The Alan S. Michaels Distinguished Lectureship in Medical and Biological Engineering – 2015

“Reengineering the Tumor Microenvironment to Enhance Cancer Treatment: Bench to Bedside”


Rakesh K. Jain, Ph.D.
Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology (Radiation Oncology)
Director, Edwin L. Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology
Department of Radiation Oncology
Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital

Friday, April 10, 2015
3:00 p.m., Room 32-123
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Dr. Jain is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumor microenvironment and widely recognized for his seminal discoveries in tumor biology, drug delivery, in vivo imaging, bioengineering, and bench-to-bedside translation.  These include uncovering the barriers to the delivery and efficacy of molecular and nano-medicines in tumors; developing new strategies to overcome these barriers; and then translating these strategies from bench to bedside. He proposed a new principle – normalization of vasculature – for treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases characterized by abnormal vessels that afflict more than 500 million people worldwide. This concept has fundamentally changed the thinking of scientists and clinicians about how antiangiogenic agents work, and how to combine them optimally with other therapies to improve the treatment outcome in patients.

Dr. Jain’s capacity to integrate knowledge from engineering, optics, mathematics, physiology, immunology and molecular biology is central to his uniquely multidisciplinary approach to tumor biology. A mentor to more than 200 master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral students from over a dozen different disciplines, and a collaborator of a similar number of clinicians and scientists worldwide, Dr. Jain’s findings are summarized in more than 600 publications (Citations > 64,000; h-index 122; January 2015; selected as one of the top 1% cited researchers in Clinical Medicine by Thomson-Reuters -Web of Science). He serves or has served on advisory panels to government, industry and academia, and a member of editorial advisory boards of 22 journals, including Nature Reviews Cancer and Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. He has received more than 75 awards from engineering and medical professional societies/institutions, and is a member of all three branches of the US National Academies – the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences – and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014, he was chosen as one of 50 Oncology Luminaries on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Career Path: Rakesh K. Jain received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 from IIT, Kanpur, and his MS and PhD degrees in 1974 and 1976 from the University of Delaware, all in chemical engineering. He served as assistant professor of chemical engineering at Columbia University (1976 to 1978), and as assistant (1978-79), associate (1979-83) and full professor (1983-1991) of chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He spent his 1983-84 sabbatical year as a Guggenheim Fellow in the departments of chemical engineering at MIT, bioengineering at UCSD and radiation oncology at Stanford; and his 1990-91 sabbatical as a Humboldt Senior Scientist-Awardee at the Institute of Pathophysiology of University of Mainz, and the Institute of Experimental Surgery of University of Munich. As of 1991, Dr. Jain is the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology (Radiation Oncology) at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Edwin L. Steele Laboratories of Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Further details about Dr. Jain’s research can be found at and