Researchers from MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard are joining forces in the quest to develop effective vaccines against AIDS and other diseases. The new Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute, established through a $100 million grant from the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute Foundation, will bring together scientists, clinicians, and engineers in an interdisciplinary effort to study how the body fights infections and then apply their findings to a wide range of infectious diseases and cancers. An initial focus will be on identifying the effective immune responses in the few HIV-infected people who are able to keep the virus in check without medication. “By providing flexible funding and by connecting science and engineering at MIT and Harvard with the research and clinical resources of MGH, we intend to empower many of the world’s best researchers to focus on what they view as the most promising research,” says Phillip (Terry) Ragon ‘71, founder and CEO of InterSystems, a maker of database software.
In February, President Susan Hockfield announced the new Simons Initiative on Autism and the Brain at MIT. Its goals include attracting postdoctoral fellows, enhancing collaboration among existing investigators, and funding pilot projects on innovative approaches for autism research. In the past four years, Jim Simons ‘58 and his wife, Marilyn, have given more than $10 million to MIT in support of this work.
Transportation@MIT, an effort to address the environmental impact of the global demand for transportation, launched in March. Led by Cynthia Barnhart, SM ‘86, PhD ‘88, associate dean for academic affairs for the School of Engineering, the initiative ties together research now under way on new transportation technologies and new strategies for increasing efficiency; a recent survey revealed that at least a quarter of MIT faculty and researchers are already working on transportation-related projects. It will also foster more collaboration among researchers at the School of Engineering, the School of Architecture and Planning, and the Sloan School of Management.
The therapists using AI to make therapy better
Researchers are learning more about how therapy works by examining the language therapists use with clients. It could lead to more people getting better, and staying better.
Can Afghanistan’s underground “sneakernet” survive the Taliban?
A once-thriving network of merchants selling digital content to people without internet connections is struggling under Taliban rule.
The US crackdown on Chinese economic espionage is a mess. We have the data to show it.
The US government’s China Initiative sought to protect national security. In the most comprehensive analysis of cases to date, MIT Technology Review reveals how far it has strayed from its goals.
Where computing might go next
The future of computing depends in part on how we reckon with its past.
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