MIT-Northpond Program Created to Advance Innovation in Engineering and Life Sciences | MIT News

The MIT School of Engineering and Northpond Ventures today announced the launch of the MIT-Northpond Program – Advancing Innovation in Life Sciences and Engineering. The five-year commitment is funded by Northpond Labs, the research and development-focused subsidiary of Northpond Ventures. The program aims to generate ideas in the life sciences by connecting experienced Northpond venture capitalists with MIT science entrepreneurs, advancing commercialization through close mentorship and collaboration.

Centered within the Department of Biological Engineering, the program will identify MIT researchers engaged in proof-of-concept research projects in the areas of diagnostics, R&D solutions, therapeutic solution platforms, biomanufacturing, artificial intelligence and processing selection software, all with the goal of commercializing their ideas.

“This unique program was created with the aim of combining incredible advances in engineering and biology with innovative entrepreneurial and business opportunities. The MIT-Northpond program has enormous potential to impact human health by accelerating and commercializing visionary breakthroughs in engineering and the life sciences,” says Anantha P. Chandrakasan, Dean of the MIT School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. .

The MIT-Northpond program will support postdocs working at the intersection of engineering and life sciences, in addition to providing mentorship to faculty and students. The program will also provide funding to the School of Engineering for its work in the life sciences.

“We are honored to be part of this incredible collaboration and to have the opportunity to offer our professors, postdoctoral fellows and students working at the intersection of engineering and biology the opportunity to cause change and fundamental impact,” says Angela Belcher. , Head of the Department of Biological Engineering, James Mason Crafts Professor of Biological Engineering and Materials Science, and Fellow of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

The MIT-Northpond program will include:

  • funding up to five translational research projects per year, moving from proof of concept to commercialization;
  • supporting two postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Biological Engineering each year through the School of Engineering Postdoctoral Excellence Fellowship program, with a focus on underrepresented groups, including women, while two faculty mentors also receive support; and
  • discretionary support to the School of Engineering for critical work and advances in the life sciences.

“We have a common mission and vision to promote and advance science and engineering and to have a marked impact on humanity. We see ourselves as part of an ecosystem with the potential to advance engineering, science, innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Michael Rubin, Founder and CEO of Northpond Ventures, who will also be a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Bioengineering.

Ernest Fraenkel will be responsible for the faculty of the MIT-Northpond program. Fraenkel is a professor in the Department of Biological Engineering and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard. The program will also include a joint steering committee, made up of members from MIT and Northpond, where Belcher and Rubin will serve as co-chairs.

“Through this program, we can provide transformational entrepreneurial and business opportunities for the incredible engineering and science talent at MIT,” says Sharon Kedar, co-founder and partner of Northpond Ventures. “Together we can impact humanity.”

Ryan H. Bowman