Director of MIT's cancer research center to step down

Tyler Jacks, PhD, will step down from the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. after serving as director for over 19 years. 

Dr. Jacks will continue cancer genetics research, teaching at the Koch Institute and representing the Bridge Project, a partnership between the Koch Institute and Boston-based Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center that aims to solve challenging cancer research problems. 

Dr. Jacks oversaw efforts to advance collaborative cancer research with the transformation of the MIT Cancer for Center Research into the Koch Institute in 2007 by bringing together life scientists and engineers to better understand the biology of cancer. 

By partnering with colleagues, Dr. Jacks developed several specialty cancer centers and programs, including the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology, the Marble Center for Cancer Cancer Nanomedicine and the MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine. Dr. Jacks has raised about $375 million to support advancements in cancer research and specialty centers throughout his career. 

As a pioneer in the use of gene-targeting to engineer comprehensive human cancer models, Dr. Jacks' mouse models are used by researchers across the globe. His current mouse model research is expected to identify novel immune based therapies for human cancer. 

Phillip Sharp, PhD, a professor at the institute, will head a search committee for Jacks' successor as director of the Koch Institute. 

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