Broad announces new Merkin Institute Fellows

Paul Goldsmith, November 22nd, 2013
  • 2013-2014 Merkin Institute Fellows Sangeeta Bhatia, John Doench,
    and Angela Koehler

The Broad Institute is pleased to announce the latest class of Merkin Institute Fellows. The Broad’s first endowed fellowship, the Merkin Institute Fellows program was established in 2012 by Dr. Richard Merkin to provides sustained support for some of the most promising and ambitious scientists pursuing bold research at the Broad. The 2013-2014 recipients represent three of the Broad’s fastest rising stars: Sangeeta Bhatia, John Doench, and Angela Koehler.

Senior associate member Sangeeta Bhatia specializes in the application of micro- and nano-technology for tissue repair. A pioneer in the fields of tissue engineering, biomedical microdevices, and nanobiotechnology, Bhatia’s findings enabled the creation of microlivers—model human livers used to study drug metabolism, drug-induced liver disease, and interaction with human pathogens. In addition to her role at the Broad, Bhatia directs the Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies at MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. She is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT.

A member of the Broad’s RNAi Platform, John Doench specializes in the study of gene expression—uncovering how specific genes influence the many ways cells respond to environmental conditions and interact with each other. Doench collaborates with researchers throughout the Broad community to design, execute, and analyze functional genomic screens across a wide variety of biological problems. He also leads the R&D efforts in the platform, optimizing existing approaches and developing new experimental tools and analytic techniques.

As director of transcriptional chemical biology at the Broad, Angela Koehler’s research group aims to discover and develop small-molecule probes to modify the proteins that alter the rate at which genes are turned on or off in the genome. Koehler’s probes advance the understanding of transcription in development and disease, and some have the potential to become imaging agents, diagnostic tools, or therapeutic leads. In addition to her role at the Broad, Koehler is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT and an intramural member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.