Matthew Vander Heiden
Tumor biology, Tumor microenvironment


I am interested in understanding cancer cell metabolism. One of the first changes noted between cancer cells and normal cells is a difference in metabolism. My hypothesis is that this metabolic difference may provide insight into how cells, including cancer cells, convert nutrients into the chemical components they need to proliferate. Specifically, my lab is working to identify the biochemical pathways cells use to meet the metabolic requirements of cell proliferation. We also use mouse models to elucidate how metabolic regulation impacts tissue metabolism in a physiological context and to translate the biochemical understanding of cancer metabolism into better cancer therapies.

I am an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Biology, an associate director of the Koch Institute at MIT and a member of the Broad Institute. A practicing oncologist, I am also an instructor in medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School. I earned my doctoral and medical degrees from the University of Chicago, where I worked in the laboratory of Craig Thompson. I then completed a residency in internal medicine at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Massachusetts General Hospital. I was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Lewis Cantley at Harvard Medical School, where I was supported by a Mel Karmazin Fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. In 2010, I joined the MIT faculty. My work has been recognized by many awards, including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Sciences, the AACR Gertrude B. Elion Award, the HHMI Faculty Scholar Award and the Stand Up To Cancer Phillip A. Sharp Innovation in Collaboration Award.

Ludwig Center at MIT
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