BBS Faculty Member - Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg

Department of Microbiology & Immunobiology (HMS)
Department of Cancer Immunology & Virology (DFCI)

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Smith Building, Room 770C
450 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Tel: 617-909-8181
Fax: 617-582-9610
Lab Members: 2 postdoctoral fellows, 2 graduate students, 2 visiting students
Visit my lab page here.

Our laboratory is interested to develop and deliver novel therapeutics to address cancer. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and – unlike other leading causes of death such as heart disease and infectious disease – its incidence is increasing. Indeed, cancer is now the primary cause of death among Americans under the age of 85. 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 these strategies in the difficulty of eradicating 100% of the cancerous cells. Many patients relapse because their original treatments did not eliminate 100% of their cancerous 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 innate and adaptive responses, which are highly coordinated and able to traffic appropriate cells to the site of disease. Indeed, T cell infiltration into tumors is perhaps the best predictor of survival.

Unlike traditional approaches, immunotherapy is relevant across tumor types and mutations. Moreover, the immune system is adaptive and has capacity for memory. By analogy, whereas aspiring provides temporary pain relief, a polio vaccine provides life-long protection. Challengingly, tumors suppress immune cell function. Encouragingly, clinical data reveal that restoring the natural function of immune cells can lead to curative responses. We thus seek to devise creative solutions to improve antitumor immunity.

Three current areas of research in the lab are:

I) Identifying synergistic combination therapies
II) Utilizing nanotechnology to improve the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy
III) Developing novel platform technologies (e.g., improved vaccines + RNA therapies)

Last Update: 12/7/2016


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Park J, Wysocki RW, Amoozgar Z, Maiorino L, Fein MR, Jorns J, Schott AF, Kinugasa-Katayama Y, Lee Y, Won NH, Nakasone ES, Hearn SA, Küttner V, Qiu J, Almeida AS, Perurena N, Kessenbrock K, Goldberg MS, Egeblad M. Cancer cells induce metastasis-supporting neutrophil extracellular DNA traps. Sci Transl Med. 8(361):361ra138 (2016).

Goldberg MS. Immunoengineering: how nanotechnology can enhance cancer immunotherapy. Cell. 161(2):201-204 (2015).

Wang L, Amoozgar Z, Huang J, Saleh MH, Xing D, Orsulic S,
Goldberg MS. Decitabine enhances lymphocyte migration and function and synergizes with CTLA-4 blockade in a murine ovarian cancer model. Cancer Immunol Res. 3(9):1030-1041 (2015).

Goldberg MS, Hook SS, Wang AZ, Bulte JWM, Patri AK, Uckun FM, Cryns VL, Hanes J, Akin D, Hall JB, Gharkholo N, Mumper RJ. Biotargeted nanomedicines for cancer: six tenets before you begin. Nanomedicine. 8(2):299-308 (2013).

Goldberg MS, Sharp PA. Pyruvate kinase M2-specific siRNA induces apoptosis and tumor regression. J Exp Med. 209(2):217-24 (2012).

Schroeder A*,
Goldberg MS*, Kastrup C, Wany Y, Jiang S, Joseph BJ, Levins CG, Kannan ST, Langer RS, Anderson DG. Remotely-activated protein-producing nanoparticles. Nano Lett. 362(13):1192-202 (2012).

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of Harvard College