David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

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Members of the Senate, members of the House, ladies and gentlemen-- we are here today for the purpose of signing the Cancer Act of 1971.

SUSAN HOCKFIELD: MIT started a center for cancer research in the 1970s, when President Nixon declared a war on cancer. I think he imagined the war was going to take eight years and cost maybe 100 million dollars, maybe a little more than that. Here it is, many years later, and while we've made some progress against cancer, there is much, much progress yet to be made.

Salvador Luria was the leader of that new center for cancer research, and that work on cancer revealed to us the basic building blocks of biology and positioned us to offer those building blocks to engineers.

TYLER JACKS: On the biology side, we've just learned a lot more to help the engineers think about how to design new solutions to the problems of cancer. Without that basic information, there's nothing to engineer.

SUSAN HOCKFIELD: So in our new Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, we're putting together about a dozen biologists, and about a dozen engineers.

TYLER JACKS: The Koch Institute is, in fact, the first of its kind in the country. It's the first dedicated cancer research facility that has scientists and engineers together, and we have built lots of spaces within the building to encourage their interaction. You've basically got to get people out of their labs, and that then produces the sparks of the new idea.