborators: Jeffrey Engelman, MD, PhD (MGH), Daniel Haber, MD, PhD (MGH), and Tyler Jacks, PhD (Koch)
  • Osmotic Micro-Pump as Delivery System for Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer
    Collaborators: Michael Birrer, MD, PhD (MGH), Marcela Del Carmen, MD (MGH), and Michael Cima, PhD (Koch)
  • Targeting Mutant IDH1 in Malignant Gliomas 
    Collaborators:William Kaelin, MD (DFCI), Daniel Cahill, MD, PhD (MGH), and Matthew Vander Heiden, MD, PhD (Koch)
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2012

  • A Pancreatobiliary Chemotherapy Eluting Stent for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas
    Collaborators: Jeffrey Clark, MD (MGH), Robert Langer, ScD (Koch) and Elazer Edelman, MD, PhD (MIT/Koch) 
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) as a Novel Approach to Improve Drug Delivery in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer 
    Collaborators: Rakesh Jain, PhD (MGH), Robert Langer, ScD (Koch)
  • Novel Immunotherapies Against Pancreatic Cancer
    Collaborators: Kai Wucherpfenni, MD, PhD (DFCI), J. Christopher Love, PhD (Koch), and Hidde Ploegh, PhD (Whitehead/Koch)
  • Single-Cell Functional, Genomic and Transcriptomic Analysis in Glioblastoma 
    Collaborators: Keith Ligon, MD, PhD (DFCI), Matthew Meyerson, MD, PhD (DFCI/Broad), and J. Christopher Love, PhD (Koch)
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