Published on August 8, 2022 at
Written by Russell Flannery


MIT Professor Tyler Jacks has made a mark in cancer work not only by his research but his ability to bring different organizations together.

Through his leadership, Break Through Cancer has spurred a first-of-its-kind collaboration of five of the top cancer research centers in the world: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The effort, funded with $250 million of help from the family of Richmond, VA businessman William H. Goodwin, is committed to reducing the day-to-day barriers to cross-institutional collaboration such as contract negotiations, data sharing, intellectual property, and authorship policies.

President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, requiring collaboration across the U.S. government agencies, is up against many of those same problems. I recently spoke to Jacks at his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts on how he sized up the effort. He knows well about then Vice President Biden’s 2016 Moonshot efforts, having been a co-chair of a Blue-Ribbon Panel to advise on the effort.

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