Koch Cancer Institute at MIT

  • Medicine & Health
  • 2007

Industrialist David Koch is one of the most active medical philanthropists in American history. He currently sits on about a dozen hospital boards. He has provided $30 million for cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering and $150 million for its new cancer outpatient center (see 2015 entry), $20 million for a cancer center at Johns Hopkins, $25 million to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, $15 million to New York-Presbyterian, and $25 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He also supports Rockefeller University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the Whitehead Institute. From 1998 to 2015, he donated about $600 million to support medical research and treatment.

His 2007 $100 million donation to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created the David Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research—which aspires to energize the battle against cancer by drawing more engineers into the biological sciences. (Koch comes from a family of engineers.) The new facility opened in 2011, and its 650 investigators are working on projects like the one that uses nanoparticles to deliver chemical toxins directly and solely to a tumor instead of flooding the entire body with toxins as conventional chemotherapy does. The radical new therapy is now being tested, successfully, on patients suffering from advanced cancers.