In order to translate the work our group has been pursuing over the past decade into the clinic, the Koehler Lab is excited to share that late last year Dr. Koehler co-founded the company Kronos Bio.
Kronos, through a partnership with Two River, has assembled a top-notch launch team and secured an excellent space in LabCentral, the shared laboratory for biotech innovation space down the street from our group at the Koch Institute. Under the recently announced leadership of Dr. Norbert Bischofberger, the Kronos team will be leveraging the small molecule microarray (SMM) platform and extensive know-how in biological assay development to pursue novel therapies against some of the most important and intractable targets in cancer research.
The Koehler Lab--old and new members--was in attendance at this year's AACR Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Dr. Koehler chaired an educational session for the Chemistry in Cancer Research (CICR) working group "From Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 1 - Chemical Probes for Identifying and Validating Drug Targets." Members of the group focused on targets in prostate cancer were able to attend to gain exposure to advances and discoveries across multiple disciplines represented at the meeting. They were also able to catch up with old pals--an important part of the chemistry that goes into good science.
Congratulations are overdue, but well deserved for Dr. Nick Struntz, who was one of four post doctoral researchers to be awarded the MIT-GSK Gertrude B. Elion Research Fellowship. This new fellowship program in honor of the trailblazing Nobel laureate, Gertrude B. Elion, is awarded to select post doctoral associates focused on drug discovery and development who are pursuing fund research that has the potential to transform and modernize drug discovery. Congrats, Nick!
Additional congratulations to Rob Wilson, who received the Fall 2017 Wishnok Prize for the Bioengineering and Toxicology Seminar (BATS), and to Shelby Doyle, who received Honorable Mention for Spring 2018 prize. Fantastic to see such great representation of the group by all of our graduate students in this important seminar series.
Welcome to the new look for the Koehler Lab website!
In order to better share our science with our fellow scientists and curious members of our wider community, we have streamlined our page and updated our content. We hope you'll take the time to click around to see what's new, but we wanted to be sure to start with some new faces in the lab!
Early this year we welcomed post doctoral associate Dr. Brice Curtin. Brice received his PhD in chemistry from UCLA in 2017. His thesis work, which focused on synthetic peptidomimetics to target anti-apoptotic protein-protein interactions, was conducted under Dr. Partick Harran. He will be joining the MYC-focused team, where we are eager to see him leverage his knowledge of organic chemistry and protein-protein interactions. Welcome, Brice!
Welcome, to Catherine Henry, a graduate student in Biological Engineering at MIT! Catherine received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2016 and joins us from a year spent working at the Nation Cancer Institute (NCI) on in vitro models for colorectal cancer. She will be joining the existing team focused on oncogenic transcription factors in prostate cancer, and is very interested in developing the next generation of chemical technologies for tackling tough targets.
And last, but certainly not least, welcome to our littlest yet of young members, Sebastián Arturo Jensen Vegas, born on July 26th and waving hello in his work onesie. As you can see, the rest of the Koehler-Vegas subgroup is pleased to meet him and enjoying his company.
It should also be said that all of these 'hellos' have also meant we've recently said 'good luck!' to several members moving on from the lab to new positions. Good luck to those who have recently moved on: Dr. Helen Evans to ImmunoGen, Dr. Dave Freeman to Kronos Bio, Kimia Ziadkhanpour to Mount Sinai. As well as good luck to our recently departed visiting students now finishing up their theses at their home institutions: Jasmin Krüll, MS at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen (Germany) and Rui Traquete at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Portugal).
Stay tuned for more updates on news from the Koehler Lab!
Archive from March 2016
The lab welcomes Dr. Nicholas Struntz, a chemical biology postdoc who comes to us from the Harki lab and the department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. Nick is working on mechanism of action studies focused around a small molecule that binds to Max and identifying and evaluating context-specific Myc interactions. We also welcome Dr. David Freeman, a chemical biology postdoc who comes to us from the U.S. Army’s Public Health Command-Central located at JBSA Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas. David completed his PhD studies in organic chemistry at Colorado State University where he studied welwitindolinone alkaloid natural products under the guidance of Professor John Wood. David is interested in the use of small molecules to probe transcription factors in prostate cancer and adenoid cystic carcinoma.
The lab welcomes Rob Wilson, a graduate student in Biological Engineering at MIT. Rob joins us from Purdue University, where he studied biochemistry and worked on developing peptide probes for tyrosine kinase activity. He will be working on novel approaches to attenuate oncogenic Ras signaling, and is also interested in chemical modulation of protein stability.
Congratulations to Andrew Chen, who recently won the Wishnok Prize for the Bioengineering and Toxicology Seminar (BATS)!The prize is awarded for the best talks in the Fall and Spring semesters, and is given in honor of Pete Wishnok, who led BATS for decades. Congratulations, Andrew!!
Archive from October 2015
Congratulations to Dr. Koehler, Francisco Caballero, and Eric Stefan, who were awarded a grant from MIT's Deshpande Center for Technical Innovation for their work on the c-Myc oncoprotein! The Deshpande Center awards grants which fund proof-of-concept studies, and validation for emerging technologies. The team has identified small molecules that bind to c-Myc containing complexes, and a smaller subset that modulate c-Myc function in cells, including c-Myc mediated transcription. The project will explore the therapeutic potential of these small molecule binders.