Engineering approaches grounded in immunology hold the key to the discovery and development of novel treatments for cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmunity. To this end, the overarching goal of Professor Darrell Irvine’s laboratory is to engineer immunity through a fusion of immunology with biotechnology and materials chemistry, employing a materials science-centric approach to create new therapies based on the controlled modulation of the immune system. Current efforts are focused on problems related to vaccine development for HIV and immunotherapy of cancer. Key to the Irvine Lab’s approach is a balanced emphasis on the engineering and immunological aspects of the problems it addresses. In each project, state-of-the-art chemistry, polymer science, physics, and immunology are combined to address critical biological questions and medical challenges.
Professor Irvine earned a BS in engineering physics at the University of Pittsburgh in 1995 and a PhD in polymer science and technology at MIT in 2000. He continued his academic work as a postdoctoral researcher in immunology at Stanford University. Professor Irvine joined MIT in 2002 as assistant professor in DMSE and the Department of Biological Engineering. He serves on the steering committee of the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard and is a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He is the author of more than 200 publications, reviews, and book chapters and an inventor on numerous patents.