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

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

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2015

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2014

 

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2013

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2012

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