Brandon DeKosky one of five MIT faculty members awarded by Cancer Grand Challenges

Date: March 29, 2024 By: Nick Kolev

The team will receive $25 million to work towards treatments for cancer

Ragon core member and MIT associate professor of chemical engineering Brandon DeKosky, PhD, was one of five MIT faculty members recently awarded $25 million to take on Cancer Grand Challenges.

Cancer Grand Challenges announced five winning teams for 2024, which included DeKosky and four other researchers from MIT: Ragon associate members Michael Birnbaum, PhD, Regina Barzilay, PhD, and Ömer Yilmaz, MD, PhD, as well as MIT faculty member Seychelle Vos, PhD. Each team is made up of interdisciplinary cancer researchers from across the globe and will be awarded $25 million each over five years. 

Founded by the two largest funders of cancer research in the world – Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute in the US – Cancer Grand Challenges supports a global community of diverse, world-class research teams to come together, think differently and take on some of cancer’s toughest challenges.

DeKosky’s team, dubbed Team MATCHMAKERS, will take advantage of recent advances in artificial intelligence to develop tools for personalized immunotherapies for cancer patients. 

The group will collect data on T cell receptors and the different antigens they target and build computer models to predict antigen recognition by different T cell receptors. Their overarching goal is to develop tools for predicting T cell recognition with simple clinical lab tests and designing antigen-specific immunotherapies.

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