Michael Goldberg, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer Immunology & AIDS at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and in the Department of Microbiology & Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School.
The majority of therapeutic approaches in oncology focus on killing tumor cells through the action of drugs that are often toxic. While chemotherapy and radiotherapy have devastating side effects, the greater concern associated with this strategy is the difficulty of eradicating 100% of the cancerous cells. Many patients relapse because the original treatments did not eliminate all of the cancer cells, and those remaining cells are then able to establish new tumors that are resistant to the previously effective drugs. One way to overcome this inherent struggle is to consider an alternative approach: to take advantage of the host’s immune system, which represents the best arsenal ever developed to combat disease. The immune system is able to invoke a highly coordinated response that can traffic appropriate cells to the site of disease better than any targeted drug delivery system created to date. The ability to induce a memory response through a cancer vaccine represents a potentially curative strategy. To this end, his lab seeks to develop therapeutic molecules and platforms that are relevant regardless of the type of cancer and its underlying mutations.
Dr. Goldberg graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Hon. B.Sc. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Toronto, where he was recognized as a University of Toronto Alumni Association Scholar and "Leader of Tomorrow". He received an M.Phil. in BioScience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge, where he focused on the critical factors to the development of successful biotechnology clusters. Dr. Goldberg completed his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry under the supervision of Institute Professor Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the founding class of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology's Graduate Education in Medical Sciences program. His doctoral research focused on the synthesis, screening, and application of a novel class of materials for the delivery of RNAi therapeutics called “lipidoids”. He pursued post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate and Institute Professor Phillip Sharp in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked to develop cancer-specific RNAi therapeutics. His research has been published in leading journals, including Nature and Nature Biotechnology.
His current research interests include cancer immunotherapy and the creation of innovative platforms for drug development and delivery by combining the tools of chemistry, engineering, immunology, molecular biology, and nanotechnology.