Advisor Profiles

Douglas Lauffenburger, Ph.D.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Douglas A. Lauffenburger is Ford Professor of Bioengineering and (founding) Head of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. Professor Lauffenburger also holds appointments in the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemical Engineering, is a member of the Center for Biomedical Engineering, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Center for Gynepathology Research, and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. 

Lauffenburger’s B.S. and Ph.D. degrees are in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota, in 1975 and 1979 respectively. His major research interests are in cell engineering: the fusion of engineering with molecular cell biology. A central focus of his research program is in receptor-mediated cell communication and intracellular signal transduction, with emphasis on development of predictive computational models derived from quantitative experimental studies, for cell cue/signal/response relationships important in pathophysiology with application to drug discovery and development. Lauffenburger has co-authored a monograph entitled Receptors: Models for Binding, Trafficking & Signaling, published by Oxford University Press in 1993; he has also co-edited the book entitled Systems Biomedicine: Concepts and Perspectives, published by Elsevier in 2010. More than 100 doctoral students and postdoctoral associates have undertaken research education under his supervision.

Prof. Lauffenburger has served as a consultant or scientific advisory board member for Astra-Zeneca, Beyond Genomics, CellPro, Complete Genomics, Eli Lilly, Entelos, Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Merrimack, Pfizer, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, and the Whitaker Foundation. His awards include the Pierre Galletti Award from AIMBE, the A.P. Colburn Award, Bioengineering Division Award, and W.H. Walker Award from AIChE, the Distinguished Lecture Award and the Shu Chien Lifetime Achievement Award from BMES, the C.W. McGraw Award from ASEE, the Amgen Award in Biochemical Engineering from the Engineering Foundation, and a J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship, along with a number of named lectures at academic institutions. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and has served as President of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Chair of the College of Fellows of American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, and on the Advisory Council for NIGMS, and as a co-author of the 2009 NRC report on A New Biology for the 21st Century.