Prof. Daniel Griffith Anderson

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Associate Member, Broad Institute

Primary DLC

Department of Chemical Engineering

MIT Room: 76-653

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Nano-Based Drugs
Cancer Immunology
Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Systems
Stem Cells
Neural Interface
Multielectrode Array
Lipid Nanoparticles
Gene Expression and Silencing
Tissue Engineering Scaffold

Research Summary

Research is centered on developing new materials for medicine. One particularly important problem is the quest to develop nanoparticles that support the therapeutic delivery of drugs and macromolecules, inside of specific cell targets, in vivo. There are many macromolecular drugs, such as DNA, RNA and some proteins, with great therapeutic potential that will only function when inside of a cell. Furthermore, many drugs are non-functional or even toxic if they do not get delivered to the correct cell-types in the body. The rational design of nanoparticulate drug delivery systems is often challenging, particularly when the design criteria are difficult to define. To address this challenge, we have developed fully automated, combinatorial systems for the synthesis, purification, characterization, and formulation of new biomaterials and nanoformulations. Materials identified using these approaches have shown great utility both in vitro and in vivo, including in non-human primate studies. We continue to focus our efforts towards developing next generation nanotherapeutics for cancer and other diseases, and to develop an understanding of the structure/function relationships between nanoparticle structure and biological activity.

In addition to nanotherapeutics, we are interested in developing advanced biomaterials for a range of applications including:
(*) super biocompatible materials for islet transplantation,
(*) glucose responsive drug delivery systems and sensors,
(*) neural tissue engineering,
(*) biomaterials for the growth, controlled differentiation, and therapeutic use of stem cells.

Professor Anderson is also a a Scientific Advisor at CRISPR Therapeutics. The mission of CRISPR Therapeutics is to develop transformative gene-based medicines for patients with serious diseases. Our therapeutic approach is to cure diseases at the molecular level using the breakthrough gene editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9. With CRISPR's multi-disciplinary team of world-renowned academics, drug developers and clinicians, they are uniquely positioned to translate CRISPR-Cas9 technology into human therapeutics. CRISPR is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and the R&D operations are in Cambridge, Massachusetts with corporate offices in London, United Kingdom.

Recent Work