People

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Current Members

Angela N. Koehler, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Engineering, MIT
Intramural Faculty, David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
koehler@mit.edu
CV

Andrew Chen

Graduate Student, Biological EngineeringKoch Institute Fellow, Cancer Research
BS, Biological Engineering, Cornell University, 2011
Research Interests: The transcription factor c-Myc is a master regulator aberrant in ~70% of human cancers. My focus involves characterization of lead chemical probes for c-Myc or its major protein partner Max, and discovery of new small molecules that modulate c-Myc activity in specific contexts.
achen5 at mit.edu

Joseph Espiritu

Undergraduate Research, Biological Engineering
Research Interests: I am particularly fascinated in developing chemical probes for Lin28 function, hoping to gain a valuable tool in deciphering the relative contribution of Lin28 to oncogenesis and healthy differentiation, and its potential for therapy.
joray at mit.edu

Helen Evans, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Koch Institute Quinquennial Cancer Research Fellowship
PhD, Chemistry, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College, London, 2014
MSc, Chemistry, University of Reading, 2010
Research Interests: I am interested in discovering small molecule probes of transcription factors, especially those implicated in prostate cancer. My main focus is using target engagement strategies and medicinal chemistry to develop these probes, and to understand the mechanism of action of bioactive natural products.
hlevans at mit.edu

David Freeman, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
PhD, Organic Chemistry, Colorado State University, 2011
BS, Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005
Research Interests: The development of novel tools to probe cancer biology is essential to better understand oncogenesis and disease progression. My interests focus on the development of novel compositions of matter to probe biological systems, attempting to unravel the roles that transcription factors play in driving cancer especially in the context of adenoid cystic carcinoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and prostate cancer.
dbfree7 at mit.edu

Kristen Frombach

Undergraduate Research, Biology and Bioengineering
Research Interests: Targeting transcription factors in MYC-driven cancers.
frombach at mit.edu

Katie Gohres

Undergraduate Research, Biology
Research Interests: Finding small molecules that impact transcription factors overactive in Glioblastoma cancer cells.
kgohres at mit.edu

Becky Leifer, MS

Research Associate
MS, Biotechnology, Northeastern University, 2014
MS, Organic Chemistry, Northeastern University, 2005
BA, Chemistry, Vassar College, NY, 1998
Research Interests: I am interested in developing small-molecule probes that target deregulated transcription factors in cancer. This protein class has often been classified as "undruggable", however, with the use of unbiased binding assays such as SMM, we hope to find small molecules that  modulate aberrant transcriptional activity.
beleifer at mit.edu

Muhammed Ors

Undergraduate, Harvard University
Research Interests: My research interests lie primarily with the Myc protein and seeing how the Koehler Lab's compounds behave in synergy with PI3K inhibitors in vitro.
muhammedors at college.harvard.edu

Shelby (Pursley) Doyle

PhD Candidate, Biological Engineering, MIT, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology Graduate Fellow
BS, Biological Engineering, Louisiana State University, 2014
Research Interests: I am interested in understanding the role of certain transcription factors in both initiating and progressing disease in hormone-dependent prostate and breast cancer. Towards this goal, I am interested in developing small molecules that modulate these transcription factors as tools for investigating therapeutic and prognostic hypotheses.
spursley at mit.edu

André Richters, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, German Research Foundation
PhD, Chemical Biology, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany, 2013
MS, Chemical Biology, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany, 2009
BS, Chemical Biology, Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany, 2007
Research Interests: I am interested in developing new screening assays to identify small molecule p300 modulators as basis for deciphering oncogenic p300/CBP signaling. This includes follow up hit optimization using synthetic chemistry and SAR studies aiming for the development of potent p300 inhibitors or activators.
richters at mit.edu

Nicholas Struntz, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
PhD, Medicinal Chemistry, University Minnesota, 2016
BS, Chemistry/ Biochemistry, University of Minnesota-Duluth, 2009
Research Interests: I am interested in discovering and characterizing small molecule binders of the Myc transcription factor, which is one of the most common oncogenic events in human cancer. I am also evaluating the mechanism of how these small molecules perturb Myc function.
nstruntz at mit.edu

Rui Traquete

Visiting Student, Bioengineering Systems, University of Lisbon, Hovione Farmaciencia/MIT Portugal PhD fellowship
MS, Biochemistry, University Coimbra, Portugal, 2011
BS, Biochemistry, University Coimbra, Portugal, 2009
Research Interests: I am interested in developing a general chemical approach for the selective delivery of epigenome-targeting drugs to cancer cells. This involves synthesizing novel ligand-drug conjugates and studying their targeting performance and mechanism of action using biochemical and in vitro methodologies.
traquete at mit.edu

Hanna Tseng

Undergraduate Research, Biological Engineering
Research Interests: I am interested in how the p53 transcription factor actively transcribes for tumor suppressors and how it is overridden when neoplastic cells start to accumulate.
hannat at mit.edu

Rob Wilson

Graduate Student, Biological Engineering
BS, Biochemistry, Purdue University, 2015
Research Interests: I'm working to find small molecules to perturb oncogenic RAS signaling. I'm especially interested in discovering compounds that can act to destabilize target proteins through inducible ubiquitylation.
rwilson at mit.edu

Kimia Ziadkhanpour

Undergraduate Research, Biology, MIT
Research Interests: I am interested in identifying small molecules to probe transcription factors that play a role in maintenance and metastasis of cancers, specifically those commonly found in prostate and breast cancer. Targeting these transcription factors with novel SMM technology allows us to further study the biology and mechanism of action of these previously deemed "undruggable" targets.
kimia at mit.edu

 

Associates

 

Zarko Boskovic, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Schreiber Lab, Broad Institute
zarko at broadinstitute.org

 

Jiyoung Hong, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, joint with Professor Stuart Orkin at Harvard Medical School
PhD, Chemistry, University of Michigan, 2011
BS, Chemistry, University of Louisville, 2006
Research Interests: Small-molecule modulators of BCL11A, a regulator of fetal hemoglobin production.
jahong at mit.edu

Amedeo Vetere, PhD

Research Scientist, Wagner Laboratory, Broad Institute
avetere at broadinstitute.org

                                           

 

High Throughput Screening Facility

 

Jaime Cheah, PhD

Core Leader, HTS Facility
jcheah at mit.edu

Christian Soule

Lead Automation Engineer Specialist, HTS Facility
csoule at mit.edu