Message from the Executive Director
Greetings from the Deshpande Center! We’re back again for another academic year at MIT. It’s been damp and drizzly around Cambridge this year, so it seems like a good time to settle in with a nice cup of tea and a croissant while we check in on the center. 
We’re looking forward to working with some fresh faces, but there are a lot of familiar ones as well. One person some of you may recognize is our new faculty director, Angela Koehler, who is a former grantee. Her 2015 project on c-Myc oncoprotein became Kronos Bio two years later. We’re glad to welcome Angela back to the center. She is a ball of energy and jumped headfirst into her new role. 
We also have begun kicking off meetings with our latest project teams, who come to us with a range of technologies in the environmental and the medical fields. The teams also combine the new and familiar. Four of the teams are led by faculty members returning to the Deshpande Center to help move their latest technologies out of MIT. It is gratifying to see many repeat customers. 
We couldn’t do it without the help of our Catalysts and supporters. As always, thanks to those who allow the Deshpande Center to have impact at MIT and beyond. Cheers to all you do. 
- Leon Sandler
Center welcomes new projects
The Deshpande Center is supporting six new projects for the 2023 academic cycle. The teams come from a range of departments at MIT, and offer new technologies that could have a broader impact on the environment and health care. Congratulations to the new teams:

Conformable ultrasound breast patch -- Canan Dagdeviren with Colin Marcus, Md Osman Goni Nayeem, and Lara Ozkan

Nanoporous atomically thin membranes for solvent waste recycling -- Rohit Karnik with Aaron Persad, Lohyun Kim and Simar Mattewal

Mucin glycan-derived therapeutics for infectious vaginitis -- Katharina Ribbeck with Kelsey Wheeler, Liubov Yakovlieva and Caroline Mitchell

Stoma potency device for hydrocephalus treatment -- Ellen Roche with Luca Rosalia, Sarah Sams, Jonas Bryce Starr, Jona Sogbadji and Gabriel Friedman

Trans-catheter deployment of soft, patient-specific implants -- Ellen Roche with Connor Verheyen, Keegan Mendez, Markus Horvath and Sophie Wang

ImmunoGel to treat immunotherapy resistant cancer -- Giovanni Traverso with Avik Som, Jan-Georg Rosenboom and Eric Wehrenberg

Koehler named faculty director
Angela Koehler, associate professor of biological engineering, intramural faculty member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and an institute member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, has been named faculty director of the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, effective July 1.

A successful entrepreneur, Koehler co-founded the biotechnology companies Ligon Discovery, 76Bio, and Kronos Bio. She has experience with the Deshpande Center, having been a grant recipient and served on its grant selection committee.

The grant and mentoring she received from the Deshpande Center led to the startup company Kronos Bio, which develops therapies targeting the dysregulated transcription that causes cancer and other diseases. Koehler also serves on the scientific advisory boards of Nested Therapeutics, Photys Therapeutics, and Vicinitas Therapeutics, and acts as an advisor for Enveda Biosciences, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer..

Tar-200 therapeutic platform strong in Phase II trial
A drug delivery system that began as research at MIT is showing results in treating bladder cancer in a Phase 2 clinical trial by Johnson & Johnson. Nearly 73 percent of patients treated via "the pretzel," developed in Michael Cima's lab and a 2006 Deshpande project, saw their tumors disappear. The technology was spun out into Taris Biomedical, and acquired by J&J in 2019.

Gradiant reaches $1B valuation
In cleaning up industrial wastewater, and allowing it to be recycled for use, Boston-based Gradiant has built a fast-growing business. Gradiant announced recently it had reached a $1 billion valuation — the first water-technology startup to attain that milestone — with $225 million in funding. The new investment brings the company’s total funding to more than $400 million. Gradiant spun out from a 2011 Deshpande Center project.

2Pi Optics launched from 2020 project
2Pi Optics is developing a platform technology that enables a new class of optical components and systems with ultra-compactness, light-weight and new functionalities for use in consumer electronics, industry automation, automotive and beyond. 2 Pi is the second recent Deshpande Center spinout from the Juejun Hu Research Group, and is based on the 2020 project Ultrawide field-of-view metasurface flat optics platform

Shoutouts to spinouts
Innovation Showcase Coming Soon
Our annual Innovation Showcase returns on November 30.

Check out the latest Deshpande Center projects and meet with innovators and entrepreneurs.

For more information or to request an invitation, please contact us at
Make Innovation Possible: Giving Opportunities
Your gift will make the groundbreaking research by our MIT teams ⁠— and the life-changing products by their future companies ⁠— possible. You can Donate Online using MIT's secure donation page, or contact Leon Sandler to discuss named and other giving opportunities.

Corporate Engagement

Organizations that join the Deshpande Center Corporate Program gain unique insights into new technologies, impact the research, and build relationships with faculty, students, and startups. | Learn more about the Corporate Program
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