More than half of MIT’s science and engineering faculty and students are engaged in biological research, often on human health. And we are equally focused on solving the problems that plague the health care system itself. Our diverse efforts reach across all of MIT, in fields as varied as economics, management, transportation, and public policy to health care delivery. This, coupled with our location amid a vibrant, world-class health ecosystem, means MIT is uniquely positioned to convert bold ideas into better medicine.
Convergence of Disciplines
Feng Zhang is a leader in the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology, which allows scientists to make precise changes in a sequence of DNA. This new technology has transformed many areas of biomedical research and may ultimately form the basis of new treatments for human genetic disease.
Protecting and Promoting Health
A world-renowned team of health economists in MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is dedicated to studying the economic aspects of health care. Their research, which has delivered new estimates of the patient benefits associated with medical procedures, as well as insights on the consequences of expanding health insurance coverage and of altering the patient cost of medical care, has made MIT a global leader in health care economics.
The MIT Global Health and Medical Humanities initiative, led by anthropologist Erica Caple James, examines illness and disease from multiple perspectives—not only as a matter of individual physiology, but through the lens of political, economic, social, and cultural determinants.
New Science, New Treatments
Polina Anikeeva believes magnetic nanoparticles are the key to improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease. Working at the intersection of clinical neuroscience and medical device development, Anikeeva and her colleagues have also created flexible polymer-based probes that can optically stimulate neural cells in vivo and record their activity.
Elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) can cause severe harm in children and adults. Thomas Heldt is leading a team to develop a noninvasive measurement of ICP in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes, brain tumors, hydrocephalus, and other conditions.