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Cancer research partnership between Harvard and MIT gets $20 million gift

In the hope of moving more results from cancer research labs into the clinical setting, the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research announced yesterday a $20 million donation to the Bridge Project, a collaboration between the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

Funding will be distributed over five years and will create grants that enable new research teams to form, as well as provide funding to existing teams “on the cusp of making significant advances toward clinical implementation.” Both MIT and Harvard are fundraising to match the donation, according to MIT.

The Bridge Project launched in 2011 to connect current developments in bioengineering, cancer science, and oncology to solve difficult problems in cancer research and care. The project funds cross-institutional research teams that study a wide variety of cancers. Past Bridge project recipients included teams researching the development of a vaccine for lung cancer treatment and targeting chemoresistant disease in leukemia.

“We’re looking for the best people, regardless of where they are, to tackle these very important problems,” Tyler Jacks, director of the Koch Institute, told the Boston Globe.

The $20 million donation comes after an initial $4.5 million pledge from the foundation in 2012.

—Anthony Yu