Shalek Appointed to the Pfizer-Laubach Professorship

Danielle Randall
June 15, 2017

Assistant Professor Alex Shalek has been appointed to the Pfizer-Laubach Career Development Professorship, effective July 1, 2017.

Professor Shalek received his Bachelor's Degree from Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University. He joined the faculty at MIT, where, in addition to being an Assistant Professor of Chemistry, he is also a Core Member of the Institute for Medical Engineering & Sciences, an Associate Member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and a member of the faculty of Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, in 2014.

Research in the Shalek group is directed towards the development and application of new technologies that will facilitate the understanding of how cells collectively perform systems-level functions in healthy and diseased states. With respect to technology development, the group levereges recent advances in nanotechnology and chemical biology to establish a host of core, cross-disciplinary platforms that will collectively enable them to extensively profile and precisely control cells and their interactions within the context of complex systems. With respect to biological applications, the group focuses on how cellular heterogeneity and cell-to-cell communication drive ensemble-level decision-making in the immune system, with an emphasis on “two-body” interaction (e.g., host cell-virus interactions, innate immune control of adaptive immunity, tumor infiltration by immune cells). The goal is to not only provide broadly applicable experimental tools but also help transform the way in which we think about single cells, cell-cell interactions, diseased cellular states and therapeutics so as to create a new paradigm for understanding and designing systems-level cellular behaviors in multicellular organisms.