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Doug Lauffenburager, Ph.D.

Ford Professor of Bioengineering
Head, Department of Biological Engineering
Chair, CSBi Steering Committee
Professor, Department of Biology and Department of Chemical Engineering

Room 16-343
617-252-1629 (phone)


B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1975
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1979
Member, Center for Biomedical Engineering, 1995-present (Director, 1995-1998)
Member, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, 1998-present
Affiliate, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, 1999-present
Affiliate, Center for Gynepathology Research, 2010-present
Executive Committee, MIT Computational and Systems Biology Initiative (CSBi)

Research Summary

Research in the Lauffenburger laboratory focuses on receptor-mediated regulation of mammalian cell behavioral functions such as proliferation, adhesion, migration, differentiation, and death. A central paradigm of our work is development and testing of computational models -- based on principles from engineering analysis and synthesis -- for receptor regulation of cell function by exploiting techniques of molecular biology to alter parameters characterizing receptor or ligand properties in well-characterized cell systems. Quantitative experimental assays are used to measure cell functions, receptor/ligand interaction parameters, and signaling network dynamics. Problems are primarily motivated by health care technologies of interest to pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies, and emphasize multi-disciplinary collaborative interactions, The Lauffenburger laboratory is located in Bldgs 16 and 56, and comprises approximately 12 graduate students, 6 postdocs and 2 research staff members. The graduate students in the group come from Biological Engineering, Biology, and Chemical Engineering as well as from Computational & Systems Biology. Student and postdoc projects generally combine both experimental and computational facets.

Research in Computational and Systems Biology

Experimental and computational analysis of cell signaling networks. Design of improved molecular therapeutics, including protein- and nucleic acid-based drugs Over the past three years, the Lauffenburger group has participated in multi-investigator projects developing and applying experimental and computational methods to the analysis of signal transduction in cell migration, differentiation, and death/survival decisions. We have emphasized quantitative, multi-parametric/multi-variable dynamic experimental measurement of signaling pathway activities and consequent cell function responses to receptor activation by binding of extracellular ligands including cytokines, growth factors, and extracellular matrix proteins. Complex pathologies such as inflammatory diseases and cancer are a major area of application.

Primary Collaborators

Gertler Lab, MIT; Griffith Lab, MIT; Han Lab, MIT; Hemann Lab, MIT; Irvine Lab, MIT; Kamm Lab, MIT; Love Lab, MIT; White Lab, MIT; Yaffe Lab, MIT.
J. Burke, Boehringer-Ingelheim; R.B. Jones, University of Chicago; P.K. Sorger, Harvard Medical School; A. Wells, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; H.S. Wiley, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Other Activities

Doug Lauffenburger serves as PI of the MIT NCI Tumor Cell Networks Center grant, co-PI of the MIT NIGMS Cell Decision Processes Center, and co-PI of the MIT DOD Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies.

Selected Publications

  • Miller-Jensen K.E., K.A. Janes, J.S. Brugge, and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Common Effector Processing Mediates Cell-Specific Responses to Stimuli", Nature 448: 604-608 (2007).
  • Kumar, N., A. Wolf-Yadlin, F.M. White, and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Modeling HER2 Effects on Cell Behavior from Mass Spectrometry Phosphotyrosine Data", Public Library Sci. Comp. Biol. 3: e4 (2007).
  • Cosgrove, B.D., L.G. Griffith, and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Fusing Tissue Engineering and Systems Biology toward Fulfilling their Promise", Cell. Molec. Bioeng. 1: 33-41 (2008).
  • Palmer, M.J., V.S. Mahajan, L.C. Trajman, D.J. Irvine, D.A. Lauffenburger, and J. Chen, "Interleukin-7 Receptor Signaling Network: an Integrated Systems Perspective", Cell. Molec. Immunol. 5: 79-89 (2008).
  • Pritchard, J.R., B.D. Cosgrove, M.T. Hemann, L.G. Griffith, J.R. Wands, and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Three-Kinase Inhibitor Combination Recreates Multi-Pathway Effects of a Geldanamycin Analog on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Death", Molec. Cancer Therapeutics 8: 2183-2192 (2009).
  • Kreeger, P.K. and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Cancer Systems Biology: A Network Modeling Perspective", Carcinogenesis 31: 2-8 (2010).
  • Cosgrove, B.D., L.G. Alexopoulos, T.-c. Hang, B.S. Hendriks, P.K. Sorger, L.G. Griffith, and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Cytokine-Associated Drug Toxicity in Human Hepatocytes is Associated with Signaling Network Dysregulation", Molec. BioSyst. 6: 1195-1206 (2010).
  • Naegle, K.M., M. Gymrek, B.A. Joughin, J.P. Wagner, R.E. Welsch, M.B. Yaffe, D.A. Lauffenburger, and F.M. White, "PTMScout: A Web Resource for Analysis of High-Throughput Post-Translational Proteomic Studies", Molec. Cell. Proteomics 9: 2558-2570 (2010).
  • Morris, M.K., J. Saez-Rodriguez, P.K. Sorger, and D.A. Lauffenburger, "Logic-Based Models for the Analysis of Cell Signaling Networks", Biochemistry 49: 3216-3224 (2010).

Last Updated: January 19, 2011