Success Stories

Ludwig has a long history of pioneering cancer discoveries. Today, Ludwig scientists around the world are collaborating on new projects, and on ways to move breakthroughs toward the ultimate goal of patient benefit. These are some of the novel ways Ludwig researchers have teamed up to advance our understanding and control of cancer.

Ludwig Oxford’s Richard White models cancer in fish that are easy to manipulate genetically and enable the clear visualization of individual cancer cells as they spread

Michal Bassani-Sternberg’s pioneering work on the recognition of cancer antigens is being applied to the design of novel immunotherapies

Ed McDermott on his teachers, mentors and experiences over 34 years at the Ludwig Institute.

The Ludwig Princeton Associate Director and Member on the defining scientific moments of her career, the solace of family and value of speaking up—both for yourself and for other women researchers.

The Ludwig MIT investigator on the importance of childlike curiosity to a scientific career, her long-standing advocacy for women as scientists and entrepreneurs and making science fit her life—not the other way around.

The Ludwig Scientific Advisor on how, against daunting odds, she forged a rewarding career as a physician-researcher and what she discovered along the way about leadership, family and scientific success.

The Ludwig Lausanne Member on her good luck in teachers and mentors, the dire need for childcare and technical support programs for researchers starting families and stanching the flow of young scientists out of academia.

The Ludwig Stanford investigator on what drew her into a life of research, failure as an “essential experience on the path to success” and the need for mentoring programs for young researchers.

The Ludwig Board Member on being prepared to say “yes,” good mentors and lessons in life and leadership that shaped her career and fueled her success as a breast cancer clinician, researcher and leader.

The Ludwig Oxford Director on the improbable start of her career, its steep trajectory, the mentors who helped make it possible and the lessons she learned on persistence and scientific freedom that she passes on to trainees.

The Ludwig Harvard Co-director on the risky moves she made over the course of her career, the challenges of balancing lab and family and the rewards of creating a model for collaborative science at the Ludwig Harvard Center.

The Ludwig Institute’s new deputy scientific director talks about his life, career, avocations—and his role.

The Ludwig Stanford scientist talks about her trailblazing research and supporting women in science

Ludwig Cancer Research is celebrating 50 years of trailblazing cancer research. In this video, Ludwig community members from around the world share moments of pride, strength and community from the past 50 years and look forward to an even brighter future.

Over the past two decades, Yibin Kang’s studies have illuminated key mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis, the residential niches of cancer stem cells and the internal transformations essential to the metastatic migration of cancer cells and their seeding of new tumors. His work has contributed to five experimental cancer therapies—and counting.

By singlehandedly developing one of the first mouse models of cancer and co-authoring a review that has profoundly influenced cancer research, Douglas Hanahan has had an outsize influence on the field. His exploration of multistage tumor progression, drug resistance and the tumor microenvironment continues to yield major discoveries.

Since upending in 2004 a stubborn dogma concerning the epigenetic regulation of the genome, Shi has contributed to the application of his discovery for cancer therapy and, more recently, the improvement of immunotherapy. His lab is also exploring epigenetic strategies for the treatment of blood and pediatric brain cancers.

After making landmark contributions to our understanding of how cancer cells evade programmed death, Eileen White discovered that they also depend on a process of self-cannibalization, known as autophagy, to survive. Her work is elucidating its profound influence on tumor biology and opening exciting new possibilities for cancer therapy.

Joshua Rabinowitz helped pioneer metabolomics, the comprehensive, quantitative analysis of metabolism. His increasingly sophisticated exploration of the chemistry of life is transforming our understanding of both systemic and tumor metabolism, demolishing long-held assumptions about metabolic processes and opening exciting new possibilities for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Mikaël Pittet started out as a novice researcher at Ludwig Lausanne in 1998. He has returned as a full Member of the Ludwig Institute and an accomplished immunologist exploring how the various functional states of myeloid cells—frontline soldiers of the innate immune response—influence antitumor immunity and immunotherapy.

The Ludwig Lausanne researcher talks about what led her to cancer research, developing cancer vaccines, what excites her most about her work and more.

Ludwig Oxford’s newest member discusses his groundbreaking research in epigenetics, what he loves about being a scientist, why he moved to Oxford and a whole lot more.

Bert Vogelstein’s name is virtually synonymous with our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of cancer. Now his team at Ludwig Johns Hopkins is racing against the clock to develop a treatment to prevent COVID-19 deaths, even as it takes giant steps toward the routine early detection of cancers.

Chi Van Dang has over the past three decades explored how a protein named Myc orchestrates cellular metabolism and how its dysfunction drives the malignant transformation of cells—a scientific adventure that has led him down some unexpected avenues of research and discovery.

Irv Weissman has always been keenly interested in what a discovery might mean for patients, a focus that has defined his storied scientific career. His many landmark discoveries in stem cell and cancer biology are today opening new doors to treating a broad spectrum of malignancies and other diseases.

Brad Bernstein helped pioneer the mapping and functional analysis of the epigenome—the chemical modifications made to DNA and its protein packaging that regulate the genome’s expression. His work has exposed surprising ways in which aberrations in these processes fuel cancer.

Chunxiao Song always wanted to apply his chemistry skills to answer fundamental questions of biology. He has now co-invented a new sequencing technology that efficiently detects chemical modifications on DNA that regulate gene expression—and launched a startup to apply it to cancer screening.

The Ludwig MIT Director on his science, his mentors and more

The Ludwig Institute’s director of strategic alliances in central nervous system cancers looks back on three decades with us.

Defying all odds, Wenbin Lin made his way from a coastal village in China to a U.S. graduate school and on to the frontiers of medical nanotechnology, where his inventions promise to supercharge cancer therapy.

Lana Kandalaft’s scientific journey, which began in Jordan, led to an ongoing collaboration in translational medicine with a leading immuno-oncologist and their creation of a personalized cancer vaccine.

Alexandre Harari and a Ludwig team have developed a process to isolate cancer cell-killing T cells from tumors and optimize them for use in personalized, cell-based immunotherapies.

Howard Chang’s discovery of the body’s cellular GPS drew him into the vast, dark expanse of the noncoding genome, exploring its control of gene expression and how its dysfunctions fuel multiple cancers.

Peter Ratcliffe’s landmark discovery of how cells sense and respond to the availability of oxygen has transformed our understanding of cancer and other diseases—and he’s far from done with the discovering.

Michelle Monje’s teenage project to aid the disabled led her to neurology and a research career that’s bringing new hope for the treatment of childhood brain cancers and the mind-fog caused by chemotherapy.

Nickolas Papadopoulos’ early fascination with molecular genetics fueled a career-long adventure mapping cancer genomes, unearthing cancer genes and devising tests for the minimally invasive detection of cancer.

The unique cooperative research model of the Ludwig Center at Harvard is being productively harnessed by the Tumor Atlas Project, an ambitious effort to create high-dimensional maps of any and all tumors.

The Ludwig Stanford researcher talks about stem cells, blood cancers, mentoring, basketball and more.

Ludwig Johns Hopkins co-director is a pioneer of cancer genetics and champion of translational research

The Ludwig Harvard scientist talks about his research, the Cancer Atlas project and more.

Ping-Chih Ho eavesdrops on the metabolic chatter between cancer cells and immune cells. Manipulating this malignant crosstalk could significantly boost the efficacy of immunotherapy.

Frank Furnari’s sustained exploration of the signaling networks, communications and genetic idiosyncrasies of brain cancer cells is yielding valuable clues to new therapies.

Marcia Haigis has shown how biochemical discord in the powerhouse of the cell can shape the aberrant metabolism of cancer cells. Disrupting the relevant metabolic circuitry could help treat a variety of malignancies.

Ludwig’s Benoît Van den Eynde is unraveling the myriad ways tumors thwart immune attack—and showing how to undo those defenses.

Alexander Rudensky’s study of the regulatory T cell exposes new ways in which the suppressive immune cells function and how they inhibit and fuel malignancy. His discoveries illuminate powerful new approaches to cancer prevention and therapy.

Johanna Joyce explores how noncancerous cells in the tumor microenvironment contribute to malignant growth, drug resistance and metastasis

Sam Gambhir’s mission to detect disease early and visualize cells and molecular processes hidden deep within living bodies is transforming cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Our newest Member in Lausanne wants to know how cancer cells communicate with normal cells, and how that conversation changes during cancer progression.

The Ludwig Institute’s Board Chair doesn’t enjoy the status quo, and is driven to create and support a wide array of ventures.

The Ludwig Institute’s deputy scientific director talks about the most promising avenues of cancer research today.

Here’s a brief highlights video of the symposium held in Oxford in September 2017 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ludwig Oxford Branch.

Judith Shizuru has long dreamt of using stem cells to perform—and transform—bone marrow transplantation. She recently took a big step toward that goal.

Ralph Weichselbaum’s decades-long quest to expand the uses of radiotherapy has exposed its ties to the immune response and yielded a trove of clues to novel cancer therapies.

Sangeeta Bhatia has harnessed an enduring fascination with getting synthetic things to infiltrate and talk to tissues to devise new approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer.

Paul Mischel’s long exploration of the cancer cell’s adaptability led him to one startling discovery about cancer genes and another about a brain tumor’s dependency on stolen cholesterol.

Partners in science Jedd Wolchok and Taha Merghoub solved a pharmacologic puzzle, to boost a cancer immunotherapy.

Richard Kolodner has made landmark discoveries on DNA repair and its link to cancer. Now he has unearthed a passel of genes that stabilize the genome, and are often defective in tumors.

George Coukos is all set to make Ludwig Lausanne a global pioneer in the development, delivery and evaluation of personalized, cell-based immunotherapies.

The new scientific director of the Ludwig Institute on his journey from Saigon to science leadership.

Joan Brugge was recently awarded the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor. Learn more about Dr. Brugge in this video tribute to her life and research, courtesy of ACS.

The Oxford Branch Director on the drive for discovery, women in science and the similarities between art and science.

The body contains many different types of blood vessels. Sarah De Val’s lab at Ludwig Oxford is trying to understand the processes that control the growth of each type of blood vessel in order to develop better ways to manipulate them.

The Ludwig MIT investigator on how important a “spirit of tinkering” is to scientific innovation.

Skirmantas Kriaucionis of Ludwig Oxford has been hooked on epigenetics since his undergraduate years in Lithuania. This past year, he showed that a characteristic sloppiness in the way some types of cancer cells handle epigenetically marked bases may be harnessed to devise a new kind of therapy for various cancers.

For more than a century, researchers have parsed the structure and biochemistry of the centrosome. A study led by Ludwig’s Karen Oegema, Andrew Shiau and Timothy Gahman finally solved two lingering mysteries about the structure, and may have opened the door to a new strategy for treating cancer.

Bing Ren of Ludwig San Diego submitted his very first research proposal in middle school, in the hopes of joining NASA. Now, his scientific forays into the cell’s nucleus are illuminating how the genome controls its own expression—and how that control runs awry in diseases such as cancer.

Luis Diaz of Ludwig Johns Hopkins had a hunch. He thought he knew why a certain kind of immunotherapy elicited intense anti-tumor responses in some patients. His hypothesis laid the foundation for a clinical trial, which found that cancers that are deficient in their ability to repair DNA are more susceptible to this type of treatment.

Paul Mischel of Ludwig San Diego dedicated himself to eradicating cancer after his father died from the disease. His most recent studies have unveiled a promising therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma multiforme.

Ash Alizadeh and Maximilian Diehn of Ludwig Stanford have been working side by side—sharing food, reagents and ideas-since graduate school.

Jedd Wolchok of Ludwig MSK and Stephen Hodi of Ludwig Harvard are among the pioneers of evaluating immunotherapies in combination for a variety of cancer types. In 2015, they caused a stir in the medical community with their publication of the results of a multicenter, Phase 3 trial they led.

The CVC Clinical Trials Network, a partnership with the Cancer Research Institute to test the implications of tumor immunology, has become a vital force in the design and testing of novel immunotherapeutic concepts and combination strategies.

In 2015, Web Cavenee handed over the reins of Ludwig San Diego to a new director and took on a new role as Ludwig’s director of strategic alliances in central nervous system cancers.

Kyle Loh, PhD, describes research on ways to guide stem cell development in order to create any kind of cell in the body. In research being published this week, Loh and his colleagues in Irving Weissman’s lab at Stanford describe a method for converting stem cells into human bone and heart tissue.

Ludwig Harvard’s co-director talks about life in industry and academia, and how to inspire creativity in the lab.

Ludwig Johns Hopkins Co-Directors Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler sit down with JCI for their ‘Conversations with Giants in Medicine’ series to discuss their backgrounds, what inspired them to be cancer researchers and their goals as scientists.

George Demetri describes developments in sarcoma research that are contributing to advances in the development of targeted and epigenetic drugs, and even immunotherapies.

Oxford’s John Christianson describes the relevance of his studies on how cells recognize and clean up misfolded proteins, and how those processes might be targeted by therapies for cancer and other diseases.

Ludwig’s new director in San Diego tackles multiple scientific roles—and a competitive border collie.

Ludwig MIT scientist Sangeeta Bhatia describes her lab’s creation of a cancer-nano detector so small that it can “listen” for tumor invasion, and shares her dream for making cancer screenings as simple and affordable as a routine urine test.

Ludwig’s director in Lausanne is taking immunotherapy into a new era.

Ludwig Oxford’s Mads Gyrd-Hansen discusses how normal immune responses can lead to cancer development if not properly controlled.

An engineered bird virus delivered together with an immunotherapy in mouse models crashes tumor defenses.

An analysis of genome expression in melanoma tumors exposes precise signatures that predict response to a groundbreaking immunotherapy.

How an old hunch spawned a Ludwig spin-off dedicated to undoing the defenses that shield tumors from the immune system.

New tools to probe how drugs perturb the interconnected biochemical and genetic networks within cells hold great promise for cancer drug design.

A powerful new gene editing technology sets the stage for the massive acceleration of basic and applied cancer research.

Studies of how tumor cells prepare to migrate suggest new ways to thwart the spread of cancer.

A new class of drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases and a blood cancer may also stymie colon cancer.

Ludwig Brussels researchers are on a quest to expose how a family of signaling molecules influences cancer and its resistance to therapy.

New possibilities for killing cancer cells emerge from studies of how chromosomes are parceled out during cell division.

Exploration of a family of proteins exposes a malfunction that drives metastasis and illuminates a new pathway to the cell’s nucleus.

“Doing research is essentially like solving a puzzle, and I love the process of trying to solve that puzzle­ because there’s nothing more exciting to me than tackling a question and eventually getting an answer.”

In this video by The American Society for Cell Biology, Ludwig San Diego scientists describe how their studies in cell biology advance cancer research.

Ludwig’s director of clinical trials management on the importance of rigorous safety and efficacy testing

Ludwig Scientific Director Sir David Lane visits MSK to chat with young scientists.

An experimental strategy pushes drug-resistant stem cells into a susceptible state—and kills them.

A better understanding of cancer stem cells opens the door to designing more effective therapies.

An antibody that counters cancer’s “don’t eat me” signal is all set to be tested as a therapy.

Radiation activates tumor-busting immune responses. Can they be amped up to create a new therapy?

Ludwig translates it most promising basic research discoveries into products for the clinic.

How gut bacteria work with the immune system to suppress the sort of inflammation linked to colon cancer.

Switching on tumor-targeting T cells and turning off their suppressive siblings to kill cancers.

Ludwig researchers find a key to fighting drug resistance in tumors.

A rational approach to drug design and development yields life-saving results.

Learning how a deadly tumor evades a targeted therapy suggests how it might be defeated.

Treat the person AND the cancer.” In this TEDxTimesSquare talk, Jedd Wolchok gives a straightforward explanation of immunotherapy and its importance.

The Melbourne investigator on long-distance collaborations, and the potential benefits of taking aspirin.

Ludwig Scientific Director Sir David Lane answers questions from postdoctoral research fellows at the Ludwig Oxford Branch.

The vice president and chief investment officer of the LICR Fund talks about finance to leading scientific research.

Ludwig Stanford’s director got hooked on science as a child, and has been dedicated to figuring out how things work ever since.

Combining immune agents with radiation or chemotherapy can power up the immune response to cancer.

Targeting parallel pathways can potentially create better cancer therapies.

Researchers are exploring ways that combination therapies can treat glioblastoma.

Research on neurological diseases generates breakthrough in cancer treatment

New technology provides sensitive and detailed investigation of a single cell.

Advances in genomics research get us closer to improving human health.

New method can detect uterine or ovarian cancer through routine Pap tests.

Ludwig’s new scientific director on the benefits of unexpected scientific collaboration.

The Ludwig MSK researcher talks about the promise of immunotherapy in fighting cancer.

Andy Shiau and Tim Gahman came to Ludwig to help our scientists perform cutting-edge research and take their ideas from concept to clinical testing.

The Oxford Branch investigator on the excitement of a ‘Sunday morning moment’ in science.

Sir Derek Roberts looks back on his time on the Ludwig Institute’s Board of Directors.

Two Ludwig scientists imagine a future in which a blood test could detect signs of early tumors.

Ludwig team helps turn discoveries into potential treatments.

Ludwig understands that basic research sets the stage for big breakthroughs.

Ludwig brings top researchers together to spark new collaborations.

Research on HPV leads to a change in U.S. health policy.

Ludwig research is revealing previously hidden molecular secrets of skin cancer.

Ludwig is testing new ways for the immune system to fight cancer.

The Ludwig Institute’s senior director of intellectual property on protecting the innovative and creative ideas that spring from breakthrough science.

Ludwig San Diego investigator  Frank Furnari on the “extraordinary advantages in fostering collaborations” that come from a global research institute.


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