MIT School of Engineering and Takeda Join to Advance Research in Artificial Intelligence and Health

MIT’s School of Engineering and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited today announced the MIT-Takeda Program to fuel the development and application of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to benefit human health and drug development. Centered within the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (J-Clinic), the new program will leverage the combined expertise of both organizations, and is supported by Takeda’s three-year investment (with the potential for a two-year extension).

This new collaboration will provide MIT with extraordinary access to pharmaceutical infrastructure and expertise, and will help to focus work on challenges with lasting, practical impact. A new educational program offered through J-Clinic will provide Takeda with the ability to learn from and engage with some of MIT’s sharpest and most curious minds, and offer insight into the advances that will help shape the health care industry of tomorrow.

“We are thrilled to create this collaboration with Takeda,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering. “The MIT-Takeda Program will build a community dedicated to the next generation of AI and system-level breakthroughs that aim to advance healthcare around the globe.”

The MIT-Takeda Program will support MIT faculty, students, researchers, and staff across the Institute who are working at the intersection of AI and human health, ensuring that they can devote their energies to expanding the limits of knowledge and imagination. The new program will coalesce disparate disciplines, merge theory and practical implementation, combine algorithm and hardware innovations, and create multidimensional collaborations between academia and industry.

“We share with MIT a vision where next-generation intelligent technologies can be better developed and applied across the entire health care ecosystem,” says Anne Heatherington, senior vice president and head of Data Sciences Institute (DSI) at Takeda. “Together, we are creating an incredible opportunity to support research, enhance the drug development process, and build a better future for patients.”

Established within J-Clinic, a nexus of AI and health care at MIT, the MIT-Takeda Program will focus on the following offerings:

  • funding 6-10 flagship research projects per year in the areas of machine learning and health, engaging MIT faculty and Takeda researchers on areas of mutual interest to both organizations including diagnosis of disease, prediction of treatment response, development of novel biomarkers, process control and improvement, drug discovery, and clinical trial optimization;
  • providing 11 annual fellowships supporting graduate students working at the intersection of AI and health, creating substantial, value-added programming for young scholars; and
  • offering educational programs through J-Clinic for Takeda employees to bolster individual and organizational learning in integrating AI and machine learning technologies into practical and applied solutions.

James Collins will serve as faculty lead for the MIT-Takeda Program. Collins is the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering, J-Clinic faculty co-lead, and a member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology faculty. He is also a core founding faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

A joint steering committee co-chaired by Anantha Chandrakasan and Anne Heatherington will oversee the MIT-Takeda Program.

This article was originally published on MIT News on January 6, 2020.

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