The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) was founded in 1974 by Nobel Laureate Salvador Luria. The Center has been responsible for some of the greatest leaps and bounds in cancer research in the 20th and 21st centuries. It only became the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in 2007, after a generous donation of $100 million by David H. Koch himself. With the donation, a new building was built, currently located opposite the Whitehead Institute and Broad Institute.
In October 2007, the new Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research opened, bringing together the different departments and faculty within MIT for the sole purpose of cancer research (leaving clinical trials to doctors and researchers elsewhere). It is only one of eight non-clinical cancer institutes in America.
The current staff is made up of 25 scientists and researchers, 16 belonging to the National Academy of Sciences, four belonging to the National Academy of Engineering, and eight awarded the National Medal of Science. The David H. Koch Institute Professor here is a man (though he’s so smart, he hardly seems human) called Robert Langer. He is, as his site says, the most cited engineer in history. He is a science superstar. With 1015 patents or patents pending, and licenses to over 250 companies, he has dominated the biotech, pharmaceutical, and chemical world for the past 15 years, surpassing every inventor in American history aside from Thomas Edison. He is responsible for such developments as controlled release systems for diabetics and others, and the recent experimental growth of tissue and capillaries for replacements. Chances are pretty good that someday his research will save your life.
The cancer center targets five main areas: nano-based drugs, detection and monitoring, metastasis, personalized medicine, and cancer immunology. The most visually stunning images from these fields are displayed in their lobby, and change on a yearly basis.