• Researcher Profile

    Michael Goldberg, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School

    Office phone: 617-582-9840
    Fax: 617-582-9610
    Email: michael_goldberg1@dfci.harvard.edu

    Preferred contact method: email

    Research Department

    Cancer Immunology and Virology

    Area of Research

    Development and Delivery of Novel Therapeutics to Address Cancer

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Smith 770C
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Goldberg  received his PhD in 2008 from MIT, where he worked in the laboratory of Institute Professor Robert Langer. He subsequently pursued post-doctoral training under the supervision of Institute Professor Philip Sharp at MIT. In 2012, he became assistant professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and in the Department of Cancer Immunology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he works on the development and delivery of novel therapeutics.


    Development and Delivery of Novel Therapeutics to Address Cancer

    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. Conventional therapeutic approaches involve harsh treatment regimens that entail severe side effects. Clearly, the establishment of disruptive therapeutic molecules and platforms would be desirable.

    The ability to regulate the expression of specific genes either positively or negatively in specific cells in animal models and in patients would be of great utility. To this end, our laboratory seeks to develop targeted systems for the delivery of mRNA and RNAi therapeutics. These molecules provde the tremendous specificity of genetic therapies but, owing to their impermanence, allow for dosage control like traditional therapeutic modalities. By combining applied chemical tools with an understanding of basic RNA biology and immunology, we aim to generate innovative technologies.

    Indeed, through evolution, the immune system has been selected to serve as the greatest drug delivery system developed to date. By modulating genes encoding stimulatory and inhibitory signals, we will attempt to leverage the host immune system's ability to expand, to communicate with complementary cell types, to penetrate deeply into tumor parenchyma, and to develop a memory response. This strategy is designed to be as broadly applicable as possible as it is indifferent to the type of cancer and its underlying mutations.

    Three current areas of research in the lab are:

    I) Targeting RNA delivery to specific immune cells
    II) Generating improved cancer vaccines
    III) Developing tumor-homing and tumor-penetrating drug delivery systems 

    Select Publications

    • John M, Constien R, Akinc A, Goldberg M, Moon YA, Spranger M, Hadwiger P, Soutschek J, Vornlocher HP, Manoharan M, Stoffel M, Langer R, Anderson DG, Horton JD, Koteliansky V, Bumcrot D. Effective RNAi-mediated gene silencing without interruption of the endogenous microRNA pathway. Nature. 449(7163):745-7 (2007).
    • Goldberg M, Langer R, Jia X. Nanostructured materials for applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 18(3):241-68 (2007).
    • Akinc A, Zumbuehl A, Goldberg M, Leshchiner ES, Busini V, Hossain N, Bacallado SA, Nguyen DN, Fuller J, Alvarez R, Borodovsky A, Borland T, Constien R, de Fougerolles A, Dorkin JR, Narayanannair Jayaprakash K, Jayaraman M, John M, Koteliansky V, Manoharan M, Nechev L, Qin J, Racie T, Raitcheva D, Rajeev KG, Sah DW, Soutschek J, Toudjarska I, Vornlocher HP, Zimmermann TS, Langer R, Anderson DG. A combinatorial library of lipid-like materials for delivery of RNAi therapeutics. Nat Biotechnol. 26(5):561-9 (2008). [JOURNAL COVER]
    • Goldberg M, Mahon K, Anderson D. Combinatorial and rational approaches to polymer synthesis for medicine. AdvDrug Deliv Rev. 60(9):971-8 (2008).
    • Akinc A, Goldberg M, Qin J, Dorkin JR, Gamba-Vitalo C, Maier M, Jayaprakash KN, Jayaraman M, Rajeev KG, Manoharan M, Koteliansky V, Röhl I, Leshchiner ES, Langer R, Anderson DG. Development of lipidoid-siRNA formulations for systemic delivery to the liver. Mol Ther. 17(5):872-9 (2009).
    • Goldberg MS*, Xing D*, Ren Y, Orsulic S, Bhatia S, Sharp PA. Nanoparticle-mediated delivery of siRNA targeting Parp1 extends survival of mice bearing tumors derived from Brca1-deficient ovarian cancer cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108(2):745-50 (2011).*These authors contributed equally
    • Schroeder A*, Goldberg M*, Kastrup C, Levins CG, Langer RS, Anderson DG. Remotely-activated protein-producing nanoparticles. Nano Lett. Epub ahead of print (2012). *These authors contributed equally
    • Goldberg MS, Sharp PA. Pyruvate kinase M2-specific siRNA induces apoptosis and tumor regression. J Exp Med. 209(2):217-24 (2012).


    • Wang, Lei, Ph.D.
    • Wong, Adrienne, Ph.D.
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